I wrote in a previous blog about the importance of understanding confounding by indication and being sure to ask researchers about it when covering observational studies that appear to suggest a particular treatment or intervention might contribute to a specific effect. I’m passionate about this type of study bias because not considering it — which happens a LOT — can lead people to decline otherwise helpful treatments or leave them experiencing more harm and pain because of unfounded fears. Continue reading
Health Journalism 2020, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists, will take place in Austin, Texas, AHCJ has announced.
The conference, which draws attendees from across the United States and several other countries, is slated for April 30-May 3, 2020, at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin. Local sponsors include the University of Texas Dell Medical School, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and the St. David’s Foundation.
Nearly half of consumers believe their personal health information is more secure on their personal electronic devices – smartphones, laptops and tablets – than it is on their health care providers’ computer systems.
This high level of mistrust in health entities’ handling of personal data is among the findings of a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by the cybersecurity firm Morphisec. Benjamin Harris of HealthcareITNews reported on the survey. Continue reading
On Tuesday, July 9, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the appeal of Texas v. United States.
The conventional wisdom, even among conservative legal scholars, is that the case was based on such a contorted legal theory that it should not be taken all that seriously.
Then, in December, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with Texas and 17 other conservative states and declared the whole Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Continue reading
One of the biggest challenges in teasing out possible causation or directionality of an exposure and an observed phenomenon, it’s essential to consider confounding by indication. Although it’s described in the Medical Studies Core Topic Key Concepts page, it’s such an important consideration in both evaluating medical studies and in formulating questions for them that it deserves a special call-out — again and again and again.
So I’m writing three blog posts with mini case studies of confounding by indication because I REALLY want to drive home how important it is that reporters covering observational studies think hard about all the possible reasons a correlation might exist between an intervention or exposure and a subsequent intervention, medical condition or negative effect. Continue reading
Researchers and health policy experts are questioning the value of Medicare’s efforts to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions.
The latest example came this week when Health Affairs published research on what happened after Medicare added hip and knee replacement surgeries to the list of conditions for which it would penalize hospitals for having high rates of readmissions.