Health Care Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries

The United States has higher cost health care with poorer health outcomes compared to other high-income nations, but studies indicate the reason may be related more to prices in labor and goods including pharmaceuticals and administrative costs. Read more.

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Ask Alexa, for Health Care?

As many of us use Artificial Intelligence (AI) more and more through devices such as our smartphones and other wireless devices and that trend is flowing over into health care. AI voice assistants are being considered for use in hospitals to answer questions nurses are typically called to answer (such as, “What time is lunch?” or “Call a nurse”).
Additionally, questions such as wait times and other information could be answered with data from hospitals. Right now, none of the applications for AI in health care deal with HIPPA-required information, but that could change as technology and medicine continue to evolve. Read the full story.

New Rules Could Make Room for Insurance Associations

In the proposed rule, small businesses could pool resources to provide health care for their employees as “association health plans”. Proponents say these associations open access up for cheaper insurance plans while opponents argue that the small market may become more unstable and some association plans have a history of not providing adequate coverage.
(Source: Kaiser Health News)

Healthiest States – How Does Yours Rank in Latest Study?

America’s Health Rankings has had a 25-year history of analyzing state health information and ranking each state on factors including access to health care, obesity rates, infectious diseases, pollution, smoking, and infant mortality.
Hawaii had been the healthiest state for five years until this year when Massachusetts took the top honor in part for their low percentage of uninsured residents, low obesity rates and having a higher number of mental health providers.

Making Precision Medicine More Precise

“All of Us” Study Looks at DNA, Environmental and Lifestyle Effects on Health

new study from the National Institute of Health will look for one million volunteers to see how the combined variables of DNA, environmental and lifestyle factors affect the health of Americans.
The 10-year-long study will help develop precision medicine that can help create treatments more individualized for patients. Currently, precision medicine is most often used in cancer protocols but researchers hope one day this precision can branch into treatment for diabetes, heart disease, and more.