Dec. 12 - 16, 2011

Docs must say it straight: ‘Your kid is overweight’ (Editorial)
The Chicago Sun-Times
An astoundingly low percentage of parents with overweight children, even obese ones, recall their doctors mentioning a problem. Just 22 percent of parents, in fact, according to a new study led by Dr. Eliana Perrin of the University of North Carolina. Perrin mined a large government survey conducted between 1998 and 2008.

Changes in health care spark a feud between Rex, WakeMed
News & Observer
First article in a four part series published this week. WakeMed and Rex Hospitals, Wake County's largest health care providers, have been quarreling for over a year, with implications for nearly everyone in the region. In May, WakeMed issued an unsolicited bid to buy Rex from UNC Health Care. University leaders formally declined in August. But the fight is not over. The fate of Rex now rests with legislators, who could force the sale of Rex
Remaining three articles:

Blue Cross, UNC build chronic care clinic
The Chapel Hill Herald
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest health insurer, is sharing in the cost of opening a new clinic with UNC Health Care for up to 5,000 of the insurer’s customers with chronic conditions. The clinic, called Carolina Advanced Health, is meant to provide services for Blue Cross adult customers with illnesses such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression or asthma — in the hope of cutting health care costs.

Try alternative remedies if heartburn hits during holidays
USA Today
If you have GERD — a common condition that causes symptoms from acid indigestion to chest pain severe enough to be mistaken for heart attack — you've probably tried conventional treatments, such as over-the-counter or prescription acid-reducing medications. ...Obese GERD patients who cut back their carbohydrate intake to 20 grams a day or less had "a substantial decrease" in acidity and symptoms, reports gastroenterologist Nicholas J. Shaheen, whose team did studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Rex's records (Editorial)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The N&O's ongoing series "Hearts and Minds" provides what might be called, using clinical lingo, an intensive work up of the conflict between WakeMed and UNC Health Care as they compete for doctors and revenue. Patients, prospective patients and their families can only hope that however the dust finally settles, their interests will not become collateral damage.

How WakeMed's claims hold up
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
WakeMed has made several public complaints about UNC Health Care and its use of public money. An assessment of three: Claim: UNC Health Care is using public money to compete with private hospitals. This depends on the definition of public. UNC argues that it uses none of the payments it receives from the state or Medicaid subsidies to compete with private hospitals. Critics argue that because it's a state university, every dime it brings in through investments and operations should be considered public.

‘Cry Out in Pain’: Pregnant American Doctor Shocked by Labor in Sierra Leone
ABC News
Dr. Erin Carey, a second- year fellow in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, traveled to Sierra Leone with ABC News in November and spent two days at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital.  
Watch more of Dr. Carey’s story tonight, Friday, Dec. 16 on “20/20″ at 10 p.m. ET

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