Painkiller critics take aim at hospital surveys, procedures

Associated Press

Critics of how prescription painkillers are administered in the U.S. are calling on health officials to phase out hospital procedures and questionnaires used to manage pain. "The Pain Management Standards foster dangerous pain control practices, the endpoint of which is often the inappropriate provision of opioids with disastrous adverse consequences for individuals, families and communities," states the letter, which is co-signed by health commissioners from Vermont, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Rhode Island. The same coalition filed a petition Wednesday with the federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid, the government health programs for the elderly, disabled and poor. The groups argue that such questions inadvertently encourage aggressive use of painkillers to maintain high patient-satisfaction metrics.


Can Artificial Intelligence Help with Preventing Teen Depression? - blueFire

#artificialintelligence

Treatment plans for troubled teens are highly specialized. Designed to restore young people struggling with issues such as: anger, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), substance abuse, depression, grief and loss, adoption, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, self-harm, or rebellion, just to name a few. Located in Idaho, near the Sawtooth Mountains, we serve families from all over the U.S. Most of our parents and clients can come from California, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Tennessee just to list a few. Several families also come to us from overseas.


HIV rates soar among men who have sex with men in Southern states, D.C.

PBS NewsHour

Rates of HIV infection among men who have sex with men are highest in six Southern states and the District of Columbia, according to a new analysis, conducted by researchers at Emory University. In these states -- South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia -- more than 15 percent of men who have sex with men were HIV-positive in 2012. And in Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, the rates of diagnosed HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men were nearly twice that of the national rate, the researchers reported Tuesday. When the authors looked at the data on a city level, 21 of the top 25 cities were in the South. In five cities -- Jackson, Miss., Columbia, S.C., El Paso, Texas, Augusta, Ga., and Baton Rouge, La. -- at least a quarter of all men who have sex with men were living with HIV in 2012.


Flu deaths in US reach 1,300, CDC estimates

FOX News

The flu season normally starts towards the end of the fall, but seasonal influenza is reportedly starting much earlier this year. Fox News' Dr. Manny Alvarez sits down with a Harvard Medical School doctor to discuss everything you need to know about this year's flu season. Some 1,300 people across the United States have died of the flu so far this year, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. In a report released Friday, federal health officials said there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses this year and 23,000 hospitalizations. Flu activity has been reported across the country, but some states -- namely Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington -- have reported "high" flu activity levels.


Indiana, Reeling from Opioid Crisis, Arms Officials with Data

WIRED

The opioid crisis has hit Indiana hard. In 2012, Indiana was among a handful of states whose opioid prescriptions roughly equaled its population. Three years later, intravenous drugs caused the nation's worst HIV outbreak in two decades, affecting 181 people in rural Scott County, Indiana. And since 2013, Indiana has had the dubious distinction of leading the nation in pharmacy robberies, beating even California, which has six times its population. As Indiana's chief data officer, tracking these figures is kind of his job.