May 13 - 17, 2013

National Coverage

Bidet toilets not tied to pregnancy risks: study,0,91858.story
Pregnant women can be reassured that cleaning with a bidet after using the toilet will not throw off their vaginal bacteria balance or increase the risk their baby will be born early, a new study suggests. ... The new findings are "reassuring," according to Dr. John Thorp, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has studied prevention of premature birth.

Study questions if bed rest prevents prematurity
The Associated Press
New research is raising fresh concern that an age-old treatment for troubled pregnancies — bed rest — doesn't seem to prevent premature birth, and might even worsen that risk. ... In a separate review of past studies that failed to support bed rest, a trio of obstetricians and ethicists at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, went a step farther: They said it's not ethical to keep prescribing bed rest unless the women are enrolled in a research study, like they are for other unproven treatments.

Could Formula Help Breastfeeding Moms?
The Huffington Post
... "I worry that the headlines from this study will translate into 'A Six Pack of Formula Back In Every Bassinet!'" said Dr. Alison Stuebe, an assistant professor in maternal fetal medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who did not work on the research. Stuebe said the next step would be to replicate the findings, ideally using donor human milk, to see if they hold up.

State & Local Coverage

Variance in hospital charges underscores need for reform
Winston-Salem Journal
Jonathan Oberlander, professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gets today’s prize for the latest clear thought about the state of American health care.

Responding to data released by the Obama administration that shows wildly varying prices for the same procedures in hospitals in the United States, Oberlander said, “It’s another indication that we have a non-system of health care. It’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It just doesn’t make sense.”

UNC program teaching kids with hearing loss to speak
News 14 Carolina
May is Better Hearing Month, and right now a UNC Health Care program called CASTLE is making strides with kids who are deaf or diagnosed with hearing loss. The specialized therapy is giving hope to parents who never thought their child would be able to talk.

DHHS leader Wos should listen before changing Medicaid (Editorial)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Unfortunately, McCrory’s representatives, Wos and Steckel, are apparently limited in what they can say. When, on Wednesday in Durham, a professor of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill said the decision not to expand Medicaid was “bad from a public health standpoint,” all Steckel would say was, “We hear your opinion about the Medicaid expansion. Let’s talk about how we can improve the existing Medicaid program.”

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