KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Longer Looks: Ignoring Intuition; Bending The Cost Curve; Diagnosing ADHD

Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.

Quartz: If My Doctor Had Ignored My Intuition About My Pregnancy, I’d Be Dead
On May 30, 2013, I died when I gave birth to my son. If I hadn’t listened to my intuition before going to the hospital, I would have stayed dead. Most of my pregnancy with my second child, Jacob, was healthy and relatively uncomplicated. But when I was around 20 weeks along, I began to have premonitions that I wouldn’t make it through the delivery. Over the next weeks and months, I often felt as if the whole world thought I was crazy. But my experience taught me just how important it is for patients and doctors to pay attention to their gut instincts. (Stephanie Arnold, 1/31)

The New York Times: A New Vision For Dreams Of The Dying
For thousands of years, the dreams and visions of the dying have captivated cultures, which imbued them with sacred import. Anthropologists, theologians and sociologists have studied these so-called deathbed phenomena. They appear in medieval writings and Renaissance paintings, in Shakespearean works and set pieces from 19th-century American and British novels, particularly by Dickens. One of the most famous moments in film is the mysterious deathbed murmur in “Citizen Kane”: “Rosebud!” (Jan Hoffman, 2/2)

The Texas Tribune: Video: Bending The Health Care Cost Curve
Full video of our 1/28 conversation on bending the health care cost curve with Sue Bornstein, executive director of the Texas Medical Home Initiative; state Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth; state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth; and Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer at Texas Health Resources. (Evan Smith, 1/29)

The Atlantic: How Many Workers Will The Cadillac Tax Hit?
The term “Cadillac tax” is evocative: It suggests that the health-insurance plans it would tax—through a provision in the Affordable Care Act—are to regular health insurance as a Cadillac is to a Kia. President Obama once described the levy as targeting “really fancy [health insurance] plans that end up driving up costs.” (Nora Kelly, 1/28)

The New Yorker: How Zika Virus Can Spread
When Andrew Haddow was a boy, in the nineteen-eighties, his father told him bedtime stories about his grandfather, a Scottish scientist named Alexander John Haddow, who studied rare viruses in the jungle outside Entebbe, Uganda. As Haddow got older, he began reading his grandfather’s papers. One of them was about the discovery, in 1947, of a virus in the blood of a rhesus monkey that lived in the Zika Forest. This virus—which, like dengue fever and yellow fever, is transmitted to humans mostly by mosquitoes—remained virtually unknown for the next sixty years, but it interested Haddow. (Carolyn Kormann, 2/1)

The New Yorker: In Search Of Forty Winks
Many scientists have come to believe that while we sleep the space between our neurons expands, allowing a cranial sewage network—the glymphatic system—to flush the brain of waste products that might otherwise not only prevent memory formation but muck up our mental machinery and perhaps eventually lead to Alzheimer’s. Failing to get enough sleep is like throwing a party and then firing the cleanup crew. (Patricia Marx, 1/31)

The New York Times: Is The A.D.H.D. Diagnosis Helping Or Hurting Kids?
The skyrocketing number of children with attention deficit disorders has led some pediatricians to question whether the diagnostic criteria for them — which is necessary for medication prescriptions and disability accommodations — is too subjective. Some children may be over-diagnosed and over-medicated, while others who fall short of the diagnosis go unsupported. Are attention deficit diagnoses helping or hurting kids? (2/1)

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