Viewpoints: Telemedicine Is Worth Keeping; Are We Prepared For The New Covid Variants?
Editorial writers weigh in on these public health topics.
Telemedicine Works. But States Are Killing It Off.
Red tape and restrictions on telemedicine — health care services provided to patients remotely via the internet or telephone — need to be removed to make such care viable, particularly state licensing requirements and insurance reimbursement policies that require in-person visits. (Jessica Denson, Chris McGovern, and David Nunnally, 10/20)
Los Angeles Times:
COVID Precautions Are Fading Just As Virus Is Strengthening
Winter is coming, and so are new COVID-19 variants. Based on the last two years, expect a botched national response when, not if, the winter surge comes. Highly transmissible new COVID variants such as BQ.1.1 and XBB are capable of overcoming immunity from prior Omicron infections and are resistant to antibody-based treatments, rendering two of our best defenses far less effective. (Dr. Dipti S. Barot, 10/20)
East Bay Times:
Washington Is Neglecting A Key National Security Threat
At the Global Fund Seventh Replenishment Conference last month, President Joe Biden pledged $6 billion in U.S. funding to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and strengthen health systems worldwide. The announcement is a welcome sign of the administration’s continued interest in global health as attention to the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. (Sam Fraser, 10/20)
Mental Health And Substance Abuse Treatment Help Incarcerated People
Evidence-based treatment for mental health and substance use disorders delivered during incarceration reduces symptoms and disciplinary problems, improves post-release adjustment and decreases recidivism risk. (Jeremy C. Kourvelas, 10/20)
Research Funding Is Broken. A Lottery Approach Could Fix It
Thirty years ago, Katalin Karikó had what was then an outlandish idea: use messenger RNA as a medicine. But getting funding to demonstrate that might be possible was impossible, despite three decades of trying. ... Her outlandish idea has since provided the platform for the vaccines that are helping protect people around the world from Covid-19 and is being used to develop other treatments. ... Karikó overcame the lack of funding with incredible dedication. But her story illustrates that the world has likely missed out on other revolutionary scientific ideas because funding systems are designed to reward those who are already successful, not necessarily those who work represents real innovation. (Lionel Page and Adrian Barnett, 10/21)
Supporting Family Caregivers Would Improve Clinical Trials
During the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s 53 million family caregivers gained some long overdue recognition for their vital role as unpaid extenders of an under-resourced health care workforce. The clinical trial enterprise, however, has yet to appreciate caregivers — and fully engage them — as critical partners in recruiting and supporting people who are older, disabled, or have Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or other chronic medical conditions for research studies. (Sharon Inouye and Jason Resendez, 10/21)