Ever since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, federal policy has held that marijuana has no accepted medical use and is a dangerous drug in the category of heroin and LSD. Yet, as 29 states have approved marijuana for medical use and nine passed laws allowing for adult recreational use, modern medical marijuana clinical trials have unfolded in the United States, forging new frontiers in cannabis research.
Today’s research, as well as the thriving legal marijuana economy, is largely the result of a medical cannabis movement born in the AIDS epidemic and the suffering of young gay men, many of whom turned to cannabis to try to curb wrenching symptoms of wasting syndrome starving them to skeletal forms. Continue reading
On Thursday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., and President Trump announced three initiatives to expand telehealth and mobile health services for veterans.
The announcement is notable because the initiatives remove some longstanding roadblocks to wider adoption of telehealth services. The VA has the largest telehealth program in the country, with an estimated 700,000 veterans using telehealth last year. Continue reading
Last week’s announcement that the Department of Veterans Affairs would replace its homegrown electronic health record system VistA with a Cerner product came ahead of the expected July 1 deadline for a decision on the matter.
The move made waves in the health IT sector for several reasons. Most notably, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, M.D., chose to invoke a “public interest exception” in the Cerner pick, bypassing the usual competitive bidding process for government contracts. Continue reading
President Trump’s proposed budget calls for steep cuts to health and human services programs. The biggest headlines highlight potential dramatic slashes to Medicaid, food stamps and the children’s health insurance program.
With so many higher profile programs at risk, reductions in spending for health IT initiatives can seem like small potatoes. But these cuts, if approved by Congress, would have consequences in communities large and small. A few examples: Continue reading
Can technology save us? It’s among several questions on a lot of people’s minds these days. Can technology save us from rising health costs? Can technology save Medicare by reducing costs to the program? Can technology help our veterans gain better access to care? Can technology help people take control of their health decisions?
At the same time, criticism of technology has grown in the aftermath of a presidential election that shocked many. Continue reading