What we're reading, August 11, 2016: hospitals are throwing out less-than-perfect organs and refusing transplants; why an increasing reliance on hospitalists is bad for comprehensive care; and removing the roadbloack to marijuana research.
Thousands of patients are losing the chance at potentially lifesaving transplants as hospitals throw out less-than-perfect organs. According to STAT, the fear that a poor surgical outcome from a transplant could result in a federal crackdown has led to the waste. Federal transplant standards are tied to federal hospital ratings and Medicare funding. Research has found an uptick in the number of people dropped from waiting lists since the standards were set in 2007.
In an article in New England Journal of Medicine, Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD, outlines why an increasing reliance on hospitalists is bad for comprehensive care. While the hospitalist model has led to reductions in length of stay, cost of hospitalization and readmission rates, it increases the number of physicians caring for a patient and diminishes the relationship between the patient and the physician. The model also leads to gaps that cause a failure to follow up on test results and treatment recommendations.
A new policy from the Obama administration would remove the roadblock to marijuana research. Currently, only one university has the authorization to grow marijuana for use in medical studies, but other universities could soon be allowed to grow the drug, reported The New York Times. So far, 25 states have approved the medical use of marijuana even though the research to back up treatments is thin.