Posts Tagged: therapy

Opinion

Step therapy: Harmful delays and the patient may suffer

Hospital medical staff checking a patient's records. (Photo: Stokkete, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: It’s never a good idea when insurers cut costs by interfering in the decision-making process between patients and their doctor. But during a national pandemic, it’s a particularly bad idea. I am thinking specifically of an insurance strategy called step therapy.

News

Community college students see need for mental health therapy

Students attending a lecture. (Photo: sirtravelalot, via Shutterstock)

Stressed by classes, grades, jobs, personal issues and COVID-19, some California community college students are turning to mental health counseling. But the service is scarce and demand is high. One major study found that community college students reported higher rates of academic impairment due to mental health struggles than students attending than students at the University of California or  California State University. 

News

Ballot targeted for $5.5 billion stem cell initiative

Stem cell research using what's known as a PCR strip. (Image: Science Photo via Shutterstock)

Backers of a California ballot initiative to provide $5.5 billion more for the state’s cash-strapped stem cell agency say they will take their first official step by the end of this month.That’s when they will submit the proposed measure to California election officials and trigger a many-months-long process. The effort is aimed at ensuring that the nearly 15-year-old research effort survives in a meaningful way beyond next year.

News

Stem cell agency: $16 million-plus in grants

A stem cell researcher at work. (Photo: 18percentgrey, via Shutterstock)

The California stem cell agency handed out $16.4 million in research grants seeking therapies for afflictions ranging from gum disease and cancer to vision loss and Parkinson’s Disease. The award for Parkinson’s was relatively tiny — only $150,000 — but represented a rare case in which the agency’s governing board overturned its reviewers, who make the de facto decisions on awards

News

Stem cell agency founder eyes $5 billion in state funding

A human DNA complex. ((Illustration, Shutterstock)

The man often called the father of the California stem cell agency has all but said he is set to launch an effort to pump an additional $5 billion in state funding into the research effort, which is scheduled to run out of cash in about three years.

Opinion

How much will my Medicare cost in 2017?

A health care professional tallies the cost of a patient's care. (Photo: Monika Wisniewska)

Not long ago, I had dinner with a group of friends from college. One of the big topics of conversation was Medicare, for which we’ll all be eligible in the next several years. (Farewell, callow youth!) And one of the biggest questions about Medicare was, “How much is it going to cost me?” Like private health insurance, Medicare has premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. These costs can – and often do – change from year to year. What you actually pay depends on your work history, income, and inflation.

News

Emotions soar at stem cell board meeting

Throat cancer patient Karl Trede, who was treated with the "eat me" protein therapy. (Photo: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

In an emotion-choked session, the mother of a six-year-old girl thanked California’s stem cell agency for saving the life of her daughter. “Thank you for keeping my family complete,” said Alysia Padilla-Vaccaro, her voice cracking as she spoke to the governing board of the $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known.

News

Stem cell agency okays $15 million for new research

A research scientist on the job in a laboratory. (Photo: Anyaivanova, via Shutterstock

After a hiccup last month, the California stem cell agency this week coughed up $15 million for a quartet of researchers looking into Alzheimer’s disease, cartilage repair, arthritis and sickle cell disease, but not before lopping off a big chunk of one proposal.

News

Stem cell: A look at Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Examining a liquid nitrogen bank containing suspended stem cells. (Photo: Elena Pavolvich)

You might say it is a case of “self-control” involving the test of a stem cell therapy for an infamous and terrible disease. Not self-control in the usual sense, but in the sense of controls during a clinical trial for a treatment prior to its release to the general public.

Opinion

Mental illness: Treating patients as individuals

Close to 1.2 million adults in California live with serious mental illnesses. Each one of these cases is an individual—a parent or sibling or child—and no two people battling the same condition respond to the same treatment alike. Treating mental conditions—and in fact, treating all illnesses—has to be based on the fact that every person is unique and each patient requires therapies that suit him or her best.

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