Week In Review — Jan. 24

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week's top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

Patients’ costs skyrocket; Specialists’ incomes soar

Ms. Little’s seemingly minor medical problem — she had the least dangerous form of skin cancer — racked up big bills because it involved three doctors from specialties that are among the highest compensated in medicine, and it was done on the grounds of a hospital. Many specialists have become particularly adept at the business of medicine by becoming more entrepreneurial, protecting their turf through aggressive lobbying by their medical societies, and most of all, increasing revenues by offering new procedures — or doing more of lucrative ones. Via The New York Times. 

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A deadly outbreak, a vaccine -- and why you can't get it yet

When doctors had to remove Aaron Loy's lower legs in November after he contracted meningococcal disease, his parents hoped students at his university would receive protection against it. So far, they're still waiting. Loy, a promising lacrosse and soccer player at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), was the victim of an outbreak of meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that causes bloodstream infections and meningitis. Via CNN.

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Muppets' mini-makeover aims to boost kids' health

Bert and Ernie jump rope and munch apples and carrots, and Cookie Monster has his namesake treat once a week, not every day. Can a Muppets mini-makeover improve kids' health, too? A three-year experiment in South America suggests it can. Now, the Sesame Street project is coming to the United States. Already, a test run in a New York City preschool has seen results: Four-year-old Jahmeice Strowder got her mom to make cauliflower for the first time in her life. A classmate, Bryson Payne, bugged his dad for a banana every morning and more salads. A parent brought home a loaf of bread instead of Doritos. Via Yahoo! News.

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Law affects those with insurance thru work too

The health care overhaul's reach stretches far beyond the millions of uninsured Americans it is expected to help. It also could touch everything from the drug choices to doctor bills of people who have insurance through work. The law isn't expected to prompt sudden, radical changes for workers. So you probably won't lose your job due to the overhaul, despite claims by the law's opponents. But benefits experts say there are several other ways the law can leave fingerprints on the benefits of the roughly 149 million people who are covered through their jobs. Via Yahoo! News.

Dr. Toby Cosgrove: Health care problems are the same everywhere

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, sat down with HuffPost Live at Davos on Wednesday to discuss health care problems around the world. Cosgrove said "health care's got huge problems, and the problems are just about the same every place." "Every country that I'm in is concerned about the rising cost of health care and how it affects all the other demands," Cosgrove said. Via Huffington Post.

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With genetic testing, patients can see the future

Denis Keegan was out of answers. The 30-year-old was suffering from kidney disease, but his doctors were struggling to pinpoint the cause. That’s when Keegan turned to genetic testing. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester extracted his DNA from a blood sample and examined his genome. …A 44-year-old woman with gall bladder cancer is among the success stories at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine, said Dr. Alexander Parker, the center’s associate director. Her tumor was not responding to the standard medicine used to treat gall bladder cancer. Through genetic testing, doctors discovered that drugs used on leukemia patients might work for her. Via Star Tribune.

Doctor offers warning about ‘100-day cough’

Pertussis has a couple of other names: whooping cough and the 100-day cough. If that sounds ominous, it should. The contagious respiratory infection can seriously impact people of all ages, but especially young children. Dr. Jeff Cunningham has seen a number of confirmed cases at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont, where he works in internal medicine and pediatrics. The majority of these patients were less than a year, a few were toddlers. Via Fairmont Sentinel.

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Small, new university does something radical -- Only hires professors who want to teach and only admits students who want to learn

Rochester, Minnesota is best known as the home of the famed Mayo Clinic. IBM also has a large presence in the city. Going back to the 1960s, Mayo, IBM, and other leaders pressed the state for a higher education institution and their efforts resulted in a community college and a branch of Winona State University in the city. Predictably, those off-the-shelf educational models didn’t do much for Rochester. Via Forbes.

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Mayo CEO says better health care strengthens economies (Audio)

Dr. John Noseworthy, president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic, says investment in health care allows individuals benefit from the prosperity they deserve. The 2014 World Economic Forum is addressing how developing and emerging economies can learn from developed nations and leapfrog to a better future. Via Bloomberg.

Hospitals report fewer preventable mistakes

Mayo Clinic’s St. Marys Hospital in Rochester acknowledged a procedure on the wrong patient last year, something reported only 14 times in 10 years in Minnesota. A catheter was placed in the wrong patient, but in a bit of good fortune, it turned out he needed one as well. Still, Mayo responded by adding a secondary level of confirmation in its electronic record-keeping systems before doctors can order procedures… “Fortunately, nobody was injured this time and nobody got anything they weren’t supposed to get,” said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, Mayo’s patient safety officer. Via Star Tribune.

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Dr. John Noseworthy:  The Future of Health Care

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.