Tag: COVID-19

Increasing COVID Costs for Uninsured Could Fuel Next Surge

We have been discussing the costs associated with COVID-19 for nearly two years. Earlier this year, we covered how the ongoing pandemic has affected employment and insurance status of millions of Americans. Now federal funds for vaccines, testing, and treatment of the novel coronavirus have run out and additional funding has failed to pass through Congress, leaving the 28 million uninsured Americans responsible for paying the costs themselves.

For most of the public health crisis even uninsured patients could receive free preventative vaccines, tests to detect the coronavirus, and treatment if infected. Unfortunately, this information hadn’t been widely circulated leading to many to not seeking necessary care — with sometimes tragically fatal results. Slow vaccination rates have even been partly caused by patients thinking they’d be charged for it. Despite an average of 30,000 new cases in the United States each day, uninsured patients have begun to be turned away from testing sites if they’re unable to cover the $100-$200 cost.

People without health insurance have been at a

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Facts and Tips for Patient Safety Awareness Week

Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about healthcare safety. Patient safety is about preventing and reducing harmful medical incidents that lead to adverse effects. Studies suggest that as many as 400,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of errors or preventable harm. While not every case of harm results in death, they can cause a long-term impact on the patient’s physical health, emotional health, financial well-being, or family relationships. Preventable harm is expected to cost the U.S. and European healthcare systems $383.7 billion. The bulk of these costs are directly associated with additional medical expenses, followed by increased mortality rates and loss of productivity. When indirect costs are accounted for, the estimated economic impact skyrockets to nearly a trillion dollars annually.

The average cost of preventable harm is approximately $58,776 per injury. Medicare and other

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Politics Affect Interpretation of COVID Science, Prolong Pandemic

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

The response to COVID-19 is still a political issue and the resulting division between political parties within the United States has persisted and is still having an adverse effect on the pandemic. The division began almost as soon as the presence of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in this country.

Much of this division was the result of some politicians downplaying the pandemic for political reasons by giving false information: it doesn’t look good to voters to have a major pandemic during your term in office. Another contributor is the fact that politicians and scientists don’t speak the same language when it comes to science. While this is true of most people and scientists, politicians have had an undue influence on public opinion when it comes to the ongoing pandemic and the interpretation of science.

Although there is some overlap, the major issues dividing Republicans and Democrats are:

Recognizing that

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COVID-19: Omicron Variant and Beyond

This article originally appeared on BeMedWise. An up-to-date version can be found here.

Omicron BA.1 has had a major impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the multiple differences from the Delta variant, the Omicron variant has prolonged and intensified the pandemic, made COVID more difficult to treat, and reduced the effectiveness of currently available coronavirus vaccines and infections from previous variants to prevent further spreading and disease. A new Omicron variant, BA.2, has now entered the picture, although its impact on the epidemic is as yet unknown. The good news is that both Omicron variants are generally milder illnesses.

Omicron BA.1

Omicron BA.1 has three major differences from previous strains of COVID that have impacted the pandemic the most.

1. Omicron reproduces more quickly in the cells of the upper respiratory tract and is more contagious, meaning

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Get a Flu Shot for National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week in the United States. Established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005, this week highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holidays and beyond. Vaccines against the flu are the best defense against the virus and developing flu-related complications.

We have previously explored how vaccines work. The influenza vaccine contains elements of killed or inactivated viruses. The dead virus still contains the antigens they had when active, and a person’s immune response is similar to the immune response from an infection. Despite misconceptions, the flu shot can not cause the flu. Due to the quickly-evolving nature of influenza, annual flu shots are often necessary to protect against the circulating variants. No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infection but vaccines do reduce disease severity, slow transmission, and protect vulnerable people.

We’ve covered the similarities

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.