Contact us



Choose your currency

Choose your preferred language

News and Promotions

Smokers need not apply at Tenn. health system

If you smoke and are looking for job at Memorial Health Care System, you might want to hold off on filling out an application. As of Feb. 1, the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based organization -- composed of two acute-care hospitals, home health services, an imaging center, satellite facilities and a physician practice management company -- stopped hiring those who use tobacco or other nicotine products if those substances were detected in the post-offer health screening. The health care system did not respond to requests for comment, but according to its Web site, the step was taken to "further our mission of building healthier communities" ( Memorial follows in the footsteps of the Cleveland Clinic, which stopped hiring smokers in July 2007. Thousands of other companies have similar rules. Such policies are not legal in all states. Institutions that want to follow suit should check local laws. Memorial's actions elicited mixed responses from ...

Hormone therapy showed no heart benefits for women

Postmenopausal women who took combination hormone therapy did not have a lower risk of coronary heart disease during the first two years of treatment, according to an article in the Feb. 16 Annals of Internal Medicine. When considering whether to prescribe estrogen plus progestin hormone therapy, study author Sengwee Darren Toh, ScD, suggests that physicians use the lowest dose that helps for the shortest duration possible. That approach is consistent with the Food and Drug Administration's recommendation. "Coronary heart disease is one of many outcomes [physicians] should consider when initiating hormone therapy," said Toh, an instructor in the Dept. of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, an affiliate of the school. Researchers analyzed the short-term effects of the combination treatment on coronary heart disease using data from 16,608 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 with an intact uterus at baseline. The women ...

Neurosurgeons may limit Medicare participation

Neurosurgeons say they are very concerned about the current Medicare payment system and fear that beneficiary access will be affected unless the rate formula is fixed. A national survey of about 680 neurosurgeons revealed that while most participate in Medicare, many have been or are considering limiting the scope of their involvement. Nearly 40% of neurosurgeons said that if payments continue to decline, they will see fewer new Medicare patients; 18% would not take any new patients. The survey results were released Feb. 10 by the American Assn. of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies. More than half of neurosurgeons say they will stop providing certain services, and nearly 53% will reduce the time they spend with Medicare patients, the survey found. "These results really do paint a bleak path we are going down," said Troy M. Tippett, MD, AANS president. "Many neurosurgeons in our survey indicated that if ...