Business of Health Care

Friday 4:32pm & 6:32pm

Every week, Business of Health Care segments update us on beneficial new services, innovative procedures and technologies, and also helps us navigate of the maze of regulations, terminology and codes that can make the health care system seem intimidating.

Business of Health care is hosted by Glenn Robinson, president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest in Waco.

Business of Health Care is a production of KWBU and Baylor Scott & White Health.

The belief that a pregnant woman is responsible for the well-being of her fetus is easy to understand. After all, a fetus is literally connected to its mother.

Many factors such as a mother’s physical and mental health, exposure to toxins, and whether she is well-nourished have long been recognized as determinants of newborn fitness. Yet the paternal role in producing a healthy baby is rarely considered. That’s unfortunate, because emerging science indicates that fathers play a more significant role in pregnancy outcomes than previously thought.

It’s hard to discuss the future of health and healthcare in America without talking about obesity.


Flip on the news, and whatever is being reported is likely not a positive, uplifting, or inspiring story. There is no question there is plenty of bad news out, but in the arena of global health – all things considered –there’s much good news to report.

 

A lot of progress has been made in recent years.

To start with, global life expectancy has never been longer. According to data from the United Nations, someone born in 2017 can expect to live to be more than 72 years old. It’s even higher in developed nations like the United States.

Roughly one in 10 news websites analyzed by NewsGuard, a project launched by two respected longtime journalists, feature misinformation about health.

 

NewsGuard analyzed nearly 3,000 websites that account for 96 percent of online engagement among Americans, and found that 11 percent provided news with health misinformation. For instance, references to the debunked link between vaccines and autism.

NewsGuard has a system of rating sites based on reliability. Of the sites considered somewhat unreliable, nearly 40 percent publish false or unfounded health claims.

Good news: A recent analysis of cholesterol levels in children and teens showed improvement. The bad news? Only half of kids had readings considered ideal. Overall, 7 percent of kids had high cholesterol from 2009 to 2016, down from 10 percent a decade earlier. In children, a high cholesterol level means a reading of 200 or above, while an ideal measure is below 170.


Whether its NFL players wearing pink cleats in October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month or men going the month of November without shaving to raise awareness around men’s health issues, it seems like every month has some sort of health observance – official or unofficial – associated with it.


Genetic tests sold directly to consumers have been growing in popularity. And I’m not just referring to the tests that show your ethnic ancestry, but also those that claim to identify genetic-based health risks. Experts warn that these tests should not be used to inform health decisions without further scrutiny, as the results of these tests can easily be misinterpreted or unreliable.


A common myth about aging is that older adults are burdened by illness and feel lousy much of the time. In fact, the opposite is usually true. Most seniors report feeling distinctly positive about their health. When asked in a federal survey to rate their overall health, 82% of adults ages 65 to 74 described it as excellent, very good or good. By contrast, only 18% described their health as fair or poor. For many, good health means more than the lack of illness or disability.


We hear plenty about healthcare. But what about self-care? Even if you have heard of self-care do you really know what it means? In short, self-care is about taking the time to show yourself some love and take care of your needs and wellbeing. 


Since 2010, there have been an estimated 9.3 to 49 million cases of the flu each year in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exactly how many cases there are annually largely depends on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.


The so-called placebo effect has long triggered interest in the medical community. A placebo is a substance or therapy that has no medical benefit but the patient receiving it thinks that it does. The placebo effect occurs when the patient receiving this fake treatment experiences a beneficial response that is real.


Many women – and couples for that matter – have experienced the heartache that comes with difficulty getting pregnant. An inability to become pregnant may be due to many factors. However, among the most common, is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.


Are you planning to have surgery? Did you know your success may depend equally on your surgeon's skill and your dedication to preparation and recovery? A few smart steps a few weeks before a major elective surgery can make a huge difference. 


There are many proven diets out there, and many diet fads that come and go. One of the most talked about - and many would say controversial - diet trends right now is the ketogenic diet, or keto. 

We often worry about how much time our kids spend in front of a screen, and particularly the link between screen time and childhood obesity. But too much screen time isn't just a problem for kids. 


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