The healthcare industry is a well-known information security dumpster fire, from the entire hospitals hijacked by ransomware to the useless security on medical devices to the terrifying world of shitty state security for medical implants -- all made worse by the cack-handed security measures that hospital workers have to bypass to get on with saving our lives (and it's about to get worse, thanks to the Internet of Things).
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Theranos, led by charismatic founder Elizabeth Holmes, became a billion-dollar startup on the promise of a pinprick blood test that doesn't work. Walgreens, a retailer suckered into partnering the scam, is suing what's left of it for $140m.
Walgreens has filed suit against Theranos in Delaware district court, asking for $140 million and alleging a breach of contract.
Walgreens successfully moved to seal the complaint, citing the non-disclosure agreement, so the details of the alleged contractual breach are still unknown. A Walgreens spokesperson confirmed that the company had filed the lawsuit, but declined to add further comment.
Walgreens operated the "Theranos wellness centers," but apparently never bothered to validate the technology. (Previously)
Photo: Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) Read the rest
House Speaker Paul Ryan admits that a Clinton victory in tomorrow's general election dooms efforts to overturn Obamacare. The battle moves on to preventing evolution toward a single-payer system; Republicans fear a public option may prove a more popular way to lower costs than feeding the poor to insurance companies.
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Ryan admitted that a victory by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would mark the end of his quixotic quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That may seem like an obvious conclusion, but it qualifies as a noteworthy statement because it’s coming from the man who oversaw dozens of hopeless votes to overturn the 6-year-old health care law. ...
Weber: Obamacare doesn’t get repealed, likely ever, if Hillary wins. Doesn’t get repealed. Agree?
Ryan: Yes. Yes, I do agree. Hillary’s talking about a public option, which is basically double-down on government-run health care. That’s the opposite of what we’re offering. We actually have a plan to replace Obamacare. All of us have basically gotten to consensus on what our plan is, but we have to win an election to put it in place.
It's hard to say why The world's biggest asshole is worth watching without spoilering it, but Coleman Sweeney is at least an entertaining asshole—until he isn't. Read the rest
Man, the first few paragraphs of this Washington Post story about a mentally ill man who died in a jail while waiting for medical care are so devastating. Read the rest
Texas governor Greg Abbott OK's ban on healthcare provider's non-abortion-related services for the poor.
Steve Herbert for ProPublica
At ProPublica, the story of a young woman
who had a mental health crisis -- a psychotic episode -- and as a result, lost custody of her infant daughter. In the crisis incident, the mom became delusional and believed her child had been raped. The child had not been assaulted, nor was she ever harmed by her mom. Four years later, the mom is receiving effective treatment for her postpartum depression and psychosis, and capably raising a son. Yet, the courts in Kansas still won't give back her daughter, arguing she is unfit based an principle sometimes called "predictive neglect." Is this right
? Read the rest
Kelsey Campbell-Dollahan: " there's still no perfect way to care for sufferers of dementia and Alzheimer's. In the Netherlands, however, a radical idea is being tested: Self-contained "villages" where people with dementia shop, cook, and live together—safely
." Read the rest
Fourteen-year-old Jillian Bernstein
got herself published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
by comparing the transparency of medical costs at Philadelphia hospitals with the transparency of parking rates at the same hospitals. Out of 20 hospitals, 19 were happy to provide information on the cost to park a car. Only three, however, were willing to tell her how much it would cost an uninsured person to get an electrocardiogram, and those prices were ridiculously variable — $137, $600 and $1,200, depending on the hospital. Read the rest
Noemi sez, "In much of the English speaking world 2013 was the year of the Battle for Health Care.
While in the US people were fighting for the Affordable Care, others in the UK campaigned for high quality, free healthcare.
A year ago a powerful campaign in South East London challenged the demolition of more than half of Lewisham Hospital. They fought the UK government in the High Court twice and won twice! What could be a more appropriate way to celebrate the power of people and the strength of communities than to help the good people of Lewisham land a beautiful Christmas Number One?"
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A 41-year-old Chinese man died from a rabies infection
that he picked up in an attempt to save his son from the disease. The boy was bitten by a rabid dog. The father sucked blood out of the wound in hopes it would remove any poison. The family ended up taking the boy in for shots, anyway, but the father turned them down, largely because of the cost. Read the rest
Here's Glenn Fleishman on healthcare in America
, where sufferers receive outsize bills and must engage with an insane, bloated bureaucracy to chop them down to size--if
they have insurance.
Explain to me how this makes sense at any level? The raw cost, the billed cost, the premiums, the rest of it. The system is designed to have as many parties interceding to make profit as possible. It is not designed to produce the best care in the world; our care is fine. It does not exceed or meet comparable developed countries with national healthcare, and we pay vastly more and have steeply increasing costs. Read the rest
When blogger Melissa moved to Canada in 2008, she identified as a conservative, Republican evangelical Christian. Part of that identity included a deep mistrust of Canada's universal healthcare system. Before the move, she was terrified that she was going to place that would limit her medical choices, tell her what to do with her body, and push abortions (paid for with her money) on any woman who was unsure of what to do about an unwanted pregnancy. She was afraid of losing her freedom. She was afraid of losing her religious liberty.
But that's not what she found in Canada.
Instead, Melissa slowly came to realize that the Canadian system was actually more family friendly than the American one. In Canada, there is significantly less demand for abortion. In Canada, she says, it's easier to be a stay at home parent, and it's easier to ensure the health of your children. She also found that abortion wasn't pushed (merely offered as one of many options) and that Catholic hospitals weren't forced to offer abortions if they didn't want to. Meanwhile, Canada does a better job than we do at balancing their national budget and has far, far, far less national debt.
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I started to wonder why I had been so opposed to government mandated Universal Health care. Here in Canada ... People actually went in for routine check-ups and caught many of their illnesses early, before they were too advanced to treat. People were free to quit a job they hated, or even start their own business without fear of losing their medical coverage.
In a first-person account of his battle with chronic illness, Minneapolis musician Kevin Steinman explains why he's decided to move to Norway
rather than keep fighting the American healthcare system. (Via Erik Hess) Read the rest