Blog | Wednesday, December 9, 2009

QD: News Every Day--Senate close to cloture

ACP Internist's daily digest of news and events continues with updates on health care reform and H1N1--both are less severe than predicted, but neither is over yet.

Health care reform
Democratic Senators have reached a deal and details are leaking out. The compromise may replace the public option with a private one like the health plan federal workers use, and also allow people 55 or older to buy into Medicare coverage. Some hospital and insurance groups oppose the idea, as do those who represent rural areas. Meanwhile, the Senate tabled more restrictive abortion language, although that needs to be reconciled with the House bill, which has more restrictions. (CNN, Kaiser Health News)

Family practitioner Jeffrey Brenner, MD, explained how Camden, NJ, one of the nation's most impoverished cities, avoided millions of dollars in ED visits by sending nurse practitioners to housing complexes and nursing homes. Bolstering the idea of using other types of medical providers is family practitioner and micropractice guru L. Gordon Moore, MD, who suggests that "'face to face with MD' need not be the only solution tested." (NJBIZ, Ideal Medical Practices blog)

H1N1 influenza
In the midst of the weakening predictions of the H1N1 influenza pandemic and ramped up vaccine production, availability is increasing and being offered in locations across the country without priority lists, for just one example, in Detroit. Germany is selling more than 2 million doses due to weak demand. (WebMD, CNN, Detroit News, Reuters)