Medical roundup

  • More on effort to blame federal budget cuts for Ebola [Chris Edwards chart at Cato; Nick Gillespie, Reason; Michael Tanner, earlier] How Firestone, rare multinational firm with a large presence in Liberia, fought the disease [NPR] More: Heck of a job, Nicole: administration already has Ebola czar [Mollie Hemingway]
  • Train wreck postponed: “Administration Delays Home-Care Worker Minimum-Wage, Overtime Protections” [Kaiser Health News, earlier here, here, etc.; California will not delay]
  • “Should it be OK to fire employee for using medical marijuana?” [Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle/syndicated, and thanks for quote; Jacob Sullum on Colorado “any lawful activity” statute]
  • Venture capital interest dwindles in cardiac and orthopedic medical device sectors amid concerns over regulatory hassle, tax, reimbursement problems [WSJ (also Avalon), Arnold Kling]
  • Billing code for “repeat doctor visit after being sucked into jet engine” probably little-used [Lowering the Bar, and surprise sequel]
  • British ambulance workers’ strike will hit scheduled patient visits rather than emergencies, so that’s okay [BBC]
  • Does Takings Clause, in combination with unconstitutional-conditions doctrine, require feds to compensate hospitals for EMTALA emergency-treatment mandate? [Haavi Morreim, Regulation, PDF] EMTALA, disability discrimination, and claimed “dumping” of psychiatric patients [Alison Somin on Gail Heriot dissent]


  • Blaming Ebola on budget cuts is dumb, but not as dumb as blaming it on the NRA. I wish I were joking, but I’m not creative enough to make up something that dumb.

  • It’s a good thing people are figuring out how to 3d-print prosthetic hands, because pretty soon that’s the only way you’ll be able to get them!

  • I wonder if the CDC folks have ever heard of factorization? There’s no need to have codes that combine every event with every cause. Instead of separate codes for “doctor visit due to being sucked into jet engine”, “x-ray due to being sucked into jet engine”, “doctor visit due to being struck by lightning”, etc. you have a set of event coes “doctor visit”, “x-ray”, etc. and a set of cause codes “sucked into jet engine”, “struck by lightning” etc., which are combined as necessary. If the number of causes is about the same as the number of events, 140,000 codes can be replaced by about 750. If one uses more than two factors, the savings are even greater.