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Defining Essential Health Insurance Benefits, This Week on Sound Medicine

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Essential health insurance benefits. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act last year, actuaries at insurance companies have been working out the coverage and benefit details. Sound Medicine’s health policy analyst, Aaron Carroll, M.D., will join Barbara Lewis to provide insight on this process. Dr. Carroll is an associate professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine and director of the IU’s Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research.

Radiation effects in Japan. It’s been more than three weeks since the Japanese nuclear power plant was damaged by earthquake and tsunami. The evacuation zone has been expanded, and there have been runs on bottled water in Tokyo. Barbara Lewis will speak with radiation expert Peter Johnstone, M.D., to discover what medical problems lay ahead for workers at the power plant and for the people who live nearby. Dr. Johnstone chairs the department of radiation oncology at the IU School of Medicine.

New sedation protocols in the ICU. Common practice in intensive care unit has been to keep patients  heavily sedated and often immobilized during the healing process. Now, the emphasis in the ICU is on lighter sedation and rousing the patient as soon as possible. Geriatrician Malaz Boustani, M.D., M.P.H., researches the effects of sedation. With Sound Medicine’s Steve Bogdewic, Ph.D., Dr. Boustani will explain the problems heavy sedation causes and the need for new ICU protocols. Dr. Boustani is an associate professor of medicine at the IU medical school and a researcher at the IU Center for Aging Research.

Psoriatic  arthritis. The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, opens this week. Expected to be among the top finishers is veteran Phil Mickelson, who plays with a different sort of handicap. Mickelson suffers from psoriatic arthritis, which can make it difficult to grip and control his clubs. To learn about this condition, Sound Medicine’s Kathy Miller, M.D., will speak with Cleveland Clinic arthritis specialist Elaine Husni, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Husni is vice chair of rheumatology and director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center at the Cleveland Clinic.

Also on this week’s show, nutritionist and essayist Alix Litwak will provide advice for “spring cleaning” our cupboards and refrigerators.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health, Indiana University Health Physicians, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Reports on Primary Health Care topics are sponsored by Wishard Health Services.

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