Weekly Reader - October 10, 2022

Welcome to Finestra’s Weekly Reader, wherein we recount intriguing, important, or infamous health care-related stories you may have missed over the past week.

Weekly Reader - October 10, 2022
Photo by Kerem Karaarslan / Unsplash

Welcome to Finestra’s Weekly Reader, wherein we recount intriguing, important, or infamous health care-related stories you may have missed over the past week.

  • Genetic Tests Create Treatment Opportunities and Confusion for Breast Cancer Patients. (Kaiser Health News) "The past decade has witnessed a rapid expansion of genetic tests, including new instruments to inform patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer about the risk of recurrence and to guide their treatment."
  • Fentanyl Test Strips Highlight Rift in Nation’s Struggle to Combat Drug Deaths. (New York Times) “Proponents say the ability to check drugs for the presence of lethal fentanyl may save lives. But critics say the strips enable drug use.”
  • Formula May Be Right for Infants, but Experts Warn That Toddlers Don’t Need It. (Kaiser Health News) "[Many experts] warn that these products, designed for children ages 1 to 3, fill no nutritional needs beyond what is available in a typical toddler diet, are subject to less regulation than infant formula, and are expensive."
  • Why some skin-lightening products should be avoided. (The Washington Post) “The FDA in April issued warning letters to 12 U.S. companies for selling over-the-counter (OTC) skin-lightening products that contain ‘unapproved drugs and are not generally recognized as safe and effective.’ All the products in question contain hydroquinone.”
  • Shift in Child Hospice Care Is a Lifeline for Parents Seeking a Measure of Comfort and Hope. (Kaisher Health News) "Under a provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, children enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program are allowed, unlike adults, to be in hospice while continuing to receive curative or life-extending care."
  • How polio came back to New York for the first time in decades, silently spread and left a patient paralyzed. (CNBC) “An unvaccinated adult suffered paralysis in June from polio, the first case in New York since 1990. Wastewater surveillance later found the virus had been spreading slightly in the New York City area for months.”
  • Death Is Anything but a Dying Business as Private Equity Cashes In. (Kaiser Health News) "Private equity firms are investing in health care from cradle to grave, and in that latter category quite literally. A small but growing percentage of the funeral home industry — and the broader death care market — is being gobbled up by private equity-backed firms[…]"
  • Supreme Court turns away challenge to Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers. (USA Today) “The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge from 10 mostly conservative states that sued the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care facilities that receive federal funding.”
  • Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Skirts Marijuana Laws and Raises Health Concerns. (Kaiser Health News) "[Products] that contain delta-8 THC are sold online and at bars and retailers across much of the U.S., including some places where pot remains illegal. That’s because a 2018 federal law legalized hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant."
  • Most Americans don’t know about the omicron covid boosters. That spells trouble for the coming winter. (Grid) “Muddled messaging and pandemic weariness may be behind the trend.”
  • Shattered Dreams and Bills in the Millions: Losing a Baby in America. (Kaiser Health News) "More than 300,000 U.S. families have infants who require advanced medical attention in newborn intensive care units every year. Some babies stay for months, quickly generating astronomical fees for highly specialized surgeries and round-the-clock care."