Health Newsbrief
June 21, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 10
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor <bmax@silverhammerpub.com>
Silver Hammer Publishing <http://silverhammerpub.com>

Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are provided at
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The News
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PATIENTS FAILING TO APPEAL CONFLICTS WITH
HEALTH PLANS
More than half the states allow patients to appeal decisions made
by their health insurance companies. Yet a recent study found
that only 6 percent of people who reported a problem with their
health plan filed a formal appeal. One reason: Most people don't
know the appeals systems exist.
Source: American Medical News - June 26, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/gvsd0626.htm


JOINT COMMISSION INCREASES FOCUS ON PAIN
MANAGEMENT
New standards for the treatment of pain developed by the Joint
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations will take
effect Jan. 1, 2001. The standards, which call for a formal
assessment and evaluation of pain in a patient, should help
protect doctors who prescribe heavy doses of narcotics from the
risk of losing their licenses or being investigated by the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Administration.
Source: American Medical News - June 26, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/prsc0626.htm


KEY TO ALZHEIMER'S CARE MAY BE EARLIER TREATMENT
A number of drugs are being developed to slow or stop the
progression of Alzheimer's disease. But experts say the drugs
will work best on people in the earliest stages of the disease -
or even those without any symptoms - so efforts are also underway
to improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
Source: American Medical News - June 26, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/hlsa0626.htm


IN THE SHADOW OF A GLASS MOUNTAIN
When you're in the hospital, do you get ignored by the nurses?
The reason could be that the hospital is short staffed. Or it
could be that you uttered a magical word: lawsuit.
Source: Salon - June 19, 2000
http://www.salon.com/health/feature/2000/06/19/glass_mountain


MAKING THE THREE TENORS SING
Typically, a person with depression has to try one antidepressant
drug after another until finding one that works - and some never
find relief. But doctors are now finding that some patients
respond best to a combination of antidepressants, each targeting
a different neurotransmitter. This beautifully written article
explains how doctors match drugs to provide maximum benefits.
Source: Washington Post - June 20, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25065-2000Jun20.html


THE DUTCH SEEK TO LEGALIZE LONG-TOLERATED
EUTHANASIA
The Netherlands, where doctors who perform assisted suicides are
typically not prosecuted despite breaking the law, is likely to
make the procedure legal this fall under certain conditions. The
move comes as many other European countries are studying the
issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia with an eye toward
making them available.
Source: New York Times - June 20, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/europe
/062000holland-mercy.html



GPs ENCOURAGED TO GO ALTERNATIVE
The British government is encouraging all general practitioners
to integrate complementary medicine into their practices. The
government is sending every doctor guidance about using
acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy,
chiropractic, and hypnotherapy and aromatherapy.
Source: British Broadcasting Corp. - June 20, 2000
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_797000/797252.stm


HAWAII OK'S MARIJUANA FOR MEDICINE
Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano has signed a bill that legalizes the use
of marijuana for medical purposes. Under the law, patients who
wish to use marijuana must get their doctor's recommendation and
register with the state Department of Public Safety. Although
seven other states have legalized the medical use of marijuana
through ballot initiatives, Hawaii is the first to do so through
legislation. Advocates hope that Hawaii's action will prompt
other states to pass similar legislation.
Source: Associated Press - June 15, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000615/hl/
medical_marijuana_1.html



PREVALENCE OF DEPRESSION AND ITS TREATMENT
IN AN ELDERLY POPULATION
A study of 4,559 Utah residents aged 65 to 100 who did not have
dementia found that 4.4 percent of the women and 2.7 percent of
the men currently suffered from major depression. Just over 20
percent of the women and just under 10 percent of the men had
suffered from major depression sometime in their lives.
Source: Archives of General Psychiatry - June 2000
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/issues/v57n6/abs/yoa9308.html


DIET SUPPLEMENT MARKETERS TARGET KIDS
Manufacturers of dietary supplements are hawking their products
to kids - often with the blessing and support of the parents.
Whether it's to gain strength or treat a cold, one recent study
found that nearly 20 percent of parents are giving their children
supplements. The sidebar looks at a woman who wears two hats as a
supplement hawker and founder of a group called Parents Against
Ritalin, and the chart examines the uses, safety, and
effectiveness of some of the most popular supplements.
Source: Washington Post - June 18, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6946-2000Jun16.html
Sidebar:
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/A7739-2000Jun16.html
Chart:
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/health/graphics/
dietary061800.htm



PUTTING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS TO THE TEST
Americans spent just over $14 billion on dietary supplements in
1999, but independent tests have found that many of the pills and
capsules do not contain what they claim. The Food and Drug
Administration investigated regulating supplements in the early
1990s, but dropped the idea after loud protests from the
supplement industry.
Source: New York Times - June 20, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
062000hth-lab-tests.html



CLEANLINESS ISN'T NEXT TO HEALTHFULNESS
Manufacturers are cranking out an ever-growing stream of products
with germ-fighting properties - everything from soaps to sheets.
But scientists say those products are likely to do a lot more
harm than good, and the American Medical Association has asked
the federal government to improve its regulation of antibacterial
household products.
Source: New York Times - June 20, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
062000hth-brody.html



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Silver Hammer Publishing
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