Perspectives: Growing Food Insecurity Endangers Public Health; CMS Needs To Approve More Digital Treatments
Editorial pages focus on these public health issues and more.
COVID-19 Adds Urgency To The Fight Against Food Insecurity
We live in one of the most plentiful nations on the planet. Yet 1 in 6 people may face hunger in 2020, including 1 in 4 children. This public health crisis is unacceptable. And it is one that we must join together to address. As the CEOs of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and Anthem, one of the nation's leading health companies, we have witnessed the devastating impact food insecurity can have on our nation's health. Understanding that no single entity can combat this growing national crisis, Anthem and Feeding America are working together to help deliver solutions. (Claire Babineaux-Fontenot and Gail K. Boudreaux, 10/16)
Medicare Must Speed Coverage For Breakthrough Digital Therapeutics
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a draft rule that could dramatically improve access to evidence-based treatments that can be delivered virtually. But it won’t unless CMS makes another seemingly simple change regarding benefit categories. Covid-19 has killed more than 180,000 Medicare beneficiaries to date, representing about 80% of all Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. That means there’s a pressing need for safe and effective socially distanced digital therapeutics. (Andrey Ostrovsky, 10/19)
Should COVID Still Force Us To Postpone Elective Surgery Or Forgo A Trip To The ER?
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged people to stay away from crowded emergency rooms and put-off elective surgery, including heart procedures, to reduce potential coronavirus exposure. As early as April, doctors worried that people experiencing life-threatening emergencies were avoiding hospitals. Those fears were validated. (Dr. Jonathan Fielding, 10/18)
Neglect Has Become Far Too Common At ICE Detention Centers
There’s no evidence at this point to substantiate a whistle-blower’s shocking allegation that a doctor was performing unneeded hysterectomies on unsuspecting detainees at a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Ocilla, Ga. But it seems clear that something very disturbing was happening at the facility — and that ICE’s approach to detention, and care for its detainees, needs to change. (10/18)
Why The Nobel Prize Shows The US And China Need To Work Together On Gene Editing
Last week, two women — Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier — were awarded the Nobel Prize for their groundbreaking discovery of an enzyme system (CRISPR-Cas9) that can edit an organism’s genetic code with extreme precision. As the Nobel committee recognized, this discovery has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences. There are arguably fewer discoveries in recent years that have been met with as much excitement about the possibilities — from treating cancer patients to developing new crops to rapidly developing diagnostic tools in pandemics such as COVID-19 — coupled with as much concern of its use and application. (Mahlet N. Mesfin and Scott Moore, 10/18)
Another Victim Of Texas’ Failure To Expand Medicaid? Kids.
Not all our troubles can be blamed on the pandemic. Even before the novel coronavirus outbreak, the number of children living without health coverage in the United States had risen to the highest levels in more than a decade. (10/19)