Vol. 230 April 1, 2020 Biden Picks His Running Mate

March 31, 2020

Press Conference

Former Vice President

Joe Biden

(Official Transcript   April 1, 2020)

BIDEN: Good morning everyone. I am glad to see all 8 reporters are sitting 6 feet from each other. I know it is burdensome, but we must work together to defeat this awful Zika. . . Rebola. . . flu . . . er, what?,  . . . I mean, you know, the Coroner virus.

Speaking of the current virus crisis . . . boy that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? . . . it almost rhymes . . .I would like to announce my pick of a running mate; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease of NIH since 1984. . . almost twenty or . . .  er. . . many years ago.

Now before I start to answer your questions, let me give you some reasons for my choice.

Number 1: Dr. Fauci is smarter than I am, but I am taller and younger than he is.

Number 2: He is very experienced. He has worked with many Presidential administrations since he came to Washington . . . in the 1980’s as I remember. He told Ronald Reagan about the AIDS epidemic, advised two Bushs . . .  one of them gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom . . . by the way, Ben Carson got his medal during that same ceremony, . . . where was I? Oh, yeh . .  .two Clintons . . .  yes two, remember Hilary’s Health Care Plan?. . . and, of course, an Obama or two. 

Number 3: He gives very good TV interviews, even on Fox News with Sean Hannity trying to mislead the viewers.

Number 4: His medical training has given him that special skill that all physicians must have to succeed  — “Always sound right,  and if you don’t know an answer, make one up.”  But he is more like my famous namesakes on Dragnet . . .  Sgt. Joe Friday . . .”Just the facts, Ma’am.”

Now I’ll take your questions.

[Sounds of shouting, general loud babbling, a baby crying, a chair falls over]

REPORTER:  “ Mr. Biden have you moved away from your promise to pick a female running mate?”

BIDEN: Did I say that?  When was that? . . . Oh, it was during one of those debates? . . . I wouldn’t call it a debate, and I wouldn’t call it a promise. It was a statement from which I am now socially distancing myself, and its a very timely question.  .  . .This social distancing is for the pits. I haven’t smelled somebody’s hair in weeks. . . for the record, my test was negative . . . and I will ensure that women’s voices will be heard in my administration by appointing several to my cabinet. Elizabeth Warren naturally will be Secretary of the Treasury. Kamala Harris as an experienced prosecutor would be an excellent head of the Department of Justice . . . I think she is Latino too, isn’t she?. . . I am not sure about Senator Amy Kolbuchucker from Minnesota, but she has great hair. Marianne Williamson, . . . remember her, the physic healer. . . could serve as Chief of Alternate Universes  . . .excuse me, Alternate Therapies within HHS.  Adding Senator Gillibrand to the cabinet would weigh the group too heavily towards New York, since Dr. Fauci is from Brooklyn.  I will, of course,  appoint Tulsi Gabbard as Ambassador to America Samoa.

REPORTER: “Do you have any concerns about any regrettable incidents in Dr. Fauci’s past?”

BIDEN: Not really. My staff has vetted him very thoroughly. The only whiff of scandal we found was his medical school yearbook picture where he was being lifted by two of his taller classmates so as to appear even taller than they. None of them were in black face.

 Also some people may have difficulty knowing how to pronounce his name correctly. It is pronounced as “Fow-chi” with the soft  “chi” sound common to many Italian names, . . .  and as the Senator from Nevada I wish to say that I have many Italian-American friends who are hard-working, decent citizens, but I must excuse myself from this Corleone hearing for another important committee meeting . . . oh, sorry . . . was I channeling the Godfather again?. . .  a great movie.

There is another small concern, since he is from New York City and his name ends in a vowel people may think he is associated with Rudy Giuliani. . . . but  we know that he is taller than Mike.

We have completely debunked the New Yorker Magazine stories that Dr. Fauci has recommended internal alcohol to kill the coronavirus since external alcohol really doesn’t work. In fact, he only recommended it as an antidote to the daily briefings of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Fauci also noted that internal alcohol effects may be briefer than the briefings, so viewers may repeat a dose “PRN” (as necessary). 

REPORTER: “ Is it true that as noted in your background Press Release you just handed out that Dr. Fauci was born on Christmas Eve, and are you concerned about any back lash from Trump supporters who regard Trump as the “Second Coming.”

BIDEN: Dr. Fauci is an American. Even though he was born in Brooklyn, as I remember, there is no question about his eligibility for this office. I think that a resurgence of the Birther Movement which was so viscously directed at my close friend and mentor, Barrack Obama, . . .  there I finally got his name out there. . .  would be very unfortunate. Next question.

REPORTER: “Has Dr. Fauci made any significant contributions in fields other than virology and infectious diseases.”

BIDEN: Well let me tell you a down-to-earth, fascinating story of one of Dr. Fauci’s most recent contributions. It will be a short story, I promise. Since the Coroner virus pandemic has taken over all the headlines, editorial pages, social media memes, political cartoons, TV shows, graphic artist shops, and a lot of other things which has displaced our awareness of the Opioid Death epidemic, Dr. Fauci has developed a new attention-getting graphic to replace the familiar 1-10 faces of pain;  the 1-4 faces of Pandemic Panic levels.

REPORTER: “But face 4 is the same as face 2. Isn’t that a confusing message.”

BIDEN: Exactly

“Thank you Mr. Biden, and Happy April Fools Day.

 


Vol. 210 April 1, 2019 Alzheimer’s: There’s an App For That.

April 1, 2019
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hub-thumbnail-2015-e1519515150729.jpeg

Dr. Atul Gawande, CEO of Haven, the new healthcare-innovation company formed by Amazon, Warren Buffet, and J.P. Morgan, has announced that their first “new model of care” is an app for patients with Alzheimer’s. The app’s name is “FIGAWI”, after that ancient Indian tribe that gets lost in the fog almost every Memorial Day weekend on Cape Cod.

The app will provide a number of programs meeting the anticipated needs of Alzeihmer’s patients including:

WMC – Where’s My Car?
When exiting a store and realizing that you forgot where you parked the car, you just have to say WMC? . . . or WTFMC!?, depending on your sense of frustration and degree of patience.
1. The app will immediately access your state’s RMV Dept. database to collect your car’s make, year, and color,
2. then it will scan your credit card charges to find in which near-by store you had just made a purchase. (If you are near a complex of stores or in a mall, you can speak the name of the store into your phone, or if you have been in multiple stores, the program will search your credit card database for the last 10 store charges in order to identify the relevant parking lot.),
3. then it will get a Google satellite picture of the parking lot nearest to you and place a pin on it marking your car’s location.
4. If your phone’s GPS fails to record you moving toward the car within 3 minutes, the app will activate your car’s horn and flashing head lights to aid in its detection.
5 . If you fail to reach your car to turn off the alarm warning system within 12 minutes, the app will call either your emergency contact person in your contact list or 911, depending on your position (vertical or horizontal) as indicated by your phone’s orientation.
6. As an added bonus, if you open and start your car within 15 minutes, the app will show you any current outstanding parking tickets and remind you about the date and amount of your next car loan payment.

WT – Who’s That?
When meeting a person who you know, but can’t remember his or her name, you just have to say WT? or WTFT!?, depending on your sense of urgency. The app will immediately:
1. take a picture of the person approaching you,
2. compare it to pictures of your friends and families stored in your contacts and photo library (If you do not have a picture of that person in your contacts or photo library, the program will access Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, the RMV, your local police database, TSA, and the FBI in sequence to seek a match using built-in face recognition software.).
3. The matched name will appear on your phone’s screen along with the date you last saw them, the person’s nickname, spouse’s name (if any), and names of all their children listed by decreasing birth dates.
4. If facial recognition can’t find a match, the phone screen will light up with the following message, “Say hi and take a picture of this person. Ask the person how to spell his or her name so ‘I can get it right for my contact list’, then say, ‘So glad to see you ______________(insert name)’.”

WDISIT – What Day Is it?
The app immediately calls up and displays your calendar, highlights the day and time , and lists the last two places you were in and for how long, as well as where you are expected next.

WIG – Where Am I Going?
Not quite ready for prime time; still under development. Unfortunately our AI program for reading minds currently works only for people who have indwelling brain electrodes or cochlear implant devices masquerading as same.

WAIH – Why Am I Here?
As in “Why did I come into this room?” – (see above WIG) But this function is currently operational based on scans of your house’s floor plan in your town’s Assessor’s Office which is integrated with the time of day, day of the week, and the next two days of appointments on your calendar.

HDIGT – How Do I Get There?
Just say ‘How do I get there?” or “How the f… do I get there?” (almost a shout). The app will discern your different voice volume and tones. If your voice volume threshold exceeds “almost a shout”, the app screen will immediately flash “CALM YOURSELF, and repeat the request please.”
If the volume threshold is exceeded on the repeated request, the screen will show, “OK, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND COUNT TO 10 — the number of all your fingers, and try again please.”
Please note that this App is separate from Siri, Alexa, and Google so you may choose one of over a dozen app voices which will respond in kind to your sense of urgency and voice volume on a scale of 1 to 10, just like pain.
Once you have respectfully gained the app’s attention, merely say the name of the place you wish to go: as “Super Stop and Shop”, “”Post Office”, “Doctor Smith’s office”, or “The Dump” (also recognized as the “Transfer Station” or “Recycling Center”).
If you can’t remember a specific name, you can say “where I usually buy groceries”, “where I go to Yoga classes”, “nearest liquor store”, or “where I ate Thanksgiving dinner last year”, and the app will bring up the relevant map and directions after scanning your contact list, your most frequent credit card charges, and both yours and national holiday calendars for the past 5 years.
You can also ask the App to give directions with ONLY right hand turns for your safety, if you wish. Of course, “Take me home” will work without any other directions every time and every where.

These seamless cyber connections are all included in the basic FIGAWI App package. Confidential personal notes about your family members and friends can be included at an additional price in the advanced package, as long as you agree to Facebook’s, Amazon’s, Apple’s, Yelp’s and Google’s privacy policies. The app is available in Russian as well as the usual English, Spanish, Hip Hop, and Rap.

Future upgrades of the App will include integration with car ignition breath analyzer devices, if appropriate (the app can scan court data bases and local newspaper “police blotters” for judgements and allegations). The emerging 5G network will also allow this App to connect with other existing helpful apps like: Find my phone, Find my keys, alerts for CD maturing dates, due dates for oil changes and tire rotations, automatic “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” calls, time to take your pill alerts, “Did I leave the toaster (iron, radio, thermostat ) on?”, etc. Eventually the App will integrate with self-driving cars, so you can find it after it parks itself in the parking lot.

The password for the App is “No Password” or “I Can’t Remember S**t!” whichever the user feels is most appropriate. The App will accept either one depending on the note of frustration and volume of your voice.

One does not actually have to have the diagnosis of Alzeihmer’s (easily confirmed or ruled out by a scan of your primary physician’s EMR) to get this app. The differences between Alzeihmer’s and cognitive impairment of old age is subtle enough to confuse our current AI program, . . . and some physicians.

The FIGAWI App is available to anyone over 65. Despite AARP’s active lobbying we are not offering it to people just over 55.

I was going to list the website where you can order the app, and its price, but I can’t remember either.

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY.


Vol. 183 December 15, 2017 Santa’s Dirty Little Secrets

December 15, 2017

The recent deluge of headlines that have outed famous men for past discretion sparked in me a tiny bit of curiosity about the “most famous one of them all” … Santa Claus! Eagerly, and strangely expectant, I Googled “Santa’s Dirty Little Secrets”, only to find these :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, my Google search of Santa did turn up several medical fun facts.

“The 10 dirtiest places in your home” according to a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) study of 22 U.S. homes in 2011 are:
Top 10 with germ count
1. dish sponge –               321,629,869
2. toothbrush holder –        3,318,477
3. pet bowl –                            473,828
4. coffee reservoir –                 50,585
5. kitchen sink –                       31,905
6.pet toy –                                 29,365
7. faucet handle –                    28,068
8. counter top –                             559
9. bathroom door knob –             315
10. stove knobs –                           278

75% of kitchen sponges contained Salmonella, E.coli, and fecal matter compared to only 9% of bathroom faucet handles. The NSF recommended heating dampened kitchen sponges in the microwave for a minute. I already knew that. I watch “Mom” on TV. On one show mom, badgered by her daughter about a dirty kitchen sponge, put it in the microwave and walked away. The not-so-smart boyfriend then walked in and opened the microwave to put in his coffee cup,  paused, reached in, picked up the sponge, regarded it with great interest and remarked, “I always wondered how they made these things.”

Toilet seat, toilet handle, and bathroom light switch were way down in the germ quantity ranking. Personal items like cell phones, keys, wallet, computer keyboards, and bottoms of purses grew out germs, but relatively few, and mostly non-disease-causing germs like yeast and mold. Surprisingly, money had one of the lowest germ counts. The highest counts of disease-causing germs (E. coli) were in the kitchen, … no, not the bathroom.

Speaking of germs in the bathroom, I was recently told that hanging your toilet paper roll the “wrong way” could cause the spread of bad germs, specifically that toilet paper “hanging under and behind the roll encouraged the growth of Salmonella.” So, I Googled it. Googled what? “Toilet Paper Orientation”, of course, and where else but Wikipedia.

“Toilet paper when used with a toilet roll holder with a horizontal axle parallel to the floor and also parallel to the wall has two possible orientations: the toilet paper may hang over (in front of) or under (behind) the roll. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference, dictated by habit, (except in the case of the person who believes that under (behind) nurtures the growth of Salmonella (ed. note)). In surveys of US consumers and of bath and kitchen specialists, 60–70 percent of respondents prefer over. Some people hold strong opinions on the matter. Advice columnist Ann Landers said that the subject was the most responded to (15,000 letters in 1986) and controversial issue in her column’s history. Defenders of either position cite several advantages of each. Some writers have proposed connections to age, sex, or political philosophy, and survey evidence has shown a correlation with socioeconomic status.”

I found no mention of Salmonella, but I did find one reference concerning the spread of germs associated with toilet paper orientation.  It was a blog aimed at restaurant managers and their employees.

“Much of bacteria found in public restrooms is E. coli from human feces, a common source of food poisoning. E-coli is easily transferred from surfaces to your fingers and thence to anything that you eat with your hands. Which brings us to hanging toilet paper. The moment when a restroom user’s hands are most likely to carry bacteria is when they reach for toilet paper. If the toilet paper is hung “over”, their fingers only touch the toilet paper that they’ll be using, which will subsequently be flushed. However, if the toilet paper is hung “under” there’s a good chance their fingers will brush the wall as well, leaving a deposit. If so, every subsequent restroom user who reaches for toilet paper runs the risk of not only of picking up the bacteria that’s been deposited already, but also leaving more for the next user to pick up.”

Who knew? It’s amazing that any of us even survive a week out there in the world, or in our house.


Vol. 178 October 1, 2017 What is Single-Payer Health Insurance?

October 1, 2017

Now that Bernie Sanders is again firing up the discussion about single-payer health insurance, it might be a good idea to review this complex issue. So, here’s a short self-test for you to gauge your understanding of what Bernie, and a lot of other people, are talking about.  The correct answers are supplied right away, so you won’t stay confused for long. Since this is an internet-based test, YOUR ANSWERS, of course, WILL BE COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS. Nothing will  be recorded by NSA , Equifax, or the Russians.

 

“Single-payer” means:

  1. socialized medicine
  2. 100% of health care costs are paid for with taxes
  3. Pop-Pop picks up the dinner bill for everyone
  4. none of the above

Answer: 4. none of the above – In socialized medicine health care facilities and providers are owned by the government. “Socialized medicine” is a pejorative term which is now irrelevant since at least 70% of U.S. healthcare costs are already met by tax dollars  from Medicare, Medicaid, or the Veterans Administration. “Single-payer” is just an insurance scheme for public or privately owned services. In countries with universal health care insurance 77%-87% of costs are met by taxes. In the U.K. private insurance pays for about 13%. Pop-Pop gladly picks up the dinner bill for his children, but health insurance is still on them.

The number of countries with universal health insurance are:

  1.  1
  2.  2
  3.  3
  4. 58

Answer: 4. 58 – Germany in 1883, France in 1945, UK in 1946, Australia in 1975, Canada in 1984, Israel in 1995.

A basic tenet of single-payer insurance is that everyone will be covered without regard to income level:

  1. true
  2. false
  3. true, but …

Answer: 3. True, but … it will take years to bring everyone in the U.S. under “Medicare For All”.  Each year or so another decade of ages will be added to the coverage. States will need to coordinate their income-based Medicaid programs with “Medicare For All”.  Some states could request and receive waivers from the national program. Etc., etc., as incrementally we always go.

Universal health care insurance in other countries is administered:

  1. nationally
  2. regionally
  3. locally (municipalities)
  4. all of the above

Answer: 4. all of the above – Germany has 1100 public and private “sickness funds” with a national standard level of coverage. In the Netherlands health insurance is administered by municipalities that levy local taxes to pay the costs. This  apparently enhances transparency and both taxpayer and patient satisfaction. Conclusion: If you have seen one system of universal health coverage, you have seen ONE. By the way, isn’t “sickness fund” a much more honest name for insurance which pays for medical care and does not necessarily buy “health”. (Leave it to the Germans to say it like it is).

Universal health insurance is based on which basic insurance principles:

  1. spread the risk over the greatest number of people
  2. use education and regulation (i.e.. fire laws) to reduce the highest risks of loss
  3. if you win (stay healthy), you “lose” (your premiums). If you “lose” (get sick), you win (care is paid for)
  4. use excess premium revenue to build fancy office buildings and pay for expensive lobbyists .

Answer: 1-3 (see subsequent question for further information on #4)

Single payer health insurance will cost less to administer than our present system:

  1. true
  2. false
  3. true, but …

Answer: 3. true, but… maybe not as much reduction as we hope. Administrative costs for the individual provider will probably remain the same because “meaningful criteria” compliance, complex diagnostic coding, need for medical necessity justification, and need for data showing that quality is not being eroded will continue to require significant personnel time and computer capability. Remember also that Medicare is currently administered in large part by “fiscal intermediaries” like Blue Cross. That probably won’t change. Some predict that because of continued pressure on a single-payer to reduce costs, it may, if fact,  get even more complicated for providers to get paid for their services. Of course, the huge consumer advertising, employer marketing, and lobbying expenses of private health insurance companies will be greatly reduced when the market share of private insurance is reduced to 10-15% as has occurred in other countries. If only we could get Visa to run Medicare’s fraud protection system!

Why not “Medicaid For All”;  could individual states institute universal health insurance so that we wouldn’t have to wait for a national consensus?

  1. no
  2. yes
  3. yes, but…

Answer: 3. Yes, but … the hallmark of universal health insurance in other countries is a consistent standard of coverage for all residents. Medicaid programs are state-specific and coverage is extremely variable, as is provider payments. If you see one, you have seen one. Attempts to waive the Obamacare national standards by those wishing to repeal it spotlighted the potential glaring inequities. But, Massachusetts has done it for 90% of its population, and there are bills in its legislature to do it for all. California is attempting to do it. Most California families and businesses, a University of Massachusetts study has said, would pay less for health care than they do now, even with the new taxes, because they would no longer pay premiums, deductibles or co-pays. As Samantha Bee recently noted: “You don’t have to be racist anymore to believe in States’ Rights .”

Why is a single-payer sometimes described as a “double-edged sword”?

  1.  a single-payer could have much greater negotiating leverage with both suppliers (drug companies) and providers (doctors and hospitals)
  2. a single-payer would be perched on the sharpest edge of the cost-quality equation
  3. the standardization of payments by a single-payer could dampen innovation and hamper medical progress
  4. all of the above

Answer: 4. all of the above – More leverage against the drug companies is “good”. More leverage against the providers could be “bad”.  Despite studies that show that good quality care is less costly, many still see a dichotomy between cost and quality. Concern about hampering innovation (“new ways of doing things”) with excessive standardization (“the old ways”) was one reason Obamacare created a Center for Innovation within Medicare as part of the ACA .

Who is in favor of single-payer health insurance?

  1. 60% of those polled
  2. 38% of those polled
  3. depends on the nature of the poll
  4.  all of the above

Answer: 4. all of the above – The 60% in favor of single-payer health insurance dropped to 38% when the question was tied to one about increased taxes. The most recent Harris-Harvard poll (9/17/17) showed that 52% were in favor of single-payer insurance. 69% believe that it would provide more coverage, including 54% of Republicans. . Most of the other questions about a governmental single-payer were 50/50 pro and con. Some physicians, hospitals, and other providers are in favor of single-payer insurance.

What are some of the barriers to implementing single-payer, universal health insurance in the U.S.?:

What does President Trump think?:

 


Vol. 168 April 1, 2017 Trump Tweets About Medical Tourism

April 1, 2017


“Medical Tourism is where people who live in one country travel to
another country to receive medical, dental and surgical care.”

Medical Tourism Association


We believe the market size is  $45 – 72 Billion based on approximately 14 million cross-border patients worldwide spending an average of $3,800-6,000 per visit.  We estimate some 1,400,000 Americans will travel outside the US for medical care this year (2016).”
 – Patients Beyond Borders


@realDonaldTrump
 
 People will do ANYTHING to escape Obamacare. TRUE fact! #obamacareimploding


“Using US costs across a variety of specialties and procedures as a benchmark, average range of savings for the most-traveled destinations:
Brazil: 20-30%
Costa Rica: 45-65%
India: 65-90%
Malaysia: 65-80%
Mexico: 40-65%”

@realDonaldTrump 
TREMENDOUS deals, and I love a deal. Except maybe for that Mexican country. I want them making big profits to pay for the wall. #BEAUTIFULwallfrombladders/gall

“Igor Lanskoi, Advisor to the Russian Health Minister, says the number of medical travelers coming to Russia is increasing, with four times as many foreign patients entering the country in 2015 than in 2014.  Last year, foreign patients brought in nearly 10 billion rubles, or $154 million, in revenue for Russia. More and more Americans are traveling to Russia to improve their health. “

@realDonaldTrump
                             Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of my partnership with the Putin Institute of Plastic                                 Surgery and Tanning in Moscow on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty! #palesbycomparisonwithTRUTH!

@realDonaldTrump
                              How would they know? More FAKE news! I don’t even know where my money is. All my businesses are                                      with my kids now. #note2IRS#4getCaymanIslands  

When someone wants to undergo treatment in his own country but his insurance doesn’t cover it, he gets angry and chooses to come to Russia since here he can receive the same medical services at a much lower price,” said Yakov Margolin, General Director of the Clinical Hospital in Yauza.  – Rise of Medical Tourism in Russia
 
@realDonaldTrump
I usually don’t agree with the Russians, but America hates Obamacare! SAD but TRUE.
  Suck it up liberal                                  
Democrats… and Freedom Caucus.  #PaulRyan/wimp

Cosmetic and dental surgery are the most frequent treatments sought by medical tourists. Plastic surgery is a close third.

@realDonaldTrump
                              I don’t care. NOT interested. Ivanka needs none of that anymore! #URbeautifulbabe#hairtransplant

Medical travel to Israel has shown significant growth over the years and was recently ranked as the world’s third most popular medical travel destination by VISA and Oxford Economics. – Medical Tourism Magazine 

@realDonaldTrump
                              NO new hospital buildings on the West Bank! Jared says we have an agreement. BETTER BE                                                          TRUE! #gojewishsoninlaw

@realDonaldTrump
                             I love Jews. I have made lots of H-Y-UGE deals with Jews. The Palestinians? Not so much.                                                                     
#go4thejewishvote  

“Some insurers and large employers have formed alliances with overseas hospitals to control health care costs, and several major medical schools in the United States have developed joint initiatives with overseas providers, such as the Harvard Medical School Dubai Center, the Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Center, and the Duke-National University of Singapore.” – CDC Yellowbook on Medical Tourism

@realDonaldTrump
                             Like Ghandi – a great friend of mine – said last week, “Just follow the money”. #greatquote

The administration’s reduction and delay in issuing H-1B visas will drastically reduce the number of International Medical Graduates allowed to enter the U.S.  Since 25% of U.S. working physicians are IMGs this will exacerbate our physician shortage, particularly in underserved rural areas.  – New England Journal of Medicine

@realDonaldTrump
                             If you can’t find a doc here, just go to THEIR country. SIMPLE! #betterthanOcare

Funds withdrawn from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be used for medical treatments outside the country.

@realDonaldTrump
                              But come to Florida for your tan.#tanningboothtax/gone

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY
(but only the tweets are made up)


Vol. 140 January 15, 2016 A Review of 2015 Hubslist Blogs

January 15, 2016

Hub thumbnail 2015

 

Click on the date to see the full blog

 

January 1 – 5 out of 10 of my resolutions were “kept”. You guess which ones.

January 15 – 6 reasons why patients are non-compliant , excuse me, “non-adherent”- the new PC term, with their medications.

February 1 – incidence of sudden death while watching the Super Bowl (Patriot fans probably don’t have to worry about that THIS year.)

February 15 – some myths revealed about cholesterol in your diet, global warming, measles vaccination rates, herbal supplements, and Dr. Oz, vendor of snake oil(s).

March 1 – 8 new causes of death caused by cigarette smoking added to the previously identified 12; a total of 20.

April 1 – Athena Health purchases MySpace which raises more concerns about privacy of health care data (April Fools edition).

April 15 – what does a “board certified physician” mean, and what does it have to do with Presidential candidates (Rand Paul)?

May 1 – physicians’ prognoses are often too optimistic for the same reasons patients’ are.

May 15 – E-cigarettes open new avenues for adolescent use of marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids (“bath salts”).

June 1 – annual review of sunscreens and bug repellents plus less universities providing student access to tanning booths.

June 15 – new forensic techniques of identifying individuals by bacterial, viral, and DNA “fingerprints”.

July 1 – 6 positive access outcomes and 4 positive health care delivery outcomes of Obamacare at 5 years of age.

July 15 – dangers of synthetic cannabinoids (attn: Chandler Jones?) and the minimal (“pending”) review of sunscreens by FDA.

August 1 – two websites with the best “symptom diagnosis” track record for helpfulness, and the one that is the worst.

August 15 – [ family vacation in a lighthouse without electricity or running water]
DSC01581

September 1 – why new drugs cost so much, no “gay gene” identified yet, and the myths of low testosterone, chronic Lyme, and  8 glasses of water a day.

September 15 – The health benefits of our “microbiome” and the “microbiome” of the New York City subway.

October 1 – the misleading, untruthful attacks on Planned Parenthood.

October 15 – the scope and magnitude of adverse effects of dietary supplements.

November 1 – transgender, transsexual, transvestite, and hermaphrodite, oh my!

November 15 – toddlers shooting people and other “norms” of gun deaths – “By Degrees“.

December 1 – changing advice about what NOT to eat during the holidays.

December 15 – the benefits of research using fetal tissue, short history of political attacks on Planned Parenthood, and why if you are NOT fat and live a long life you should thank your parents.

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Vol. 122 April 1, 2015 Athena Health Buys Myspace!

March 31, 2015

hub“Even as the public decries government spying programs and panics at the news of the latest data-breach the daily traffic to sites like Facebook and Twitter—especially through mobile devices—not only stays high, but continues to grow. Both the collective behavior of social sharing, and the technology for analyzing and interpreting social data, are already widely in place. The trick is to actually merge the two—which does not necessitate a whole new system.”

– Victoria Wangia, Professor of Health Informatics, University of Cincinnati
quoted in “The Facebook Model for Socialized Health Care” by Edgar Wilson, The Health Care Blog, 2/26/2015

Athena Health, a major provider of electronic health records (EHR) NOT to be confused with Anthem, has announced its purchase of MySpace, the pioneer social network.

MySpace (original spelling) was the first social network on the internet, but has steadily lost users to its competitor Facebook. Myspace (current spelling) was bought by Justin Timberlake in 2008. Despite efforts to revamp and redirect, Myspace user registrations continued to decline, and it has become a limited network for musical performers. Mr. Timberlake is confident that this move with Athena Health will broaden the scope of his company positively, “I am looking forward to making a more significant contribution to society than singing “D**k in a Box” on Saturday Night Live’s Christmas show”.

Jonathan Bush, CEO of Athena Health and related to both presidential Bushes, says he is making this move because it is time that health care providers make more innovative use of the social networks. Athena Health, based in Massachusetts, already provides electronic medical record (EMR) capability to health care providers nationwide. AthenaClinicals, its popular cloud-based electronic medical record and billing program, is available on desktop and mobile computers via AthenaNet. Its 2007 initial stock price of $18 is now at $120.

Using well-tested Facebook-like methodology Athena Health will create a wall, “The Health Wall”, in everyone’s Myspace account which will be renamed AthenaFace. This will add new meaning to “updating your status”. “Sick”, “Well”, “Recovering nicely”, “Waiting to find a doctor”, and “A little worried about what is happening to me” will be examples of clickable boxes.

Pop-up ads and informational banners will be health-oriented. Such as:
“Check your immunization score FREE”,
“Need help figuring out your Health Insurance deductible, Obamacare tax credit, or fine?”,
“Find the Nearest Medical Marijuana Dispensary”, and
“Special discounts on fitness club dues”.

AthenaFace representatives neither denied nor confirmed plans to link up with Groupon, another semi-floundering internet company, that provides discount coupons for a whole variety of services and products.

Record entries will be encrypted and saved, of course, though users will have the “Snapshot option” of having certain parts of the record being deleted within 30 seconds of being read. “The Health Wall” will accept postings of pictures and videos which will certainly enhance the robustness of the medical record for skin rashes, wounds, gait disturbances, and seizure disorders.

Efforts to link with relevant mobile apps like “Breathalyzer”, “Fitbit”, “Sleepbot”, “Whazthat!?”, etc. have already begun.  An app to link with Uber for the “Next available doctor to see you” will be in the first upgrade. However, that app, UberDoc, will include a charge. Prices will vary depending on circumstances, so customers will be urged to settle on the price before taking the appointment.

In response to critics who worry about the security of personal information in a combined health care/social network platform Jonathan Bush has stated, “Lots of people are obviously not at all concerned about such privacy issues. They are sexting and sending pictures of their genitalia all over the internet. Why would they care if somebody knew their blood pressure and cholesterol level? ”

But, AthenaFace will have different levels of privacy options that can be set by the user. On the user-sharing side the options will include:
“All”,
“Family and Friends”,
“Just Family”.
“Just (insert name here) ”, and
“Nobody”.

For provider-sharing the options for the customer will include:
“All”,
“Specialists Only”,
“Primary Care Only”,
“Dr.(insert name here)” , and
“Nobody, especially that nosey office nurse who thinks she runs the place.”

Why wait until your physician and hospital catches up with the federal EMR incentives for establishing a patient portal?

Do it yourself with AthenaFace!

Coming soon to your internet browser, but most probably after 2016 … depending on election results.

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY.


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