[Article] Harms of public health interventions against COVID-19 must not be ignored

(BMJ, November 2, 2020)

"The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for governments. Questions regarding the most effective interventions to reduce the spread of the virus — for example, more testing, requirements to wear face masks, and stricter and longer lockdowns— [are] informed largely by models that aimed to predict the health benefits of proposed interventions. Central to all these studies is recognition that inaction, or delayed action, will put millions of people unnecessarily at risk of serious illness or death. However, interventions to limit the spread of the coronavirus also carry negative health effects, which have yet to be considered systematically.”

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[Article] Post-Election Reality for Healthcare: Two Issues That Will Get Immediate Attention

(The Keckley Report, November 2, 2020)

"Regardless of SCOTUS’ ruling, who sits in the White House, Congress, Governors’ offices and legislatures, or how fast vaccines and drugs become available, changes in the U.S. health industry in the next few years will be its most consequential in decades. At the top of the industry’s punch list are two issues certain to get immediate attention:

(1) Closing the Gaps in Primary Care; and
(2) Re-thinking Consolidation in Healthcare."

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[Article] A Biden Win and Republican Senate Might Lead to Gridlock on Health Issues

(Kaiser Health News, November 4, 2020)

"Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to be inching toward the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency Wednesday afternoon, but at the same time it was becoming clearer that Democrats would not take back the Senate majority they lost in 2014. If that bears out, it could well be a prescription for gridlock on health care. Without a Democratic majority in the Senate, Biden as president could not likely advance many of his top health agenda items. However, a defeat of President Donald Trump would almost certainly stop his administration’s efforts to further erode the effectiveness of the ACA and efforts to turn more of the Medicaid program for those with low incomes back to the states."

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[Article] Mortality due to cancer treatment delay: systematic review and meta-analysis

(BMJ, November 4, 2020)

"Cancer treatment delay is a problem in health systems worldwide. The impact of delay on mortality can now be quantified for prioritization and modeling. Even a four-week delay of cancer treatment is associated with increased mortality across surgical, systemic treatment, and radiotherapy indications for seven cancers. Policies focused on minimizing system level delays to cancer treatment initiation could improve population level survival outcomes."

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[Article] Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Requiring Health Insurers to Disclose Price and Cost-Sharing Information

(HHS.gov, October 29, 2020)

"The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury issued a final rule on price transparency, helping to ensure Americans know how much care will cost in advance and allowing them to make fully informed and value-conscious decisions. Under this final rule, more than 200 million Americans with private-sector insurance (both individual-market and employer-based) will have access to a list of real-time price information, including cost-sharing, enabling them to know how much care will cost them before going in for treatment." 

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