April 4 - 8, 2011

Company drops cost of drug to prevent preemie births after FDA says cheap version can be made
The Associated Press
...“They had to respond, they had to bring the price down, because people were so outraged,” said Dr. Kathryn Menard, a University of North Carolina specialist who oversees a state program that has been providing the cheap version of the drug to women at risk for preterm births. She added that $690 is still pricey, and many obstetricians may prescribe the compounded version.

'Devastating' genetic disorder strikes Elmwood Park brothers
The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.)
...The Leiders' sons, Jason and Justin, were diagnosed with one of the world's most uncommon genetic diseases, Hunter syndrome, a condition that literally batters children's bodies, leaving them with swollen internal organs, bloated faces and possible dementia before they are old enough to drive a car. ..."The word is devastating," said Dr. Joseph Muenzer, one of world's foremost experts on Hunter syndrome who examined Jason and Justin last month at his clinic at the University of North Carolina Medical School. "It's like being hit over the head with a hammer."

What Matters to You: TEACCH helps families deal with autism
WNCT-TV (CBS/Greenville)
...That's why for more than 40 years now the TEACCH program has been helping parents and children who are dealing with this first hand.  TEACCH is a division of UNC Chapel Hill and has been part of the state system for several decades now providing support for families free of charge. It's one of the few, if any, programs in Eastern North Carolina that has been there for these families supporting them every step of the way.

Delay hikes cost of Hillsborough hospital
The Chapel Hill Herald
Construction on the first phase of a Hillsborough satellite hospital will begin in a little more than two weeks. But UNC Health Care officials say delays caused by a challenge from a competing hospital likely will drive costs of the $182 million project up by millions more dollars and cause other planned projects to be put on hold. "Total project cost was about $182 million, so it's maybe looking like $192 million now," said Raymond R. Lafrenaye, vice president for facilities planning and development for UNC Hospitals.

Questions Abound As Washington Awaits Ryan Plan for Medicare
All Headline News (Wire Service)
...Jonathan Oberlander, professor of social medicine at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, said FEHBP generally has had trouble controlling health costs over the past decade. But in 2011, its rates for the enrollee share of premiums increased by an average of 7.2 percent. That figure is below last year's 8.8 percent increase and lower than rate hikes predicted this year for large, employer-sponsored health programs by major benefit consultants.

Study: Binge drinking damages teen brains
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
A new study on the effects of heavy alcohol use on teenage brains shows that binge drinking among teens can lead to lower intelligence and impulsive behavior, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Researchers used laboratory mice to simulate the teenage brain. They found that brains that are still growing are more open to damage from heavy alcohol drinking than adult brains.
Related Links:

Rex settles with U.S. over Medicare
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Rex is the second North Carolina hospital to settle with the Justice Department over Medicare payments for the spinal surgery. Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital in Charlotte settled for $637,872 last year. UNC Health Care Systems, which has owned Rex since 2000, audited its records and could not find similar issues at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Patients there who had kyphoplasty had complications that qualified them for inpatient treatment, spokeswoman Karen McCall said.

After Diagnosis, Renowned Pianist Teamed Up with Arthritis Foundation
ABC News Radio
..."Psoriatic arthritis is a very variable disease," said Dr. Nortin Hadler, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "It tends to involve just a few joints and can wax and wane over time. Hence, the fashion in which it interferes with function is very individualized." "For many patients, most of the time, modifying their activities serves them well," said Hadler. "For some with more joints involved with greater intensity, psoriatic arthritis can be a major challenge."

Ryan’s Plans For Medicare And Medicaid
NPR - OnPoint with Tom Ashbrook
A new Republican budget plan would mean revolutionary changes for Medicare and Medicaid — for the old and poor and the country’s finances. Jonathan Oberlander joins the show as a guest and expert.

Nurse has second career as a cabaret singer
The Daily Tar Heel
Ellen Ciompi knows the ins and outs of a hospital operating room. She also knows the words to roughly 1,000 songs. A registered surgical nurse for UNC Hospitals with a master’s degree in music, Ciompi also performs as a cabaret artist, singing everything from Duke Ellington to Lady Gaga.

Scientists Link Protein to the Insulation of the Nervous Systems Wiring
Science Magazine
"These in vitro studies have been absolutely important for understanding how things work on a molecular level," said lead study author Jason M. Newbern, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate at the UNC School of Medicine.

Experts warn against high intake of caffeine
The Daily Tar Heel
“Students who drink caffeine stay awake longer. They stay up late, go out and party and have many drinks,” said Eric Wright, resident in the emergency department of UNC Hospitals. “The combination of this can cause seizures.”

Share This: