Headlines: June 27, 2011

Tony Kikendall

The Obama administration has decided to hire a team of "mystery shoppers" to survey primary care physicians. These secret shoppers would pose as people seeking medical treatment and call physicians, saying that they either had private insurance or Medicaid and see the disparity in appointment time and availability. Primary care physicians have been in shortage in recent years, with many primary care physicians not accepting new patients, regardless of the source of their insurance. Many doctors are against this plan, but the Obama administration has tried to assuage their fears, telling them that the results will be kept secret. This plan is expected to cost $347,340.

In the last three decades, incidents of adult diabetes have doubled worldwide. During the same timeframe, United States case of adult diabetes have tripled. There are now 350 million cases of adult diabetes in the world. In 2007, $174 billion was spent in the United States was spent treating diabetes, and many estimate that diabetes will be one of the largest health care costs in the future.

E. coli killed another person in Germany, bringing the European total to 44, while Germany accounts for 43 of those deaths. Despite the deaths, the infection rate has been declining since late May.

The American Cancer Society announced that death rates from cancer are declining annually at a rate of 1.9% for men and 1.5% for women. Many reasons account for this drop, including the drop in smoking and a proliferation of new drugs.

Tony Kikendall is a rising second year law student at Boston University. Feel free to email him with any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns.