In Seven States, Atheists Push to End Largely Forgotten Ban

Just as church and state should be separate, so should religion and medicine.

Pew also found that 53 percent of Americans polled in April said they would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate they knew was an atheist. Being an atheist was found to be the least desirable trait a candidate could have — worse than having cheated on a spouse or used marijuana.

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad offering free train rides for food bank holiday donations

“It’s important at this time of year that all of us tend to think about the needs of others,” said John Bush, President of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

‘Thank you and molotov’: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s incendiary Chanukah gaffe

But it does not compare to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as a diplomat, trying to speak Mandarin in public.

“Australia and China are enjoying simultaneous orgasms in their relationship,” Rudd told a large gathering of Chinese dignitaries.

Millennials Spare No Cost When It Comes to Health Coverage

Despite efforts to improve the health insurance exchanges, many consumers still experience trepidation shopping for their health insurance. In fact, 82 percent of Americans who recently shopped for health insurance say that it’s just as bad as or even worse than doing their own taxes, while 75 percent say it’s the same or worse than getting the middle seat on a crowded airplane. Even having a tooth filled is better than health plan shopping for some Americans, with 23 percent of those who recently shopped for a plan saying it was less enjoyable than facing the dentist’s drill and 45 percent saying it’s just as bad.

Having a tooth filled is better than shopping for healthcare?  Ummm… Methinks someone is exaggerating… There’s almost nothing worse than having to go to the dentist.  (Maybe, before I die, Americans will get dental coverage.)

Congress Blocks Feds From Targeting Medical Marijuana, Hemp Cultivation

If passed…

“This is a victory for so many, including scores of our wounded veterans, who have found marijuana to be an important medicine for some of the ailments they suffer, such as PTSD, epilepsy and MS,” Rohrabacher added.

They Know You Buy Viagra and They Want to Sell You More

Here’s how matchbacks work: Companies known as data brokers — IMS Health Holdings Inc. (IMS) is one of the biggest — have amassed hundreds of millions of prescription records, buying them from drug benefit managers such as Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) and CVS Health Corp.

“It involves tracking patients over time anonymously,” said Jody Fisher, director of U.S. product management for Danbury, Connecticut-based IMS, which has dossiers on more than 500 million patients worldwide.

The technique’s growing use is raising alarms that technological advances are undoing protections provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal medical privacy law, according to Bloomberg interviews with more than 60 industry executives, regulators and privacy advocates. Websites and data firms exist in a legal blind spot because HIPAA applies to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies and their contractors.

Matchbacks are part of a broader trend of pharmacies, hospitals and others riffling through Americans’ medicine cabinets. Hospitals are scouring credit-card records to learn about patients’ vices such as smoking and unhealthy eating, hedge funds are listening on health forums to glean pharmaceutical investment tips, and marketing companies are aggregating bits and pieces of information to assemble lists of people suffering from certain conditions.

Privacy Concerns Grow as Pharma Uses Data to Target Consumers

Moving From “Doc In A Box” To “Doc In A Tube “?

My comment:

Center for Telehealth at the University of New Mexico: Telehealth is clinical care, health-related education and training, and public health activities delivered at a distance, using telecommunications networks and information technologies such as video-conferencing. Particularly applicable to rural and other under-served communities, telehealth can not only increase access to care, there is mounting evidence that at the same time, it can improve health outcomes and reduce costs.
A telemedicine license is a limited license that allows a physician located outside New Mexico to practice medicine on patients located in New Mexico.

Click to access MDAppTeleMedicine.pdf

Doctors Cash In on Drug Tests for Seniors, and Medicare Pays the Bill

Pain specialists order costly tests for illegal drugs such as cocaine and angel dust, which few seniors ever use

Medicare’s spending on 22 high-tech tests for drugs of abuse hit $445 million in 2012, up 1,423% in five years… For dozens of pain doctors, Medicare payments for drug testing have eclipsed their income from treating patients, a Wall Street Journal analysis of 2012 billing data shows.

The HHS inspector general has pursued several cases involving drug testing recently. In one, Kentucky firm PremierTox 2.0 LLC settled a federal civil suit alleging that two doctors who were part owners of the lab referred specimens to it for testing that wasn’t medically justified. The lab and doctors agreed to pay $15.75 million.

Tx Adherence High Among Mentally Ill Vets on Methadone

Marijuana has been accused of triggering psychiatric illnesses, like schizophrenia.  And I say that being in the military is more likely to trigger schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than cannabis.

They found that according to the 2012 records, 510,722 veterans had bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or a major affective disorder…

I’m surprised that there are so many veterans suffering from psychiatric conditions.  Is PTSD a “major affective disorder”?

(From a medical student:) Why you should protest the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown

I’m so tired of white people calling black people “thugs”…

When you use the word “thugs,” it pretty much tells me you’re white. But further, it tells me that you don’t know what it’s like to be treated like a criminal for your entire life, even if you aren’t one.

White people have done the same things that a few of the Ferguson protesters did — only, white people riot because… sports