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3 posts from December 2012


Interview with Dr. Diana Zuckerman on the Dangers of Anti-psychotic Drug Overuse in Nursing Homes (December 21, 2012)

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Diana zDuring this 30 minute interview Dr. Zuckerman discusses the long-standing and widespread overuse or misuse of anti-psychotics in medicating nursing home residents.  She identifies some of the more commonly known and used anti-psychotics, why their inappropriate usage poses serious dangers and consequences for patients and how they are being over-prescribed despite FDA "black box" warning lablels.  She notes too the similar  misuse in medicating children.  She offers a sobering perspective regarding efforts by the Congress, CMS and the FDA to curb excessive use.   Finally she makes suggestions on how family members can protect their nursing home resident relatives from being administered anti-psychotic medications.

Since 1999 Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., has been the President of the National Research Center for Women and Families, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and advocacy organization promoting adult and child health and safety.  After academic careers at Yale and Harvard, Dr. Zuckerman worked for many years as a Senate, House and Department of Health and Human Services staffer and as well serving as a senior policy advisor for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Presently, Dr. Zuckerman is also a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics and serves on the board of directors for two nonprofit organizations: the Congressionally mandated Reagan-Udall Foundation; and, the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. 



Interview with John Rother on How to (Further) Achieve Affordable Health Care Delivery (Dec. 11, 2012)


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In preparation for further federal health care policy reform anticipated next year several plans are floating around Washington, D.C., all promising, among other things, to "bend the cost curve" or improve health care affordability.  In this 33 minute podcast Mr. Rother briefly defines National Coalition on Health Care's goals and how and why its health care affordability reform proposal, "Curbing Costs, Improving Care: The Path to an Affordable Health Care Future" was created.  He moreover discusses options in the plan beginning with several "game changers" identified in the report, i.e., reforms that pay for value or outcomes instead of services or volume, reforming how Medicare pays doctors, options for limiting the tax exclusion employers receive in providing employee health benefits, and taxing sugar-sweetened beverages.  He outlines reforming chronic disease care, improving medication adherence and lowering drug costs and reforming the private insurance markets via value based insurance designs.  More thematically he discusses market competition, active purchasing and transparency.  Finally, John describes what has been Congressional leadership's reception to the plan and chances next year for legislating any number of these affordability reforms.

John Rother is President and CEO of the NCHC, America's oldest and most diverse group working to achieve comprehensive health system change.  Prior to NCHC, Mr. Rother was for over 25 years the Executive Vice President for Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at the AARP (formerly the American Association for Retired Persons).   From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Rother was Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.  From 1977 to 1981 he served as Special Counsel for Labor and Health to Senator Jacob Javits.  Mr. Rother was graduated from Oberlin College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.



Interview with E. Diane Champé on Childhood Sexual Abuse, Its Adult Survivors and What Can Be Done to Prevent Abuse and Treat Survivors (Dec. 7, 2012)

E. Diane Champé

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In this 35 minute podcast Ms. E. Diane Champé discusses the prevalence of child abuse and her personal experience as a victim and a survivor.  She explains how and why the issue receives little attention, for example, responses she has received on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in attempting to draw attention to the subject and the inadequacies in abuse reporting and data collection, in federal research in the dissociative disorders and in ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act) accomodation for employees with mental health diagnoses.  Also too she discusses time limits, due to statutes of limitations, survivors face in suing their abusers in civil court. 

Ms. Champé's work on behalf of adult survivors includes hosting a survivors' website at www.edcinstitute.org and speaking publicly about the long-term effects of child abuse and neglect.  Ms. Champé is also a member of Maryland’s Victim Services Professional Network.  Her more recent work includes participation in a national trauma campaign for SAMHSA (a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and in the State Public Systems Coalition on Trauma.  She's presented before the US Congress, state and local officials and institutions of higher learning.  Ms. Champé recently established a 501(c)(3) social service agency, the E. Diane Champé Institute, which will provide safe havens for adult survivors of child abuse and neglect.  Her autobiography Conquering Incest: My Life as a Trauma Survivor was published in 2011.