What We're Reading: Hospital Design; Addiction Treatment; and Medicaid Disagreements

Hospitals Could Be Better Designed

In an article for The New York Times, Druv Khullar, MD, wrote that hospitals are poorly designed for patients to rest and heal. Hospitals are incredibly expensive to build, but the close quarters, which increase the risk of infections, are not the only design flaw: surfaces could be easier to clean, sinks could be better positioned, and air filters could be of a higher quality. These 3 minor changes could reduce rates of hospital-acquired infections even further. There are additional issues, such as noise, lighting, and even the height of the toilets.

Addicts Continue Taking Opioids During Treatment

Many people undergoing treatment for opioid addiction relapse, and for a long time no one knew why. A new study has found that nearly half of people being treated for opioid addiction fill at least 1 opioid prescription, reported The Washington Post. In addition, people take buprenorphine to treat their opioid addiction for a far shorter time period than experts believe it will take to overcome substance abuse disorder. Physicians are mostly still unaware of what other physicians prescribe, so patients receiving medication-assisted treatment might get an opioid prescription from another doctor.

Medicaid Expansion Divides Republicans

Would a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also end Medicaid expansion, thus cutting funding to those states that have expanded the program? According to The Hill, Republicans are divided over how to handle Medicaid through the process of repealing the ACA. Some Republicans want a transition period, while others want to cut the strings quickly. There are 20 Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid, while 32 represent states that chose not to expand. Some Republican governors, such as John Kasich in Ohio, have been outspoken about keeping expansion.