What We're Reading: Surprise Ambulance Bills; Brexit's Health Impact; Antibiotic Resistance Threat

Patients might be able to avoid or better manage surprise ambulance bills; Brexit causes providers to leave London and prevents others from entering Britain at all; new research provides insight on antibiotic resistance.

Avoiding a Surprise Ambulance Bill

An ambulance trip can stick patients with surprising and expensive bills, such as more than $8000 for a ride from one hospital to another or $3600 for a 4-mile ride. The Washington Post recently reported that at least one-fourth of surprising medical bills were related to ambulance concerns. The paper is also providing a guide for how to handle a surprise ambulance bill, such as asking your insurer to cover more of the cost or getting a discount on a payment plan through the ambulance service’s billing department.

Brexit Causes Providers to Leave London

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) had suffered from staffing shortages for years, but Brexit will make the situation more difficult. According to The New York Times, it will now be more difficult to recruit nurses from the continent, and those European Union (EU) citizens already living in Britain are uncertain about their future legal status. As a result, almost 10,000 European healthcare professionals quit the NHS in the year after Brexit, and the number of nurses from the EU registering to work in Britain is down almost 90%.

Spreading Antibiotic Resistance

Bacteria can gain antibiotic resistance genes even when there is no antibiotic present. New research has found that when 2 cells knock into one another they can transfer DNA, which helps to transfer the resistance to new cells, reported STAT. However, the researchers were able to reverse resistance for some of the plasmids studied. The spread of resistance was prevented in the remaining plasmids, providing a new hope for combatting the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.