Viewpoints: Opioid Treatment Access Act Will Improve Medicine Availability; Preventing Employee Burnout
Editorial writers weigh in on these public health topics.
Improving Access To Methadone Can Save Lives
The United States recently reached a grim milestone: 100,000 overdose deaths in one year. This spike is the result of numerous factors, from the social isolation and economic destruction of the Covid-19 pandemic to a surge in the availability of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid. Although an effective treatment for opioid use disorder exists — methadone, a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1947 — restrictive federal regulations create powerful barriers to people seeking access to this lifesaving medicine. ... I introduced into the U.S. Congress the Opioid Treatment Access Act, which would improve access to and modernize the delivery of opioid treatment for people with opioid use disorder. (Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), 1/4)
Employees Are Tired, Stressed And Burned Out. That's Why I Give Mine 'Wellness Days.'
Texts from Egypt’s New Kingdom period suggest that even when workers were too sick to build the royal tombs, they were still paid. The pharaohs apparently calculated that allowing for health needs leads to better work. And that’s a society that literally treated many workers as slaves. Some 5,000 years later, we need to modernize how we support worker health — though companies that have yet to offer even basic paid sick leave should finally catch up to the ancient Egyptians. Instead of merely continuing to compensate workers once they are ill, we need to rethink time off to keep employees healthy. (Daniel Freedman, 12/28)
The Baltimore Sun:
In Maryland, The New Year Presents A Golden Opportunity To Protect A Woman’s Right To Choose
It appears to be a matter of when, not if, the U.S. Supreme Court will hand down a ruling that will overturn the constitutional rights of women as spelled out under Roe v. Wade. It was apparent when the court rejected intervening in a Texas law that bans most abortions by means of vigilante lawsuits, as well as in views key justices expressed during arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that restricts abortions in Mississippi after 15 weeks. The court’s politically conservative majority is clearly interested in rolling back reproductive rights in a big way. Might Roe be overturned entirely and immediately? It is not beyond the pale despite the landmark decision’s near-half-century of existence, and all those reassurances spouted during the most recent confirmation hearings that precedents (and “super-precedents”) would be respected. Court observers expect a decision in Dobbs to be issued by late June. (1/4)
Health Tech Needs To Rebuild Trust In The Wake Of The Theranos Verdict
Monday’s news that Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of Theranos, was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud investors makes for sensational headlines. But these headlines make it easy to lose sight of what is most important in this story and who was hurt: people reluctant to undergo diagnostic testing who could have benefited from Theranos’ purported innovations that would have lowered barriers to testing. They are now left with the status quo and have yet another reason to question the medical-innovation establishment that claims to want to help them. (David Stein, 1/4)
Breast Cancer Is Disproportionately Killing Black Women In Chicago. Here’s What Needs To Change.
When I was young, my aunt and my grandma would braid my hair every Sunday. I didn’t realize how much time I spent with them until my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and started to use those Sundays to rest after grueling chemotherapy sessions. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and died a week later from the disease. Like many Black women, my aunt and grandma’s diagnoses were late, and their prognoses were poor. Across the United States, breast cancer disproportionately kills Black women. While the incidence of breast cancer among Black women is similar to that of white women, Black women have a 42% higher mortality rate. This disparity worsens among women younger than 45, with Black women having a mortality rate double that of white women. (Tecora Turner, 1/4)
CEO Roundtable: Building On Lessons Learned To Prepare For Next Challenges
With COVID in our lives for nearly two years, the most progressive healthcare organizations see handling the virus largely in their rearview mirrors. Now the work involves implementing the lessons learned from the global pandemic and determining how to remain viable while losing fatigued and disillusioned talent. We asked leaders from a diverse set of companies to weigh in on their priorities and strategies for 2022. (Gregory Deavens, Michael Dowling and Tim Hingten, 1/4)