Health

Clashing cultural cues – rather than discriminatory doctors – could cause at least part of the medical care gap between black and white Americans, according to a recent study of patient adherence by Jonathan D. Ketcham, a professor of health management and policy at the W. P. Carey School of Business, and Karen E. Lutfey of the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts. Ketcham said that his results indicated "no evidence of a negative stereotype against black patients. In fact, it seemed to be only about communication - the physicians and patients disagreed about how adherent they were."

American consumers pay top dollar for medications they assume are pure and unadulturated. But we don't always get what we pay for, according to researchers who are sounding the alarm about the growing presence of counterfeit drugs in the marketplace. A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration recently reported that the global pharmaceutical market is "under unprecedented attack from a variety of sophisticated threats." Experts at the W. P. Carey School of Business concur, and they say intensive R&D efforts are under way to develop new methods of improving the security of the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

Thirteen years after then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's 1,000-page universal health-care plan met with derision, an increasing number of public policymakers are coming full circle, advocating mandatory enrollment for everyone and coverage regardless of age, income and pre-existing medical problems. Evidence of the apparent attitude adjustment is obvious in state legislatures, where proposed laws such as Massachusetts' Health Care Trust, which would establish a universal, single-payer health plan for all Massachusetts residents, are being debated. Legislators' willingness to embrace single-payer salvation reflects less a change of heart than a key realization: Statistics indicate universal health care is cheaper, in the long run, than the status quo. Arizona health policy experts gathered to discuss these issues at a "Faces of the Uninsured" conference recently in Phoenix.

Arizona's health information technology (HIT) industry and health-care delivery system are on the brink of radical transformation as Arizona Health-e Connection prepares to publish its proposal offering a "road map" for development and implementation of a statewide, unified HIT network. "What the road map does is clearly position us front and center to take a leadership position — to become sort of a model for other states," said panel moderator Ajay Vinze, director of the W. P. Carey School's Center for the Advancement of Business through Information Technology (CABIT).

When Thomas Donohue scans the American health-care landscape, he sees an opportunity. Despite the critics, regardless of the estimated 45 million in the nation without health-care coverage, no matter the annual double-digit cost increases, Donohue believes that — with hard work and some common business sense — a broad-based coalition can put health care on the path to positive change. We should no longer spend time worrying about what government is going to do about health care, says Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a recent address before the Transforming American Healthcare National Symposium sponsored by the W. P. Carey School of Business. "It is time for us to decide that there are lots of things we can do as institutions, as businesses, as universities, as communities, that will improve the system."