The Rundown | Week of 3.19.2018

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U.S. Healthcare Spending Is High Despite Low Population Health Performance

In a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, the U.S. is spending twice as much on health care as other high-income countries. At the same time, the U.S. has also been underperforming on population health outcomes.
The study’s findings seem to go against all general notions about high health care spending in the U.S. The consensus is that majority of the costs come from spending more on doctor visits, procedures, and hospitalizations, and spending too little on social services to help alleviate healthcare needs. Although, according to researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School, the U.S. burden of costs comes mainly from the prices of labor and goods such as administrative costs.
>> Read more: Why U.S. healthcare costs so much: High drug prices, doctor salaries and services

GeneRosity Registry – a Global DNA Database

Intermountain Healthcare has developed a plan to create a global DNA registry from people all over the world. The database will be called the GeneRosity Registry and will be full of existing genetic test results and worldwide health histories. The hope is for the registry to be used to make scientific discoveries in the future.
Stacey Knight, a cardiovascular and genetic epidemiologist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute stated, “a person’s DNA is made up of more than 3 billion individual pairs of genetic codes, but finding specific genes that contribute to health problems isn’t easy,” and that “our project is creating a resource for future studies.”
>> Read more: Intermountain Healthcare building ‘GeneRosity Registry.’ a global DNA database for genetic discoveries

Last-minute partisan healthcare disputes over spending bill

Negotiators in Congress have been working to develop a plan to fund the federal government and need to agree on a package before the 23rd in order to avoid what would be our third government shutdown this year. Amidst the debated topics, there have been disputes over abortion rights and healthcare costs.
There have been efforts to push billions into the healthcare system to support Obamacare health insurance markets by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray. The money would help those who need assistance paying for health coverage. Alexander also “approved restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions that would, they said, make it impossible for women to purchase abortion coverage under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, even with their own money.”
>> Read more: Congressional leaders haggle over abortion rights and healthcare in dispute over spending bill  

Increases in National Gender Gap for Physicians

According to a new study done by Doximity, nationally, there was a 4% increase in physician wages over the course of 2016 to 2017 but there was a rather large disparity in compensation between genders across metropolitan areas and medical specialities. The report’s findings are based on over 65,000 responses from physicians. The co-founder of Doximity, Nate Gross, MD, said that, “considering the increasing concern about potential doctor shortages, having a clear understanding of physician compensation is more relevant than ever.”
>> Read more: Physician Pay: Gender Gap Widens

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