By the end of the last century, thanks, in part, to federal safety standards, severe black lung had nearly been eliminated. But with changes in technology and conditions in coal mines in central Appalachia, cases of severe black lung disease are back to the highest level in decades after the last major study, in 2018. As of that year, more than one-fifth of experienced Appalachian miners have black lung. (Drew A. Harris, 8/2)
Britons have long been devoted to their National Health Service, founded on the principle of universal health care, free at the point of delivery. At the same time, they’ve often grumbled about the standard of the health care it provides. (8/2)
The Biden administration is requiring health insurers to study whether subscribers have equal access to medical and mental health benefits, and to take steps to level them. That’s a worthy project, even if enforcement will be tricky. (8/2)
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence recently published a report about the impact of incorrect diagnoses in the U.S. The investigators estimated that 371,000 patients died and another 424,000 patients were permanently disabled by misdiagnoses annually. These estimates are in the same ballpark as prior reports, and include patients seen in physicians’ offices, emergency departments, and in-hospital. (Dr. Irving Kent Loh, 7/29)
All great stories have complicated endings. But that doesn’t mean they can’t offer simple and instructive lessons. Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, “Oppenheimer,” highlights the tragic story about the “father of the atomic bomb.” But it’s also a story about how the United States missed an opportunity to be a global leader in the development of an innovation that would define the 20th century. This century will be defined by transformational technologies — especially artificial intelligence — and J. Robert Oppenheimer’s story offers particularly salient lessons for health care leaders, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. (Junaid Nabi, 8/2)
I should be irate and despondent about the Supreme Court’s scrapping of affirmative action in admissions. It’s several steps backward. And yet, I have mixed emotions about the practice, informed by my own experiences with affirmative action. (Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu, 8/2)
Over the past decade, the health care industry has grown adept at responding to disasters. A panoply of events (including but most certainly not limited to a pandemic, wildfires and poor air quality, and recurrent patient surges) have given health care organizations extensive opportunity to refine their approach to disaster preparation and response — lessons the airline industry might find useful. As a frontline physician and director of disaster preparedness for a California health care organization, I offer the following tips to the airline industry. (Mary C. Meyer, 8/1)
This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.