Personal responsibility for our poor health

  • Less than 3 percent of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle.
  • Approximately 97.3% of Americans admit to not exercising, having a poor diet, smoking, and gaining weight.
  • 20% of deaths result from being a couch potato for those age 35 and older. Plus, 80% of American adults don’t meet basic physical activity requirements.
  • A new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

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Let’s pretend drug prices in ads matter

  • Employee’s are once again getting hit with more of the costs of their coverage in the form of higher premiums and higher deductibles.
  • Health care premiums continue to take up more of employees’ paychecks.
  • Just over a quarter of all covered employees are enrolled in policies with a deductible of at least $2,000, up from 22 percent last year and 15 percent five years ago.
  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, according to the World Health Organization. In 2016, more than 600 million adults were obese — or about 13 percent of the world’s population leading to a jump in cancer cases and other costly health conditions. Continue reading

Time to admit it “healthcare in the US is a mess”

  • Even with health insurance, more than a third of the respondents in a recent survey had spent all or most of their savings while sick. They are often faced with deductibles and co-payments; treatments their insurance won’t cover.
  • Among people with health insurance, more than 20 percent had trouble paying for basic necessities. More than a quarter had bills in collection, and 13 percent had borrowed money as a result of their illness.
  • The annual cost for a family to get health coverage from an employer plan rose 5% to $19,616 this year, according to recently released data from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Workers contributed $5,547 for family coverage, on average, in 2018, up 65% since 2008, and $1,186 for single coverage.
  • About 25 percent of adults in a recent poll said that they or a family member have avoided seeking medical attention because of the cost.

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Drug pricing in ads means nothing

  • The Trump administration is moving forward with new rules that would require drug companies to disclose their prices, rejecting the industry’s efforts to preempt those regulations
  • The “list price” of prescription drugs doesn’t mean anything to patients.
  • Alex Azar is “sticking it” to PhRMA, pharma’s trade organization.

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The quest for online health information

  • Nearly 80 percent of the patients who looked up things online before seeing a doctor reported that their searches actually improved their experience. (Source: Anthony M. Cocco, a doctor at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, and the lead author on a recent scientific study about the search habits of people before they show up in an E.R.)
  • In one study, researchers found that only one of the top 54 results for “endometriosis” — the subject of over 4.5 million searches annually — led to a page that contained what was deemed to be accurate information about the condition.
  • The study’s author recommends skipping the kind of scientific papers you might find on Google Scholar or PubMed; they often contain unusual cases and bewildering terminology.

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