Health Care

To Your Good Health: Balancing Medicine’s Side Effects and Benefits

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 60-year-old male in good health, and I play tennis and swim several days a week. I have suffered from neuralgia for the past three years, but I have it under control with medication: 800 mg of carbamazepine and 25 mg of amitriptyline per day. They work wonders, but are there any long-term negative effects of taking those medications? — D.M. Answer: Unfortunately, no medication …

Health Industry Spent $19 Million Lobbying in Mass.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Boston — Hospitals, insurers, doctors, unions and pharmaceutical companies spent a record $19 million trying to sway Beacon Hill lawmakers last year, a reflection of the industry’s political and economic muscle and a rapidly changing health care landscape. In less than a decade, lobbying by the industry has nearly doubled from the $10.8 million spent in 2007, according to an Associated Press review …

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Here is a list of the organizations that spent the most on lobbying Beacon Hill lawmakers about health care issues last year, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office: ∎ The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans: $1,055,620. ∎ The Massachusetts Hospital Association: $882,470. ∎ Steward Health Care: $674,451. ∎ Partners HealthCare System: $644,715. ∎ The Massachusetts Nurses Association: $576,437. ∎ Tufts …

Dental Insurer Cuts Reimbursement

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Norwich — Northeast Delta Dental, faced with growing competition and the prospect of losing premium-sensitive individual consumers, this year implemented a 4 percent cut in the fee schedule it uses to reimburse most dentists in New Hampshire and Vermont. “Our prices stopped being competitive,” said Tom Raffio, chief …

Consumer Confidential: Costco-Visa Deal Shows Why Medicare Should Negotiate Drug Prices

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Costco’s deal to replace American Express with Visa as its exclusive credit-card company highlights an economic principle that should surprise no one. Consumers benefit when a business uses its market power to negotiate lower prices and passes along the savings to customers. Conservatives have championed such market forces …

Officials: Continue Vaccines

Sunday, March 8, 2015

New York — Certain that they are right, struggling to find ways to get their message across, public health officials are exasperated by their inability to persuade more U.S. parents to vaccinate their children. “I think we’re all …

Sharon Wary Of Funding In the Future

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sharon — About 50 voters cheerfully and unanimously approved a $4.2 million school district budget for the 2015-16 academic year and re-elected School Board member Karen Henderson on Monday night. Then, after less than an hour, Sharon voters gave Henderson and her colleagues a round of applause and …

At the Hospitals: March 1, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

VA Taps Social Worker For Women’s Program Manager White River Junction — Carey Russ, a social worker, has been named women veterans program manager at White River Junction VA Medical Center. Carey’s duties will include advising and advocating …

To Your Good Health: Psyllium Allergy Rare but Possible

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I would like to know if you have ever heard of a person being allergic to psyllium fiber? My doctor suggested I take Metamucil for constipation, as opposed to stool softeners. However, when I took it, my face and eyes began to itch, I began …

Drugmaker Avoids Billions in U.S. Taxes

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Washington — Gilead Sciences Inc., whose $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment is one of the world’s most expensive drugs, is avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes by booking profits overseas. The company reported foreign income before taxes of $8.2 billion for 2014, earning more in non-U.S. profits than …

Fines Rare Even As Health Data Breaches Grow

Sunday, March 1, 2015

In a string of meetings and press releases, the federal government’s health watchdogs have delivered a stern message: They are cracking down on insurers, hospitals and doctors offices that don’t adequately protect the security and privacy of medical records. “We’ve now moved into an area of more assertive …

At the Hospitals: Feb. 22, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Valley Regional Hospital Named to Harvard Pilgrim 2014 Honor Roll Claremont — Valley Regional Hospital was recently named to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s seventh annual Hospital Honor Roll. The 2014 Honor Roll recognizes adult acute care hospitals scoring …

To Your Good Health: For Some Terminal Patients, Routine Procedures Can Be Unnecessary Care

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: My mother has stage 4 cancer. She just went to a dermatologist, who performed Mohs surgery on her nose. I am BEYOND upset by this unethical behavior. The country is already deeply in debt, and Medicare is paying for this? Unconscionable! Not to mention the …