Fighting for humane mental health treatment

Fighting for humane mental health treatment

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. When Faraaz Mahomed surveys the global health landscape, one area jumps out at him, an area where stigma and misinformation maintain a grip, where outdated attitudes hold sway, and where coercion is a routine part of treatment: mental health care. Mahomed, graduating this spring from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s doctor of public health program, has spent the last three years focused on how mental health care is provided around the world, particularly in resource-poor…

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Why Employers Pay Too Much For Health Care

Why Employers Pay Too Much For Health Care

Did you know that employers are paying hospitals more than twice as much as what Medicare pays? At some hospitals they are paying four times as much. Those are the findings from a new study by the RAND Corporation. It wasn’t always so. In fact, as recently as 2000, private payers were paying only 10% more than Medicare. Since then, the gap has been growing by leaps and bounds. What makes this especially surprising is that it has happened at a time when employers have been getting increasingly aggressive about controlling health care costs….

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Two Key Health Datasets Differ, Reveal Incorrect Reporting By States

Two Key Health Datasets Differ, Reveal Incorrect Reporting By States

New Delhi: India’s progress on public healthcare has failed to keep up with its economic growth over the past decades, putting a binding constraint on the economy, Niti Aayog’s 2018 report, ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’, said. Ranking states and union territories (UTs) on a Health Index, the report noted that compared with India’s economic progress and achievements, its rates of improvement in health outcomes have remained lower than those recorded in developing countries with comparable levels of spending on health. This, along with the middle-income trap that a member of the Prime Minister’s…

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Brainstorm Health: Drug Company Profits, Vaccine Skeptics, Pharma Price Fixing

Brainstorm Health: Drug Company Profits, Vaccine Skeptics, Pharma Price Fixing

Hello and happy Monday, readers. I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Another week, another dire report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the historic measles outbreak winding through America. As of May 10, 839 measles cases have been confirmedacross 23 states, a hike of 75 cases in the past week alone, according to the agency. There are now more than ten times as many confirmed measles cases in 2019 as there were in 2010, when the highly infectious disease had nearly been wiped out in the United States. We’ve…

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This Mother’s Day, gift your mom a health insurance policy

This Mother’s Day, gift your mom a health insurance policy

Covering your mother under a health insurance is important as most Indian mothers lack adequate health insurance during the critical stages of their lives. As per a recent survey, women in India just account for 30% of health insurance policies. This becomes all the more critical when access to good health care can mean the difference between life and death. Most women in urban cities juggle between work and home and this is further bundled with unhealthy lifestyle habits including lack of sleep, no exercise and unhealthy food habits leading…

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Child mental health services waiting times ‘not good enough’ in Grampian

Child mental health services waiting times ‘not good enough’ in Grampian

NHS Grampian’s chief executive has said it is not good enough that some waiting time targets for mental health services for children are not being met. Improvements are said to have been made in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, but some children in Moray are waiting up to 29 weeks to be assessed. The health board is redesigning mental health services for children. Amanda Croft told BBC Scotland that ongoing new investment would make a difference. A new facility is expected to open in Aberdeen later this year. Youth mental health report…

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India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care

India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care

It’s an important question, because India makes widespread use of cash transfers and is contemplating a universal basic income — cash for everyone. One of the things that appeal to development experts and donors about direct cash transfers is that they’re not paternalistic. Instead of deciding how money is spent, you give people the money, trusting that they have a better idea of their needs than you do and that they’ll spend it wisely. This mostly holds up; studies have found that cash transfers are largely spent on food, housing, and education, and don’t…

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Health insurers can’t refuse to renew plan because you are a senior citizen

Health insurers can’t refuse to renew plan because you are a senior citizen

I am 62 and have retired from a public sector company. I have a family floater policy from my organisation for ₹2.5 lakh. At present, I am healthy. Do I need to top up my cover? If yes, then by how much? —Parol Ramani A sum assured of ₹2.5 lakh will be inadequate for most advanced surgeries, at prevailing medical prices. At current costs and your age, a ₹10 lakh cover is the minimum you should have. This should be enhanced based on your lifestyle and family medical history. Further, at 62, you…

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Venture Catalysts to invest $10-15 million in early stage health startups

Venture Catalysts to invest $10-15 million in early stage health startups

Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator that backed companies such as OYO Rooms in early stages, said it plans to invest around $10-$15 million in 8-10 early stage healthcare startups in coming three years. Venture Catalysts so far invested around $5 million in four health startups such as Impact Guru (crowdfunding platform), Hospals (Medical tourism aggregator), Assure Clinics (chain of skin and hair clinics), and WonDRx (prescription digitising firm). Wallfort, the parent company of Venture Catalysts will soon launch Rs 300 crore early-stage venture capital fund for the purpose. Accelerator…

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You Cannot Control Health Care Costs By Pushing Down Prices

You Cannot Control Health Care Costs By Pushing Down Prices

One of the very first things all students learn in their first economics course is the meaning of the word “cost.” They come to economics thinking that the cost of something is the priceyou must pay. Sometimes the two are equal. Often, they are not. In a field such as health care, cost and price are almost never the same. They are usually not even connected. It follows logically that if you try to control one of these variables by controlling the other, you will fail. And fail miserably. The social cost of…

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