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The release of a major new CDC report on states' tobacco control programs, the first since 2006, is a great news peg for taking a look at what's happening with stop-smoking efforts in your state and community. The CDC report gives state-by-state breakdowns of smoking rates by age and other demographics and provides a snapshot of current state regulations on smoking.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

If relative risk is the guy that drug companies always want to have at the party, absolute risk is the guy who never gets invited, the total buzz kill, the guy who showed up with someone’s cousin once in a bad outfit and ended up mumbling to himself in the corner about how everything would be better if people just listened to him.

William Heisel's picture

I’d like to believe that dangling financial incentives in front of medical groups and doctors shouldn’t influence the quality of my health care for better or worse.

But they apparently do exactly that, according to some intriguing new research on how financial incentives influenced health screenings and treatment for millions of patients at Kaiser Permanente, the giant HMO based in California.  

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

The news was good -- and not so good -- in today's just-released report from the Public Policy Institute of California on the health of California's foster care system. The report, Foster Care in California: Achievements and Challenges, was authored by Caroline Danielson, PPIC research fellow and Helen Lee, PPIC associate director of research.

Some key findings include:

One would think the Dr. Earl Bradley horror show could not get worse.

The Delaware pediatrician was indicted in February on charges he brutally molested more than 100 children in a toy-filled basement.

Then Chris Barrish at the Delaware News Journal showed how even a story this bad could get uglier:

William Heisel's picture

I'm a physician.  As such, the information I work with has immediate consequences.  I have to get it right every time.  Of course, no one can really get it right every time, but if you want to report health information, you have to try very, very hard.  According to a Pew survey released last fall, over 60% of Americans seek out and act on health information online.  When you put a story out there, people are going to read it and act on it, so you are, in essence, giving health advice without the benefit of a license to practice medicine.

PalMD's picture

If you have ever suffered from serious, ongoing pain (RSI, anyone?) you know the desire to take something, anything, to make it go away. What if you were told that you may have a risk as high as 2% of developing heart problems as a result of the painkiller? Would that stop you? And what if you were told that your risk without the drugs was 1%? Would that make you any more likely to start taking the pills?

William Heisel's picture

The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program released a report today on "The State of Metro America," which focuses on the demographics of cities and suburbs.

Poynter Institute's News University, a site filled with great education resources for journalists of all experience levels, introduced the report in a webinar of the same name last week. You need to enroll in the class to access the content, which has a promotional price of $4.95.

Angilee Shah's picture

Until the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the recall of Vioxx seemed to be the biggest corporate disaster of the new millennium.

William Heisel's picture

As I prepare to participate in the Advisory Board meeting for Reporting On Health, I realize it has been a while since I last posted in here. I thought I'd share a recent presentation I did at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, along with two other professionals in the field, focused on social networking tools for health: Social networking tools for Health

askmanny's picture



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