Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

HHS Offers New Tool for Medical School Students to Learn, Detect Medicare Fraud

From a November 8, 2010 US Health and Humans Services (HHS) news release

The Department of Health & Human Service’s Office of Inspector General has released a new tool geared toward educating medical school students on Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws, according to a news report byThe Hill.

The tool is a booklet, titled “Roadmap for New Physicians: Avoiding Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Abuse,” that will be delivered to medical schools across the country. The booklet covers education on specific fraud and abuse laws and physician relationships with payors, other providers and vendors.

The booklet’s release follows an OIG report that suggested medical school students aren’t adequately trained on healthcare fraud law.

Read The Hill‘s news report about the OIG’s “Roadmap for New Physicians: Avoiding Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Abuse.”

Read other coverage about healthcare fraud reports:

– WSJ: AMA Keeping Data on Physicians and Individual Healthcare Providers Confidential

– Report: Number of Suspected New York Medicaid Fraud Cases Doubled Since Last Year

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

NPR Nursing Home Database

From the National Public Radio news release/ interactive database

This interactive database, an NPR News exclusive, has information about the independence level of residents at nearly 16,000 individual nursing homes around the country. For each facility, see what percentage of residents can do various daily living tasks by themselves — an indication of their potential for community-based living.

To use it, first select a state, then a county, then an individual facility. If you’re evaluating a nursing home, we recommend you consider these measures along with inspection results and quality indicators available at Medicare.gov. Also, ask nursing home administrators for their facility’s last full inspection report. They’re required to make it available to the public.

The detailed reports here reflect NPR’s analysis of the facilities’ answers to an annual census survey by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. NPR News obtained the data, released to the public for the first time, under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The overall quality ratings reflect data available from CMS as of Nov. 5.

Other nursing home Web sites

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | | Leave a comment

Sleep makes your memories stronger

From a November 12, 2010 Eureka news release

As humans, we spend about a third of our lives asleep. So there must be a point to it, right? Scientists have found that sleep helps consolidate memories, fixing them in the brain so we can retrieve them later. Now, new research is showing that sleep also seems to reorganize memories, picking out the emotional details and reconfiguring the memories to help you produce new and creative ideas, according to the authors of an article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Sleep is making memories stronger,” says Jessica D. Payne of the University of Notre Dame, who cowrote the review with Elizabeth A. Kensinger of Boston College. “It also seems to be doing something which I think is so much more interesting, and that is reorganizing and restructuring memories.”

Payne and Kensinger study what happens to memories during sleep, and they have found that a person tends to hang on to the most emotional part of a memory. For example, if someone is shown a scene with an emotional object, such as a wrecked car, in the foreground, they’re more likely to remember the emotional object than, say, the palm trees in the background—particularly if they’re tested after a night of sleep. They have also measured brain activity during sleep and found that regions of the brain involved with emotion and memory consolidation are active.

“In our fast-paced society, one of the first things to go is our sleep,” Payne says. “I think that’s based on a profound misunderstanding that the sleeping brain isn’t doing anything.” The brain is busy. It’s not just consolidating memories, it’s organizing them and picking out the most salient information. She thinks this is what makes it possible for people to come up with creative, new ideas.

Payne has taken the research to heart. “I give myself an eight-hour sleep opportunity every night. I never used to do that—until I started seeing my data,” she says. People who say they’ll sleep when they’re dead are sacrificing their ability to have good thoughts now, she says. “We can get away with less sleep, but it has a profound effect on our cognitive abilities.”

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Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes concise reviews on the latest advances in theory and research spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications. For a copy of “Sleep’s Role in the Consolidation of Emotional Episodic Memories” *** and access to other Current Directions in Psychological Science research findings, please contact Keri Chiodo at 202-293-9300 or kchiodo@psychologicalscience.org.

*** Click here for possibilities of getting this article for free

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

Sleep makes your memories stronger

From a November 12, 2010 Eureka news release

s humans, we spend about a third of our lives asleep. So there must be a point to it, right? Scientists have found that sleep helps consolidate memories, fixing them in the brain so we can retrieve them later. Now, new research is showing that sleep also seems to reorganize memories, picking out the emotional details and reconfiguring the memories to help you produce new and creative ideas, according to the authors of an article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Sleep is making memories stronger,” says Jessica D. Payne of the University of Notre Dame, who cowrote the review with Elizabeth A. Kensinger of Boston College. “It also seems to be doing something which I think is so much more interesting, and that is reorganizing and restructuring memories.”

Payne and Kensinger study what happens to memories during sleep, and they have found that a person tends to hang on to the most emotional part of a memory. For example, if someone is shown a scene with an emotional object, such as a wrecked car, in the foreground, they’re more likely to remember the emotional object than, say, the palm trees in the background—particularly if they’re tested after a night of sleep. They have also measured brain activity during sleep and found that regions of the brain involved with emotion and memory consolidation are active.

“In our fast-paced society, one of the first things to go is our sleep,” Payne says. “I think that’s based on a profound misunderstanding that the sleeping brain isn’t doing anything.” The brain is busy. It’s not just consolidating memories, it’s organizing them and picking out the most salient information. She thinks this is what makes it possible for people to come up with creative, new ideas.

Payne has taken the research to heart. “I give myself an eight-hour sleep opportunity every night. I never used to do that—until I started seeing my data,” she says. People who say they’ll sleep when they’re dead are sacrificing their ability to have good thoughts now, she says. “We can get away with less sleep, but it has a profound effect on our cognitive abilities.”

###
Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes concise reviews on the latest advances in theory and research spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications. For a copy of “Sleep’s Role in the Consolidation of Emotional Episodic Memories” and access to other Current Directions in Psychological Science research findings, please contact Keri Chiodo at 202-293-9300 or kchiodo@psychologicalscience.org.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

   

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