Saturday, July 20
Serious Medical Errors Rose After Private Equity Firms Bought Hospitals
Health

Serious Medical Errors Rose After Private Equity Firms Bought Hospitals

The rate of serious medical complications increased in hospitals after they were purchased by private equity investment firms, according to a major study of the effects of such acquisitions on patient care in recent years.The study, published in JAMA on Tuesday, found that, in the three years after a private equity fund bought a hospital, adverse events including surgical infections and bed sores rose by 25 percent among Medicare patients when compared with similar hospitals that were not bought by such investors. The researchers reported a nearly 38 percent increase in central line infections, a dangerous kind of infection that medical authorities say should never happen, and a 27 percent increase in falls by patients while staying in the hospital.“We were not surprised there was a signal...
Who Runs the Best U.S. Schools? It May Be the Defense Department.
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Who Runs the Best U.S. Schools? It May Be the Defense Department.

Amy Dilmar, a middle-school principal in Georgia, is well aware of the many crises threatening American education. The lost learning that piled up during the coronavirus pandemic. The gaping inequalities by race and family income that have only gotten worse. A widening achievement gap between the highest- and lowest-performing students.But she sees little of that at her school in Fort Moore, Ga.The students who solve algebra equations and hone essays at Faith Middle School attend one of the highest-performing school systems in the country.It is run not by a local school board or charter network, but by the Defense Department.With about 66,000 students — more than the public school enrollment in Boston or Seattle — the Pentagon’s schools for children of military members and civilian employe...
Monica Bertagnolli, NIH’s New Leader, Wants to Broaden Participation in Medical Research
Health

Monica Bertagnolli, NIH’s New Leader, Wants to Broaden Participation in Medical Research

When Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli moved into the director’s suite at the National Institutes of Health, she brought with her a single piece of art, a lithograph created by the granddaughter of a cancer patient she once treated. It depicts an abstract geometric female figure and the organs she lost to cancer. Its title: “We Are Not What You Have Taken: A Response to Cancer.”The image speaks to Dr. Bertagnolli, a cancer surgeon who previously led the National Cancer Institute and is a breast-cancer survivor herself.After being nominated by President Biden in the spring and winning Senate confirmation last month, she became the 17th director of the N.I.H., which has a budget of more than $47 billion and occupies a sprawling campus in Bethesda, Md. She is only the second woman to lead the biomedi...
Israel-Hamas War News: Live Updates
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Israel-Hamas War News: Live Updates

At night, amid heavy rains and dropping temperatures, Heba and Ehab Ahmad held their two youngest children tightly, relying on their body heat and a thin blanket to keep them warm as water and gusts of wind blew through the holes in their makeshift tent.“We have nothing to keep us warm and dry,” said Ms. Ahmad, 36. “We are living in conditions that I could have never in my entire life imagined were possible.”The Ahmad family is among the 1.9 million Gazans who the United Nations says have been displaced since Israel began its relentless bombing campaign and expanded ground operation in retaliation for the Oct. 7, Hamas-led attacks on Israel.They came to Gaza’s southern Al-Mawasi neighborhood three weeks ago, just as winter crept in. The family of seven took shelter in a small, flimsy tent ...
This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging
Health

This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging

This month, as the patient lay anesthetized on a table, a cardiologist made a half-inch incision through the skin of his chest. She removed a small implanted heart monitor with failing batteries and inserted a new one.The patient, like many older males, had been diagnosed with cardiac disease; the monitor would provide continuing data on heart rate and rhythm, alerting his doctors to irregularities.Closing the incision required four neat stitches. In a few hours, the patient, a gorilla named Winston, would rejoin his family in their habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.“Winston, at 51, is a very old male gorilla,” said Dr. Matt Kinney, a senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance who led the medical team through the procedure. With improved health care, new technology a...
At What Point Should College Athletes Be Considered Employees?
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At What Point Should College Athletes Be Considered Employees?

Brandon Outlaw sat on a witness stand for two days this week and described what it was like to play football at the University of Southern California.His fingerprints were scanned when he arrived for meals at the athletes’ dining hall to make sure he was there. He received text messages from anonymous class checkers, who on occasion asked him to send photos to verify he was indeed in class. He regularly urinated into a cup before practice and handed it to a member of the training staff, who would inform him if he was properly hydrated.After Outlaw conducted an interview with a student journalist, a coach reminded him that he had violated team policy by not clearing the interview with a school official.Outlaw, who graduated in December 2022 with a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and inn...
Bristol Myers to Acquire the Drugmaker Karuna for $14 Billion
Health

Bristol Myers to Acquire the Drugmaker Karuna for $14 Billion

Bristol Myers Squibb, the global pharmaceutical giant, said on Friday that it would acquire Karuna Therapeutics, which makes drugs to treat schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, in an all-cash deal valued at $14 billion as it looks to strengthen its pipeline of neuroscience drugs.Bristol Myers said in a statement that it would pay $330 per share in cash, a premium of roughly 53 percent to Karuna’s share price on Thursday.An increasing prevalence of schizophrenia, driven in part by an aging population, has led to a push to make more drugs to treat it. The market for such therapies is estimated to grow to $12.6 billion by 2032, according to the research firm Market.Us. Earlier this month, the biomedical company AbbVie bought Cerevel Therapeutics, which develops drugs to treat psychiatric and neurol...
Americans Are Signing Up for Obamacare in Record Numbers
Health

Americans Are Signing Up for Obamacare in Record Numbers

Why It Matters: The Affordable Care Act is expanding its reach.Despite a recent warning from former President Donald J. Trump, the front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, that he was “seriously looking at alternatives” to the Affordable Care Act, the latest surge in marketplace enrollment is a testament to the law’s enduring power.Legislation passed earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic increased federal subsidies for people buying plans, lowering the costs for many Americans. The Biden administration also lengthened the sign-up period and increased advertising for the program and funding for so-called navigators who help people enroll.“More and more people are realizing they can come onto the marketplace,” said Cynthia Cox, the director of the Program on the A...
Friday Briefing – The New York Times
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Friday Briefing – The New York Times

A mass shooting at a college in PragueA 24-year-old student at Charles University in Prague killed 14 people and wounded more than 20 others at the school, some critically, in a rare shooting spree yesterday in the Czech Republic. The gunman later fell from the roof of a building. The police said they believed he had first killed his father in their family home.The gunman was partly identified by the police as David K. The chief of the national police force said the assailant had been inspired by a “similar terrible event abroad,” but did not specify which. The authorities did not believe the shooting was an act of terrorism.The authorities were investigating whether chilling Russian-language messages posted under the name David Kozak were connected to the gunman. These posts praised recen...
How Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Surgery Became a Big Business
Health

How Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Surgery Became a Big Business

Later in 2020, Ms. Lavelle also complained to the board, describing how she had been traumatized by her daughter’s tongue-tie release.The lactation board, which reports its disciplinary decisions, has not taken action against Ms. Henstrom. A spokeswoman for the board, Susan Brayshaw, declined to comment on the complaints, citing a policy of confidentiality. “Some complaints take significantly longer than others due to the nature of the allegations and related investigations,” she said.Since 2002, the board has revoked the certifications of only three lactation consultants.Ms. Lavelle also filed a complaint against Dr. Zink with the Idaho board of dentistry. The board collected medical records and statements from Ms. Lavelle and Dr. Zink. Dr. Zink told the board that June’s procedure was “u...