Hospitals must post care prices online

By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

Medicare will require hospitals to post their standard prices online and make electronic medical records more readily available to patients. The program is also starting a comprehensive review of how it will pay for costly new forms of immunotherapy to battle cancer. Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the new requirement for online prices... READ MORE

Pros and cons of do-it-yourself gene test

By: Dr. Howard LeWine

Q: I am considering ordering a genetic test to see if I am at risk for cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. What are the pros and cons? A: That’s a question many people are asking now that the FDA has given the green light to third-party direct-to-consumer (DTC) test kits that look for genetic risk information. A DTC test is a sort of do-it-yourself genetic fact finder. The tests, which ... READ MORE

Can too much gambling make you ill?

By: Howard J. Shaffer

This might come as a surprise, but it’s true. You can become addicted to gambling just like you can become addicted to alcohol or other drugs. For most gamblers, betting on the outcome of a sporting event, lottery drawing, casino table game, or any event with an outcome determined by chance represents an entertaining recreational activity. However, for some, gambling can become an... READ MORE

Fitness programs for everyone

By: Barbara Ruben

Stuart Engle raises his fists, encased in bright red boxing gloves, and slugs a punching bag. Once, twice, a third time, then rocks back on his heels. His sweat-soaked T-shirt reads “Never underestimate an old man with boxing gloves.” But here in this gym in Gaithersburg, Md., he and the 15 others present aren’t fighting each other. Rather, they say, they are fighting Parkinson’s ... READ MORE

A touching new profession

By: Robert Friedman

Annie Hopson of Ellicott City worked as a certified massage therapist for over 20 years. But she noticed that some clients seemed to yearn for something more. “In my massage practice, I encountered people who were touch hungry,” she said. “They would have been better served by being held rather than kneaded” — but in a platonic way. And then Hopson discovered the growing... READ MORE

Daily multivitamins not usually necessary

By: Meghan Gill

Q: Should I take a daily multivitamin? A: This may come as a surprise, but for healthy adults, the use of a daily multivitamin is generally not recommended. Research has not been able to show that taking multivitamins in supplement form can prevent illness. Vitamins are important, but the best sources of them are the foods we eat. The federal 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans ... READ MORE