Weekly Reader - September 19, 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 - September 19, 2022
Photo by freestocks / 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.

  • At 988 Call Centers, Crisis Counselors Offer Empathy — And Juggle Limited Resources. (Kaiser Health News) “For people experiencing a mental health crisis, calling 988 can be a lifesaving decision. But what happens after they call depends on where they are. The new 988 system launched in mid-July, and one early estimate said calls went up 45% nationally during the first week.”
  • Monkeypox Shots, Treatments and Tests Are Unavailable in Much of the World. (New York Times) “High-income countries snapped up vaccines when the disease hit them, leaving none for countries that have battled the virus for years, in an echo of the Covid response.”
  • Patient Satisfaction Surveys Earn a Zero on Tracking Whether Hospitals Deliver Culturally Competent Care. (Kaiser Health News) "Each day, thousands of patients get a call or letter after being discharged from U.S. hospitals. How did their stay go? How clean and quiet was the room? How often did nurses and doctors treat them with courtesy and respect?"
  • NIH lecture to delve into racism of mental health care in the South. (The Washington Post) “Filthy wards. Unlicensed doctors. Forced labor. Outdated treatments, or no treatment at all. For nearly a century after the Civil War, Black patients in segregated state psychiatric facilities in the South endured unthinkable conditions for no reason other than the color of their skin.”
  • Do You Really Need This New Omicron Booster? Here’s What Experts Say. (Buzzfeed News) “Get ready to roll up your sleeves again: A new COVID booster that targets the latest variants is ready for your arm.”
  • Children in Northern California Learn to Cope With Wildfire Trauma. (Kaiser Health News) "As California wildfires grow more intense, frequent, and widespread, many children who live through them are experiencing lasting psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder."
  • The sound of your voice might diagnose diseases. (The Verge) “Researchers are building a database of human voices that they’ll use to develop AI-based tools that could eventually diagnose serious diseases; they’re targeting everything from Alzheimer’s to cancer.”
  • Hospitals Divert Primary Care Patients to Health Center ‘Look-Alikes’ to Boost Finances. (Kaiser Health News) "A growing number of hospitals are outsourcing often-unprofitable outpatient services for their poorest patients by setting up independent, nonprofit organizations to provide primary care."
  • Many Preventive Medical Services Cost Patients Nothing. Will a Texas Court Decision Change That? (Kaiser Health News) "A federal judge’s ruling in Texas has thrown into question whether millions of insured Americans will continue to receive some preventive medical services, such as cancer screenings and drugs that protect people from HIV infection, without making a copayment."
  • Mucosal antibodies in the airways protect against omicron infection (Medical Press) “High levels of mucosal antibodies in the airways reduce the risk of being infected by omicron, but many people do not receive detectable antibodies in the airways despite three doses of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine”
  • Did the US Jump the Gun With the New Omicron-Targeted Vaccines? (Kaiser Health News) " […] Those familiar with the business tactics of the pharmaceutical industry, that exuberant messaging — combined with the lack of completed studies — has caused considerable heartburn and raised an array of unanswered concerns."