KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Longer Looks: The Readmission Cycle; Opioids in Connecticut; Medicare Scammers

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

Wired: Medicare Scammers Steal $60 Billion A Year. This Man Is Hunting Them
If Willie Sutton had to choose a criminal career today, he’d be ripping off Medicare too. As the bank robber supposedly said: That’s where the money is. The program spends more than $600 billion a year on health care for 54 million people, most of them seniors. It is a massive pool of underguarded funds ripe for skimming. (J.C. Herz, 3/7)

STAT: Raising A Child With Microcephaly: Outsiders 'Cannot Know Our Experience'
Christine Grounds and Jonathan Mir shared their experience raising a son with microcephaly in a STAT video posted last week. Their candor — including an acknowledgement that she would have terminated the pregnancy had she known about Nicholas’s birth defect — has drawn strong reaction from viewers. (Emily Hager, 3/7)

U.S. News And World Report: Microcephaly: After Diagnosis, A Life Of Uncertainty
Microcephaly has been in the headlines in recent months as global health officials have turned their attention to the threat of Zika, a mosquito-borne virus believed to be linked to a surge of microcephaly cases in Brazil. The virus can be sexually transmitted, and the U.S. is bracing for the possibility that Zika may appear here as the weather gets warmer. Amid the hysteria over Zika, however, the families of the 25,000 children already diagnosed with microcephaly in the U.S. every year have been overlooked. According to the Foundation for Children with Microcephaly, the condition affects 2.5 percent of births each year. (Kimberly Leonard, 3/4)

Pacific Standard: Are My Emotions Making Me Sick?
In addition to using the inhaler my medical doctor gave me, there are a thousand things I am supposed to do to try and manage my asthma. Get allergy tests. Buy fancy vacuums and dust-mite covers for every fabric surface in my home. Give up my shelves of old books and vinyl records. Performing these acts of self-care is exhausting, expensive, and often difficult to measure in terms of results. The day of that acupuncture appointment, I was delivered a relatively easy diagnosis, a narrative that I could seize on to explain my ongoing illness to myself: I got sick because he died and I never recovered. (Manjula Martin, 3/3)

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