- KFF sunwin News Original Stories 3
- Most States Ban Shackling Pregnant Women in Custody, Yet Many Report Being Restrained
- Beyond Insulin: Medi-Cal Expands Patient Access to Diabetes Supplies
- KFF sunwin News' 'What the sunwin?' Podcast: Congress Kicks the (Budget) Can Down the Road. Again.
- Outbreaks and sunwin Threats 2
- Measles Cases And Deaths Jump Worldwide By Alarming Rates, WHO Says
- CDC Arranges Speedy Release Of 77,000 Extra RSV Shots
From KFF sunwin News - Latest Stories:
Advocates for pregnant people in police custody say repeated incidents show prohibitions on handcuffs and other restraints are little more than lip service. (Renuka Rayasam, )
California’s Medicaid program is making it easier for people with diabetes to obtain the supplies and equipment they need to manage their blood sugar, partly by relaxing preauthorization requirements that can cause life-threatening delays. (Angela Hart, )
Congress narrowly avoided a federal government shutdown for the second time in six weeks, as Democrats came to the rescue of divided House Republicans over annual spending bills that were supposed to be finished by Oct. 1. But the brinksmanship is likely to repeat itself early in 2024, when the next temporary spending patches expire. Meanwhile, a pair of investigations unveiled this week demonstrate how difficult it still is for seniors to get needed long-term and rehabilitation care. ( )
Here's today's health policy haiku:
THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH ONE STEP
Biden and Xi meet
To beat fentanyl for good
China must work now
- Deborah Kirkland
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if we can include your name. Haikus follow the format of 5-7-5 syllables. We give extra brownie points if you link back to an original story.
Opinions expressed in haikus and cartoons are solely the author's and do not reflect the opinions of KFF sunwin News or KFF.
Summaries Of The News:
Measles cases rose 18% last year, and deaths increased by 40%, according to a new World sunwin Organization report. And the trend can be expected to continue as child vaccination rates are decreasing, in what could lead to a public health "disaster" for vulnerable kids.
There was a “staggering” annual rise in measles cases and deaths in 2022, according to a new report from the World sunwin Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cases jumped by 18% to an estimated 9 million, and deaths to 136,000, mostly among children, the health agencies said in a joint statement on Thursday. There were large or disruptive outbreaks in 37 countries last year, the majority in Africa, compared to 22 in 2021. (Rigby, 11/16)
The problem is mounting, with year-to-date numbers for 2023 on track to potentially double the 2022 figures, Natasha Crowcroft, the WHO’s global lead for measles and rubella, told STAT in an interview. “If this carries on the direction it’s going in, this is going to be a disaster for children in the most vulnerable settings,” Crowcroft said. (Branswell, 11/16)
Measles is among the most infectious diseases known and spreads in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is most common in children under 5. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and a distinctive rash. Most deaths are due to complications like encephalitis, severe dehydration, serious breathing problems and pneumonia. Complications are most likely in young children and adults over 30.The disease has also surged in some rich countries in recent years. British health authorities warned in July that there was an extremely high risk of outbreaks in London, with some areas of the capital reporting that only 40% of children were vaccinated. (11/16)
The researchers also saw coverage gaps of the vaccine, which is given as a two-dose series. Though global vaccine coverage was up modestly between 2021 and 2022, 33 million kids missed a measles vaccine dose, including 22 million who didn't get their first dose and 11 million who never received their second shot. (Schnirring, 11/16)
On the global spread of tuberculosis —
A promising way to prevent the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis was announced at the Union World Conference on Lung sunwin on Thursday in Paris. Two clinical trials, conducted in South Africa and Vietnam, looked at levofloxacin, one of the antibiotics most commonly used to treat people who've developed drug-resistant TB. Now there's strong evidence that taking the drug can reduce the risk of developing drug-resistant strains of the bacterial disease by about 60%. (Kritz, 11/16)
Sanofi and AstraZeneca's drug Beyfortus is in serious demand amid a surge that is straining some hospitals, and is in short supply — hence the CDC's action to boost availability. Meanwhile reports say, worryingly, fewer U.S. health care workers are keeping up with their covid and flu shots.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday it has expedited the release of more than 77,000 additional doses of Sanofi and AstraZeneca's respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) drug Beyfortus. The additional doses, which the CDC said will be distributed immediately to physicians and hospitals, will help improve the availability of the drug at a time when a surge in cases of the disease is outpacing supply. (11/16)
RSV infections are rising sharply in some parts of the country, nearly filling hospital emergency departments in Georgia, Texas and some other states. At Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, Dr. Laura Romano said kids and parents are spending 10 or more hours in the emergency department’s waiting room. Kids are presenting sicker than they have in previous years, with more in need of oxygen, Romano said. ... In Georgia, the Children’s sunwincare of Atlanta hospital system is in “surge” mode because of RSV, with a high volume of patients straining staff, said Dr. Jim Fortenberry, the system’s chief medical officer.(Stobbe and Hunter, 11/16)
In news about covid and flu —
Fewer U.S. health care workers are keeping up to date on their COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, according to two separate reports this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the first study, researchers pulled data from the CDC's National sunwincare Safety Network (NHSN) for January to June 2023. They found that flu vaccine coverage was 81% among health care employees at hospitals and 47.1% at nursing homes. (Rudy, 11/16)
A COVID-19 testing company has ceased operations in San Francisco after officials said an investigation revealed cash payments given to those being tested had facilitated drug activity. ... "At this time, almost four years into the pandemic, the public can rest assured that the vast majority of testing operators in San Francisco are legitimate and provide a much-needed public health service. However, the City has put a health order in place make sure we have the legal tools necessary to weed out any bad actors," Chiu said. (Fang, 11/16)
People with rheumatic disease who received a fourth mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose had a 41% lower risk of infection and a 65% lower risk of hospitalization or death than those who received only three doses, according to a study published yesterday in The Lancet Rheumatology. ... The authors noted that patients with rheumatic diseases who take DMARDs have suppressed immune systems: many patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases receiving DMARD therapy also have blunted humoral responses to COVID-19 vaccines." (Van Beusekom, 11/16)
Nearly half of 363,000 US veterans who tested positive for COVID-19 still had symptoms up to 6 months later, and the risk factors for this condition were Black race, older age, diabetes, and severe infection, concludes a study published yesterday in the Annals of Epidemiology. (Van Beusekom, 11/16)
“Can you lift your arms?” physician Luke Van Oeveren asked. An elderly woman stared blankly at him from the back of an ambulance, where she sat strapped onto a stretcher. After a moment, she complied, but when Van Oeveren added another instruction to the cognition test, she became confused. “Close your eyes and lift your arms up,” he said. (Clason, 11/16)
Principal Deputy FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock confirmed plans to step down from her post early next year, having worked at FDA since 1986. News outlets look back at her record.
Principal Deputy FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock will retire early next year from the Food and Drug Administration after helping steer the agency through an historic period of medical advances during nearly four decades in key leadership positions, she confirmed to STAT Thursday. Woodcock, a doctor with a chemistry degree, joined FDA in 1986 at its biologics center, where she oversaw the approval of the first biotechnology-based treatments for multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis. In 1994, she was named director of the drug center, where she played a key role in guiding some of the most impactful changes to the regulation of medicine, according to Trump administration FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. (Wilkerson and Silverman, 11/16)
The FDA will go on without Janet Woodcock, but it will likely take multiple people to fill in the gaps given her breadth of institutional knowledge, interests and skill sets, former close colleagues told the Pink Sheet. (Karlin-Smith, 11/16)
Last week, Woodcock criticized the drug industry's post-covid malaise —
Officials, including the Food and Drug Administration’s second-in-command Janet Woodcock, acknowledged the drug industry’s persistent lack of interest in collaborating on clinical trials, the ways hypercompetition pervades academic research and slows progress, and biotech investors taking the wrong lessons from pandemic. (Florko, 11/7)
President Joe Biden signed the bill that funds a portion of the government through January and other parts through February. The deal pushes off several funding battles over health programs that have become a regular part of the holiday landscape on Capitol Hill for the past few years.
By punting their spending disputes past the holidays, House Republicans have put the kibosh on what's become an annual rite for health care interests: the year-end legislative grab bag sometimes known as the Christmas tree. It's the first December since 2012 without a critical funding deadline, Raymond James analyst Chris Meekins notes. (Bettelheim, 11/17)
President Biden signed a short-term government funding bill on Thursday, narrowly averting a government shutdown but leaving a larger spending clash for Congress early next year. The Senate gave final approval to the package late Wednesday, about 48 hours before a shutdown deadline at midnight Friday. In a two-step plan, the bill funds congressional priorities including military construction, veterans affairs, transportation, housing and the Energy Department through Jan. 19. Other agencies would be funded until Feb. 2. (Friedman, 11/17)
Few people enjoy witnessing a dysfunctional Congress run up against one deadline after another just to avoid shutting down the government, but if you lead a community health center, you have little choice but to watch and hope. Congress narrowly avoided a shutdown in September but at that time only extended funding until this Friday. At the same time, lawmakers failed to reauthorize multi-year funding for federally qualified health centers, granting them the same brief reprieve. (McAuliff, 11/16)
KFF sunwin News' 'What The sunwin?' Podcast:
Congress Kicks The (Budget) Can Down The Road. Again.
Congress narrowly avoided a federal government shutdown for the second time in as many months, as House Democrats provided the needed votes for new House Republican Speaker Mike Johnson to avoid his first legislative catastrophe of his brief tenure. But funding the federal government won’t get any easier when the latest temporary patches expire in early 2024. It seems House Republicans have not yet accepted that they cannot accomplish the steep spending cuts they want as long as the Senate and the White House are controlled by Democrats. (11/16)
The U.S. received only a D+ grade in the “State of Maternal and Infant sunwin for American Families” report card, with notable disparities for life-threatening preterm labor outcomes for Black and Native women. Separately, reports say Florida lawmakers are thinking of a website to help during pregnancy.
The U.S. has landed another poor grade when it comes to preterm births, with festering disparities in outcomes for Black and Native women that are life-threatening, according to a new annual report. Preterm birth, when babies are born before 37 weeks gestation, is among the leading causes of infant death in the U.S., according to the March of Dimes. Outcomes across the country improved only slightly this year. ...The March of Dimes gave the U.S. a D+ grade in its “State of Maternal and Infant sunwin for American Families” report card published Thursday. (Cuevas, 11/16)
Preterm births and infant mortality are at alarming levels in the U.S., according to a new report published on Thursday by March of Dimes. In 2022, 10.4% of all babies were born premature — before 37 weeks of gestation — a slight improvement after the decade-high 10.5% peak of 2021, but still higher than the global average of 9.9%. This makes the U.S. the country with the highest risk of preterm birth among its wealthy peers: In the U.K., for instance, the rate is 7.6%; in Italy, it’s 6.8%; in Japan, it was around 5%. (Merelli, 11/17)
More on pregnancy and birth —
Two Republican lawmakers filed identical proposals Monday that would lead to the state setting up a website to provide information about issues such as maternal health services, prenatal and postnatal services and adoption services. Sen. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, and Rep. Berny Jacques, R-Seminole, filed the bills (SB 436 and HB 415) for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will start in January. (11/16)
KFF sunwin News:
Most States Ban Shackling Pregnant Women In Custody, Yet Many Report Being Restrained
Ashley Denney was about seven months pregnant in 2022 when police handcuffed her during an arrest in Carroll County, Georgia. Officers shackled her even though the state bans the use of restraints on pregnant women in custody beginning at the second trimester. In early July, she said, it happened again. (Rayasam, 11/17)
In abortion updates —
Missouri lawmakers intended to “impose their religious beliefs on everyone” in the state when they passed a restrictive abortion ban, lawyers for a group of religious leaders who support abortion rights said at a court hearing Thursday. But attorneys for the state countered that just because some supporters of the law oppose abortion on religious grounds doesn’t mean that the law forces their beliefs on anyone else. (Salter, 11/16)
Erica Wilson-Domer, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, said the amendment will enable Planned Parenthood to make investments in staffing and facilities it has previously put off, including exploring adding facilities near the state's borders. "It has been incredibly challenging to staff for abortion services and recruit providers to the state given the [previous] restrictions," Wilson-Domer said. (Smith, 11/17)
Republican Senators Tommy Tuberville and Mike Lee maintained the Alabama Republican’s hold on military nominations because of the Pentagon's abortion policy despite a group of Republican senators who attempted to push through nominations when they returned to the Senate floor in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Sens. Dan Sullivan, Joni Ernst, Lindsay Graham and Todd Young began their effort to confirm nominees around 12:15a.m. ET and wrapped around 3:45a.m. ET. (Rimmer, 11/16)
The rate dropped by 24% from 2001 to 2021 according to a report from the CDC, though after 2011 only rates for children 9 and younger showed significant declines. Among other news, the FDA has approved AstraZeneca's Truqap breast cancer drug combo.
The rate of child and teen cancer deaths in the U.S. fell 24% from 2001 to 2021, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report looked at death rates for Black, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white youths up to 19 years old. Those three groups comprised 92% of all youth cancer deaths in 2021, the report noted. Death rates among children of all ages in those groups dropped between 2001 and 2011. But after 2011, only children 9 and younger saw "significant" declines. (Mogg, 11/16)
In other cancer news —
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved AstraZeneca's Truqap in combination with an older drug, providing another treatment option for patients with the most common type of breast cancer. The FDA decision allows use of the drug, chemically known as capivasertib, in combination with the British drugmaker's older cancer treatment faslodex. (11/16)
A panel of independent experts to the U.S. health regulator urged Acrotech Biopharma to work with the agency to bring forward the date for releasing trial data that could confirm benefits of the company's blood cancer drugs. The drugs, Folotyn and Beleodaq, have already been on the market for nearly a decade or more. They were approved under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's accelerated pathway in 2009 and 2014, respectively, for treating a rare form of blood cancer. (11/16)
More than a tenth of fecal immunochemical tests, used for routine colorectal cancer screening, contained samples that could not be processed by labs, according to a study published this week in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. This is over twice the amount recommended by the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force, whose guidance says that for such tests the proportion of returned and unprocessed samples should not be more than 5%. (Balthazar, 11/16)
Johnson & Johnson on Thursday said it has settled two lawsuits claiming its talc products caused cancer, the first such cases to go to trial since a federal court rejected the company's plan to move its talc liabilities into bankruptcy court. The settlements resolved lawsuits brought by two men, Rosalino Reyes and Marlin Eagles, who said they developed mesothelioma related to asbestos in J&J talc powder, and was part of a broader deal to settle all talc cases brought by the law firm representing them, Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, the company said. Reyes' family continued his lawsuit after he died in 2020. (Pierson, 11/16)
A study underway at Denver sunwin has big implications for cancer patients in Colorado. Thanks to a grant from the National Institutes of sunwin, Denver sunwin is offering genetic testing to all breast cancer patients and plans to expand the study to all cancer patients within a couple of years. (Boyd, 11/16)
Kilitch sunwincare India manufactures eye drops that were being sold in the U.S. until a recent recall. Inspectors visiting the plant found cracked floors, barefoot workers, and altered records. Separately, the FDA cited Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, another India-based drugmaker, for quality-control issues.
An Indian company that recently recalled eyedrops sold in the U.S. had a host of sanitation and manufacturing problems, including barefoot workers, cracked floors and altered records, U.S. health inspectors found. Food and Drug Administration officials uncovered more than a dozen problems at the Mumbai plant operated by Kilitch sunwincare India, according to a preliminary inspection report posted by the agency. The factory produced more than two dozen varieties of eyedrops that were subject to an FDA safety warning last month. (Perrone, 11/16)
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, one of the world’s largest generic drugmakers, was cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a host of manufacturing violations at one of its plants in India, the latest instance in which the company was tagged by the regulator for quality-control problems. (Silverman, 11/16)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Walgreens Boots Alliance will close nearly all of its stores and pharmacies on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in the chain's history, amid pushback from pharmacists and technicians over poor work conditions and under-staffing. Peer CVS sunwin (CVS.N) also said it plans to shut all of its non-24-hour pharmacy locations early next Thursday, while Rite Aid said its pharmacies will be closed but retail stores will remain open. (11/16)
Have you ever seen a mouse with a set of muscles more appropriate for a bodybuilder or comic book superhero? Well, 25 years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University made it happen. By silencing a gene responsible for producing a protein called myostatin, they directed tiny mouse bodies to grow double the amount of lean muscle they would normally, leading to mice with bulky arms, defined pectorals, and an overall more substantial body mass. Now, biotech startups are hoping to use those findings to create what they believe will be better weight loss medications. (DeAngelis and Chen, 11/17)
History just happened. For the first time, a regulator has cleared a treatment using CRISPR, the gene-editing technology, for patients. The regulator is the United Kingdom’s Medicines and sunwincare products Regulatory Agency. The product is Casgevy, a treatment for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, two blood disorders. (Herper, Feuerstein, Trang and Boodman, 11/16)
KFF sunwin News:
Beyond Insulin: Medi-Cal Expands Patient Access To Diabetes Supplies
June Voros sprang from her couch as a high-pitched beep warned her that she needed a quick dose of sugar. Her blood sugar was plummeting, and the beep came from a continuous glucose monitor attached to her abdomen. The small but powerful device alerts Voros when her blood sugar is dangerously high or low. (Hart, 11/17)
Stat says, perhaps unsurprisingly, that doctors who generally get paid more by Medicaid like the current system but doctors who are paid less wish the secretive system would be more fair. Also in health industry news: the CMS pay-for-performance sepsis measurement; ambulance delays; and more.
Doctors are splitting, specialty by specialty, over whether and how to overhaul a secretive panel that helps determine how much Medicare pays them for their work. (Trang, 11/17)
Worries about care quality and antibiotic resistance are growing as a financial component is added to hospital compliance with federal requirements designed to reduce sepsis cases. ... Starting in January, hospitals will have to improve their compliance with the metrics to receive full points and avoid a penalty under the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program. (Devereaux, 11/16)
On ambulance delays, rural health care, and private equity firms —
After a year of cost-cutting, CommonSpirit sunwin is looking to add ambulatory care capacity next year. The health system plans to add more facilities for ambulatory patients in the coming year, as care continues to move outside of the hospital, it said in financial documents released Wednesday. The nonprofit system recently added 19 imaging centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers and six primary and urgent care sites across multiple states, including California and Texas. (Hudson, 11/16)
Call 911 in this northwest Nebraska town, and the ambulance responding will likely be coming from South Dakota. If that crew isn’t available, the ambulance might drive from Valentine, Neb., 60 miles and a different time zone away. Or from Gordon, where the all-volunteer staff includes employees of a grocery store, bank, veterinary office and farmer’s co-op. “You’re looking at an hour or longer for a response,” said Rose Chappell, the last emergency medical technician in Merriman, which had to shut down its ambulance service. (Najmabadi, 11/16)
There is no place in this county to give birth short of an emergency. The only facility caring for adults, Madera Community Hospital, closed in January, leaving women in labor a 40-minute drive to the closest alternative in another county. Babies often cannot wait out the ride. More than 1,000 women had delivered babies each year at Madera Community. Over just a couple of weeks this fall, with it closed, a woman gave birth in a car on the shoulder of Avenue 9 in downtown Madera. (Wilson, 11/16)
If Yale New Haven sunwin’s proposed $435 million acquisition of three Connecticut hospitals owned by Prospect Medical Holdings gets state approval, most of the money will go to a company that most state legislators, local leaders and residents have never heard of: the hospitals’ landlord. (Golvala and Carlesso, 11/16)
In other hospital news —
The idea of mandating that hospitals meet minimum cybersecurity standards is gaining traction amid scrutiny of mounting attacks that have knocked health systems offline for weeks and upended patient care. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul this week proposed the state become the first to require health systems to adopt certain cyber defenses, including preparation of response plans for a potential attack. (Reed, 11/17)
As the toymaker behind the Barbie DreamHouse, Mattel knows a thing or two about grand designs. In 2017, the company pledged to bring one such vision to life with a $49 million gift to the University of California at Los Angeles’s health system to expand bed capacity through a new hospital tower. As part of the donation, UCLA agreed to integrate Mattel’s logo into all of its signage and publications. But the toy company never fulfilled its pledge, offering only a fraction of the cash, UCLA alleged last week in a new breach-of-contract lawsuit. (Rosenzweig-Ziff and Bellware, 11/16)
Missouri is a state that does not normally offer year-long coverage, but that will change for anyone ages 18 and younger who needs Medicaid coverage from January 1. Among other news, a Florida bill would allow the creation of "remote-site" pharmacies.
Missouri children who receive government health insurance will soon be able to keep their coverage for a year without worrying about being kicked off the state rolls. A provision in the federal spending bill approved last year ensures all people 18 and under who receive insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s sunwin Insurance Program will be covered continuously starting Jan. 1. Missouri is among the states that do not offer yearlong coverage. (Fentem, 11/17)
Medicaid expansion, a decade-in-the-making measure that is expected to provide health insurance to more than 600,000 low-income North Carolinians, will take effect in less than two weeks. But the coverage created by expansion is only useful if eligible residents have access to health care providers that accept Medicaid. That’s particularly true for people looking for mental health care, which has been in even higher demand since the COVID-19 pandemic. (Baxley, 11/17)
In other health news from across the U.S. —
A Florida Senate Republican has filed a proposal that would allow “remote-site” pharmacies, where pharmacy technicians could dispense medications while being supervised by pharmacists elsewhere. Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, filed the bill (SB 444) Tuesday for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will start in January. (11/16)
The Minnesota Department of sunwin is hiring for a new state advisory council focusing on African American health outcomes. The MDH on Thursday said it would welcome applications from community members to serve on the council, but added they would accept applications only through the end of Friday. They're looking for anywhere from 12 to 20 people to represent or serve. They're seeking health care providers, college students, patients or those who receive services, elders or older people, health and human services professionals, health equity researchers and others who may be qualified. (Henderson, 11/16)
Medical debt is pervasive: Some 41% of Americans reportedly have at least one unpaid medical bill and roughly half say they’d be unable to pay an unexpected $500 bill. A new survey shows many Pennsylvanians are unable to afford health care. Just over half of Pennsylvania residents who responded to a survey by nonprofit research and consulting firm Altarum said they had skipped a medical appointment or rationed medications because of cost. (Gantz, 11/17)
Two transgender boys filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to reverse the University of Missouri’s decision to stop providing gender-affirming care to minors. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, alleges halting transgender minors’ prescriptions unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of sex and disability status. (Hanshaw, 11/16)
Roughly 450 Salem Hospital patients were alerted that they may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV – a problem that lasted for two years before it was corrected. Endoscopy patients were getting intravenous medication "in a manner not consistent with our best practice," a spokesperson for Salem Hospital said. "It's very surprising to see this scope of falling below what would be considered the standard of care," said Michael Walsh, a trial attorney for Altman Nussbaum Shunnarah. ... If you do test positive, Walsh suggests calling an attorney. (Chan, 11/16)
On mental health care in Colorado —
Two of Colorado’s community mental health centers will merge in July, creating the largest behavioral health center in the state. WellPower, which provides mental health services and homeless outreach in Denver, is combining with Jefferson Center, the safety-net mental health organization for Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties. (Brown, 11/16)
The deep colors and gray shadows illuminate the pain that teens like Reina Kushihashi often suffer in silence with shape and imagery. And with beauty, even. Art, Reina said, helps “give form to things like feelings which are really vague sometimes and difficult to process.” The 17-year-old Denver student is one of 35 young artists from across Colorado who have put paint, ink, watercolor, pen and other materials to canvas to bring the outside world into the mental health challenges that often cast streaks of self-doubt, depression, anxiety and loneliness over them. (Breunlin, 11/17)
The woman, 27, suffered a fatal asthma attack while working in a cannabis cultivation and processing facility. Her death has prompted calls for more preventive efforts by the industry. Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota has launched the state's first cannabis research center.
The U.S. cannabis production industry’s first reported occupational asthma death took the life of a worker in Massachusetts, federal health and safety officials said. The woman, 27, was working in a cannabis cultivation and processing facility when she experienced worsening work-related respiratory symptoms that ended in a fatal asthma attack in January 2022, officials said in a federal report published Thursday. The report states that allergic diseases such as asthma are a growing concern in the U.S. cannabis industry, which has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to a wave of state-level legalizations. (Whittle, 11/16)
The state Department of Public sunwin on Thursday called on the cannabis industry to take steps to prevent work-related asthma, in the wake of the 2022 death of a 27-year-old worker from an asthma attack triggered by cannabis dust. The department also sent a bulletin to health care providers asking them to be alert for asthma among cannabis industry employees and reminding them of the requirement to report cases of work-related asthma and other respiratory diseases to the state. (Freyer, 11/16)
More news on cannabis and pot —
A new research center at the University of Minnesota will be looking into the impact of adult-use cannabis legalization on the state. On Thursday, the University of Minnesota School of Public sunwin announced the launch of the Cannabis Research Center. The bill that legalized cannabis for adults included a $2.5 million annual appropriation from cannabis sales tax to establish the CRC. (Premo, 11/16)
A panel of Missouri lawmakers have spent several hours in recent weeks debating whether or not aliens and robots should be banned on marijuana product labels. Humans, animals and fruits are already not allowed — an effort by the state to keep products out of the hands of children. But would robots fall under that ban? (Rivas, 11/17)
The owner of a Mississippi medical marijuana dispensary filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging state regulations that he says censor business owners by preventing them from advertising. After Mississippi legalized medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions in 2022, Clarence Cocroft II opened Tru Source Medical Cannabis in Olive Branch, Mississippi. But he says he has struggled to reach customers because Mississippi’s Department of sunwin has banned medical marijuana businesses from advertising in any media. (Goldberg, 11/14)
Seniors are one of the fastest-growing populations of cannabis users in the United States. While some older adults have used pot for decades, studies suggest that others are turning to the drug for the first time to help them sleep better, dampen pain or treat anxiety — especially when prescription drugs, which often come with unwanted side effects, don’t work as intended. In 2007, only about 0.4 percent of people age 65 and older in the United States had reported using cannabis in the past year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and sunwin. That number rose to almost 3 percent by 2016. As of 2022, it was at more than 8 percent. (Caron, 11/16)
Each week, KFF sunwin News finds longer stories for you to enjoy. Today's selections include stories on midwifery, drug abuse, the Golden Gate Bridge, tattoos, space burial, and more.
Tori DiVincenzo lay in bed at home, dazed and bleeding. She had pushed for hours under the watch of a veteran midwife, only to deliver her daughter silent and still. On this November afternoon in 2021, Sophie Rose DiVincenzo was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. First responders milled about the house in Calvert County, Md. DiVincenzo’s midwife, Karen Carr, and her assistant drained the birthing pool, stripped the stained bedsheets and ran a load of laundry. (Brittain, 11/14)
Millions of U.S. drug users now are addicted to several substances, not just opioids like fentanyl and heroin. The shift is making treatment far more difficult. (Hoffman, 11/13)
After years of pressure from victims’ families, the installation of $217 million in steel netting is almost complete. (Branch, 11/5)
They started playing football as kids, began to suffer mentally and died before 30. Researchers found they had C.T.E., the brain disease linked to hits to the head. If their families could go back, would they still let them play? (Bracken, Branch, Laffin, Lieberman and Ward, 11/16)
The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had spent days on television and social media urging Americans to get the updated coronavirus vaccine. The new shot is the most effective protection for the looming virus season, she said. And it’s free. But by the afternoon of Sept. 21, it was becoming clear to Mandy Cohen that the nine-day-old vaccine rollout was stumbling, with many Americans unable to promptly get shots at pharmacies, insurers making erroneous claims about who would have to pay, and little explanation from the government. (Sun and Diamond, 11/12)
The Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center has been punishing kids with seclusion more than any other facility in Tennessee. And as the laws and rules on how to treat kids changed, the facility failed to keep up. (Pfleger, 11/16)
On Saturday, after a 12-year effort, the Department of Veterans Affairs reached a long-term goal — it enrolled the millionth veteran in a genetic database, the Million Veteran Program. According to the V.A., the Million Veteran Program is the largest such database in the world. It includes not only genetic information but also is linked to the department’s electronic medical records and even contains records of diet and environmental exposure. (Kolata, 11/15)
Longevity has become an industry, a subject of bestsellers, podcasts and newsletters. But is a life meted out in metrics, often for a price, worth it? (Heller, 11/6)
There are two ways to contemplate the question Where do we go when we die? One is philosophical, ultimately unanswerable; the other is logistical. Humans, being human, have tended to see them as being intertwined: The many traditions we’ve devised for handling our remains are meant to honor the selves that left those bodies behind. The seven people pictured here have chosen to send their ashes, or in some cases a sample of their DNA, into outer space. (Litovsky and Mooallem, 11/7)
It’s becoming popular to get inked with a barcode so you can flash your flesh to turn on music. But the codes can stop working as skin sags and ink fades. (Graham, 11/15)
Editorial writers examine unions and vaccinations, climate change, seniors using pot, and more.
At the height of the pandemic, unions across the U.S. demanded better COVID safety and health protection. From hospitals to fast food stands, warehouses to libraries, workers fought for personal protective equipment, cleaner workplaces, hazard pay and, where possible, telecommuting. To win protections, they signed petitions, organized sickouts, filed grievances, collectively bargained and, in some cases, engaged in work stoppages. (Todd E. Vachon, 11/16)
As the world prepares for the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), in Malawi, we are still fighting to recover from the devastating effects of that cyclone on our whole health system and health service delivery. (Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, 11/17)
Seniors are one of the fastest-growing populations of cannabis users in the United States. While some older adults have used pot for decades, studies suggest that others are turning to the drug for the first time to help them sleep better, dampen pain or treat anxiety — especially when prescription drugs, which often come with unwanted side effects, don’t work as intended. (Christina Caron, 11/16)
This Thanksgiving will be the fourth since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. While the coronavirus is little more than an afterthought for many Americans, plenty of people are still concerned about exposure to it and other respiratory viruses during holiday gatherings. (Leana S. Wen, 11/16)
On a Thursday in early August, staff at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut realized they’d been hit by a ransomware attack. What happened next is the stuff of nightmares. Manchester Memorial had to ask ambulances to take emergency patients elsewhere. They cancelled elective surgeries and worked without access to essential imaging equipment like X-rays and CT scans. (Hannah Neprash, Claire McGlave and Sayeh Nikpay, 11/17)
More than 90% of prescriptions in the US are filled with generic drugs. These cheaper alternatives to branded medications have expanded access to care for millions of Americans while saving the health system hundreds of billions of dollars a year. While the prices of branded drugs have skyrocketed in recent years, generics prices have been falling steadily. (11/16)
Patients with rare and deadly diseases worry that government-enforced price cuts will disrupt — or end entirely — their access to the best medicines. For example, at a hearing on Oct. 23, eight patients and parents of children with cystic fibrosis separately told the Colorado PDAB that they live in fear that they won’t be able to access Trikafta, one of the first five targeted pharmaceuticals, if the board orders its price reduced. (James K. Glassman, 11/16)