The irony is most hospitals are “nonprofit,” a status that makes them tax exempt. Many (but not all) do enough charity work to justify tax benefits, yet it’s clear nonprofit hospitals are very profitable. They funnel much of the profits into cushy salaries, shiny equipment, new buildings, and, of course, lobbying. In 2018, hospitals and nursing homes spent over $100 million on lobbying activities. And they spent about $30 million on campaign contributions. Health industries have also been funneling hefty sums into dark money groups. But their political power isn’t just the result of lobbying or electioneering. Hospitals are often the biggest employers in states and cities across America.
A recent study by Yale School of Public Health economist Zack Cooper and colleagues takes a look at hospital politics and helps shed light on why American health care is so insanely expensive.
Cooper and his colleagues have spent years investigating whether this was true, filing Freedom of Information Act requests and crunching data. They’ve uncovered evidence that suggests it was true. They find that legislators who were on the fence and voted “yea” for the legislation were 700% more likely to see a large bump in Medicare payment rates to hospitals in their district. Between 2005 and 2010, Congress shelled out over $2 billion to 88 hospitals through the horse-trading Section 508 provision. It was a clear win for these hospitals, which spent the money on more equipment, buildings, services, and staff.
There may be no easy fix for the loneliness epidemic plaguing the nation, but helping people cope with hearing loss could be one key to tackling this complex problem. Hearing loss affects 1 of every 5 people and is strongly linked to loneliness: Every decibel drop in perception in people under 70 increases the odds of becoming severely lonely by 7%, one Dutch study showed.
As hearing declines, loneliness can intensify — and set off a cascade of detrimental health effects. Now considered as hazardous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, loneliness vastly raises the risks of depression, dementia and early death.
Yet the vast majority of people who suffer from hearing loss don’t know they have a problem — or don’t want to know. The changes happen gradually, and often earlier than expected.
That’s the kind of astonishing illumination you’ll find in The Trojan War Museum, Ayşe Papatya Bucak’s debut story collection. These are stories that reflect the author’s Turkish heritage and a curiosity about our human search for meaning as profound as it is lyrical. The stories are music. They beguile and illuminate with narratives about yearning and desire, circumstance and courage, resilience and discovery. Reading them, while the reading lasts, replaces seeing.
I found myself lingering as I read — Bucak’s prose has a sort of musical cadence to it; these are fables about enchantment, myth and actual history. Her subjects — schoolgirls stuck in the debris of a disaster, an art collector’s exotic oeuvre, a Trojan War Museum imagined and re-imagined by Zeus and his fellow deities, a widow’s chess match with her dead husband’s ghost — occupy a dreamscape of surprising encounters, art history, and Turkish culture. Each story is a vignette that has at its core a re-weaving of human relationships.
PBHWB of 40–42.5 °C was associated with both improved self-rated sleep quality and SE, and when scheduled 1–2 h before bedtime for little as 10 min significant shortening of SOL. These findings are consistent with the mechanism of PBHWB effects being the extent of core body temperature decline achieved by increased blood perfusion to the palms and soles that augments the distal-to-proximal skin temperature gradient to enhance body heat dissipation.
In their research review, Haghayegh and his colleagues examined results from 17 studies that met criteria for their analysis, i.e. studies that looked at using warm water exposures of various types to aid sleep onset and quality. Some involved body baths, some involved footbaths and one involved a shower. Thirteen of the studies had the full amount of data needed for a quantitative review.
Based on scientists’ review of these studies, a bath or shower of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit before bedtime that lasted for as little as 10 minutes was significantly associated with improved sleep quality, and increased the overall amount of time slept. In at least a couple of studies, taking a bath one or two hours before bedtime decreased the average amount of time it took the study participants to fall asleep — by about nine minutes.
In 2018 Kaiser Health News and NPR teamed up to create “Bill of the Month,” a crowdsourced investigative series in which we dissect and explain medical bills you send us. We have received nearly 2,000 submissions of outrageous and confusing medical bills from across the country.
Each month we select one bill to thoroughly investigate, often resulting in the bill being resolved soon after the story is published. But what about the large number of Americans who receive surprise medical bills that reporters can’t examine?