Sapatkin, Don

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Studies highlight epidemic of prescription drug deaths

Studies highlight epidemic of prescription drug deaths

October 9, 2013 2:25 am by | 0 Comments

Two new sets of statistics, one national and the other local, starkly illustrate an epidemic of prescription-drug overdoses, which have quadrupled since 1999 and suggest what may come next: a resurgence in heroin deaths.
The national report, released M…


Aetna won’t participate in New Jersey insurance exchange

Aetna won’t participate in New Jersey insurance exchange

September 19, 2013 12:14 pm by | 1 Comments

Aetna Inc. has withdrawn from the insurance exchange marketplace in New Jersey that was set up under the Affordable Care Act, leaving just three participating insurers for the exchange, which opens for enrollment Oct. 1.
In a statement last week, the c…



From real life to Hollywood and back again: The Patch Adams Free Clinic project

From real life to Hollywood and back again: The Patch Adams Free Clinic project

July 23, 2013 1:30 pm by | 0 Comments

In Patch Adams, a red-clown-nosed Robin Williams dreams up and runs a hospital where doctors enthusiastically work for janitors’ pay, where orchards abut cancer wards, and the healing powers of laughter and love outshine scalpels and scans.
The 1998 bl…


Less education and lower incomes keep cancer rates high among African Americans

Less education and lower incomes keep cancer rates high among African Americans

May 19, 2013 4:40 am by | 0 Comments

To understand both the simplicity of disparities in health care and the complexity of eliminating them, consider this:
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, black and white death rates for breast and colorectal cancer, two of the biggest killers, were more…


Philadelphia hospital reduces 30-day readmission rate by 50%

Philadelphia hospital reduces 30-day readmission rate by 50%

May 5, 2013 2:15 pm by | 0 Comments

Simple yet revolutionary changes in handling drugs when high-risk patients are discharged are at the core of a program that has cut its readmissions within 30 days of discharge by 50 percent, according to internal studies at Einstein Medical Center.


No easy answers to why life expectancy is low for Americans

No easy answers to why life expectancy is low for Americans

March 18, 2013 5:38 am by | 0 Comments

As we’ve known for some time, life expectancy in the United States is lower than in nearly every other developed country. What we haven’t known is why — and the reasons are starting to look far less simple than, say, a disjointed health-care system.
A…


Penn Medicine decision not to hire smokers part of a controversial trend

Penn Medicine decision not to hire smokers part of a controversial trend

February 21, 2013 5:20 am by | 0 Comments

Penn Medicine’s decision to hire only nonsmokers starting July 1 is part of a slow-moving trend that goes back decades and that is still controversial even among public health workers, who often see tobacco as enemy No. 1.
“I’d be much more enthusiasti…



Cases of whooping cough in United States highest since 1959

Cases of whooping cough in United States highest since 1959

December 11, 2012 4:37 am by | 0 Comments

With pertussis at its highest level nationally in a half-century, the Philadelphia region has been weathering a spike that in some places is more than triple the previous record set two years ago.
“We’re sort of way off the scale this year,” said Steph…