Will ‘concierge medicine’ hurt Medicare?

By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

Every year, thousands of people make a deal with their doctor: I’ll pay you a fixed annual fee, whether or not I need your services, and in return you’ll see me the day I call, remember who I am and what ails me, and give me your undivided attention.But this arrangement potentially poses a big threat to Medicare and to the new world of medical care envisioned under President... READ MORE

Studies explore possible cure for diabetes

By: Andy Coghlan

A pioneering hormone treatment may be the secret to an easy life for diabetics, consigning insulin shots and regular glucose monitoring to the medical history books.Most people associate diabetes with insulin, the pancreatic hormone that dictates how much glucose circulates in blood. Type 1 diabetics have to inject the hormone because they can’t make it themselves.Now, the spotlight... READ MORE

Ignore most health claims on food labels

By: Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDM

Q: When the label of a food or supplement says that it supports the immune system, does that mean it will help prevent cancer, or does it refer only to fighting off colds and flu? A: Here’s the confusing part for shoppers: It doesn’t necessarily mean the food or supplement will do either one.A food or supplement company might be able to make a “structure/function... READ MORE

Brewing up a healthier image for coffee

By: Laura Janecka

There’s something inexplicable about our relationship with coffee. It percolates through our day from the moment we wake, enlivening our senses and galvanizing us into action. It’s an affair that’s been going on for over 500 years, since the first cafes set up tables in the Middle East.And it’s now gathering steam as quality-obsessed kiosks add conviviality and... READ MORE

Brain ‘pacemakers’ to treat mental illness

By: Lauran Neergaard

Call them brain pacemakers — tiny implants that hold promise for fighting tough psychiatric diseases, if scientists can just figure out where to put them in all that gray matter.Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has proved a powerful way to block the tremors of Parkinson’s disease, working immediately to deliver relief.Blocking mental illness isn’t nearly as easy a task.... READ MORE

Is that test really necessary, doctor?

By: Marilynn Marchionne

Orthopedic CT scans, MRIs and other pricey imaging tests are often performed more for the doctor’s benefit than the patient’s, new research confirms.Roughly one-fifth of tests that bone and joint specialists order are because a doctor fears being sued, not because the patient needs them, a first-of-its-kind study in Pennsylvania suggests. The study comes on the heels of a push... READ MORE