Every single teacher on a crowd-funding site just got their wishes fulfilled

(CNN)When it comes to educating America’s children, how much of a difference could $29 million make? Could it send a second grader on a school trip to the museum, or provide updated equipment to a class of budding scientists?

Ripple, a cryptocurrency and international payment company, has donated $29 million in cryptocurrency to DonorsChoose.org, a donation platform that connects people to classroom needs across the country. With the money, Donors Choose was able to fulfill every single classroom project request on its site — 35,647 requests in all, from 28,210 teachers at 16,561 public schools.
“It’s fair to say there’s never been a day that this many classroom dreams have come true,” Donors Choose founder Charles Best told CNN.

    The Colbert bump

    The massive donation is the culmination, or grand finale, if you will, of the site’s #BestSchoolDay project. Two years ago, Stephen Colbert, who is a member of the Donors Choose board of directors, announced he was going to pay for every school project request in his home state of South Carolina.
    His act of kindness set off a movement that became known as #BestSchoolDay.
    “More than 50 actors, athletes and philanthropists were inspired to fund classrooms in their states,” Best told CNN. “Together, those 50-plus people gave more than $14 million, and to use, that represented the idea of a best school day.”
    Best says the response has been overwhelming — in a good way.
    “An outpouring of joy would not be an overstatement,” he said.

    The Ripple effect

    Best says when the organization connected with Ripple, the cryptocurrency management company was “inspired to think of the impact” of such a significant gift.
    “At Ripple, we care about giving back to our community and we collectively value the importance of quality education in developing the next generation of leaders,” Ripple’s SVP of Marketing Monica Long said in a statement.
    “DonorsChoose.org’s track record speaks for itself — they are highly effective at improving the quality of education and the experience of teachers and students across America. We’re proud to work with them to support classroom needs across the country.”
    According to Ripple’s company site, the donation will affect approximately 1 million public school students.
    Best says the “classroom projects” requested on the site represent specific missions or activities that teachers have for their students.
    “It’s a public schoolteacher requesting a classroom library. A field trip. A set of art supplies. A pair of microscopes. It’s about requesting experiences or tools to provide a student learning experience,” he said.
    “We believe in the wisdom of the front lines,” Best added. “Hardworking, passionate teachers know their students’ needs better than anyone else in the school environment. If we can tap into their needs, we can unleash smarter solutions and empower those people on the front lines.”

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/29/health/donors-choose-ripple-donation-stephen-colbert-trnd/index.html

    ‘I looked at it, and it was moving’: Worm in woman’s eye leads to unique discovery

    (CNN)Imagine looking into your irritated eye for a pesky eyelash, only to pull out a translucent, wiggling worm nearly a half inch long.

    “I looked at it, and it was moving,” recalled 28-year-old Abby Beckley of Grants Pass, Oregon. “And then it died within about five seconds.”
    Now, imagine doing that not once but 14 times.
      That’s what Beckley endured over a three-week period in August 2016. Her story, published Monday as a case report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a historic one:
      “This is only the 11th time a person has been infected by eye worms in North America, ” explained lead author Richard Bradbury, who is the team lead for the CDC’s Parasite Diagnostics and Biology Laboratory. “But what was really exciting it that it is a new species that has never infected people before. It’s a cattle worm that somehow jumped into a human.”

      A summer adventure

      Growing up on a ranch in Brookings, Oregon, surrounded by cattle and horses, Beckley loved the outdoors. She also had a burning desire to travel. So, in July 2016, she jumped at a chance to combine the two by working on a commercial salmon fishing boat in Craig, Alaska. It was only a couple of weeks into the job that the symptoms started.
      “My left eye just got really irritated and red, and my eyelid was droopy,” Beckley remembered. “I was getting migraines too, and I was like, ‘What is going on?’ “
      She’d been suffering for five days when the ship finally returned to port. Beckley found a good mirror and looked closely into her eye, never expecting what she would find.
      “I pulled down the bottom of my eye and noticed that my skin looked weird there,” Beckley said. “So I put my fingers in with a sort of a plucking motion, and a worm came out!
      “I was just in shock,” she said. “I ran into my crewmate Allison’s room, and I said, ‘I need you to see this! I just pulled a worm out of my eye!’ “
      Believing it to be a salmon worm, the women feverishly searched for similar cases on the internet but could find nothing. Visits to a local doctor and ophthalmologist also proved fruitless.
      “They said they had never seen anything like this,” Beckley said, adding that during that time, she pulled another four worms from her eye. “And then I could see them moving across my eye at that point, too. There were so many.”
      Worried family and friends encouraged her to return home and set up an appointment at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. She went directly there from the airport.
      “There were several doctors examining my eye, and at first, they were a bit skeptical, because who comes in and claims they have a worm in their eye?” Beckley remembered. “I am thinking to myself, ‘Worms, please show up,’ because sometimes they would go behind my eye and under the eyelid, and you couldn’t see or feel them anymore.”
      Luckily, she says, after a half-hour, the worms made an appearance.
      “I felt one squiggle across my eye, and I told the doctors, ‘You need to look right now!’ ” Beckley said. “I’ll never forget the expression on their faces as they saw it move across my eye.”

      ‘I tried not to go to the darkest place’

      While some of the worms Beckley removed were sent off to the CDC for identification, she frequently visited the university for vision tests and eye washes designed to flush out additional worms. Although her vision remained fine, the flushes were unsuccessful.
      “I just kept pulling the worms out of my eye at home, but when I went to the office, they would flush, and nothing would come out,” Beckley said. “They were trying to figure out what to do because there was no road map, no protocol for this.”
      The worst part, she says, was wondering what the worms might do to her body, “so close to my brain and eyes.”
      “I tried not go to the darkest place, like, are these worms going to paralyze my face or infect my brain or impact my vision?” she said. When a doctor explained that the worms would remain on the surface of her eye, she calmed down.
      “I was definitely in distress, for sure, but I also started making jokes, because I had to, to deal with it,” Beckley said. “It’s so gross to think about, but it was happening to me.”

      ‘Fascinating ecological niche’

      Parasitic eye worms are common among dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and wild carnivores like foxes and wolves. The larvae are transmitted by female “face flies” that feed on the animal’s eye secretions.
      “Tears are full of proteins of various kinds, so the flies get a lot of nourishment from those tears,” explained Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University’s Division of Infectious Diseases, who was not involved in Beckley’s case. “For a scientist, it’s a fascinating ecological niche.”
      The worm larvae grow into adulthood and reproduce between the eye and the eyelid. Their offspring leave the host’s body via more secretions from the inflamed eye, which the flies ingest, completing the life cycle.
      “The early-stage larvae need to go through the fly’s digestive system to be able to develop to a more advanced stage to infect another host,” Bradbury explained. “It’s a complicated life cycle.”
      Veterinarians treat the infection in pets and livestock with the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin. But in untreated animals, Bradbury says, the worms can live and reproduce up to 30 months, leading to vision loss or even blindness.
      People infected by the parasite typically don’t suffer that fate, because, like Beckley, they can remove the worms from their eyes.

      Unraveling a medical mystery

      When the worms from Beckley’s eye arrived at the CDC’s diagnostic lab, scientists were expecting to find a species of the Thelazia parasite called californiensis. That’s what infected the eyes of the 10 cases found in the US: nine from California and one from Utah.
      “It’s an eye worm that often infects dogs and very occasionally affects humans,” the CDC’s Bradbury explained. “Another type of eye worm called callipaeda, found in Asia and Europe, has also infected people, but it’s also rare, with only about 163 reported cases in the world.”
      Most cases of human infection around the world occur in poor, rural communities among the very young and elderly, who may be less able to keep flies from their face. But not always. In 2015, a 21-year-old South Korean soldier developed eye worms from the Asian strain, callipaeda, after multiple brief contacts with a dog in his father’s factory.

        Eye worm found in South Korean soldier

      “He recalled nothing abnormal about the dog,” said Dr. Kyungmin Huh, a South Korean doctor who wrote about the case in the New England Journal of Medicine. “But I should note that previous reports show that patients cannot remember how it was transmitted in the majority of cases.”
      Beckley has no memory of any fly landing close to or in her eye.
      “It makes me curious if there was someone else who had this happen but wasn’t seen by a doctor,” she mused. “The only reason that I knew the cause is that I physically pulled one out of my eye.”
      Schaffner agreed: “Dollars to doughnuts, there were people in the past that had these infections but were never specifically diagnosed. Here, we have someone who developed this unusual infection, and the physicians were interested enough to send the materials to the CDC, where they have extraordinary diagnostic abilities.”
      Without that expertise, says Schaffner, investigators may have never noticed the small differences in the anatomy of the worms from Beckley’s eye.
      “Something was strange about it,” Bradbury said, “and we had to go digging to find out what it was. I finally found the microscopic pictures I needed to find the exact species in a paper written in German in 1928.”
      Bradbury says the species, Thelazia gulosa, is unique to cattle and has never before been seen in a human eye. That means Beckley was infected by cattle near her home, before she left for Alaska.
      “It’s possible that there are cases that were misdiagnosed as another species of the worm, californiensis, because people just assume that it will be,” Bradbury said. “But through our work, we were able to understand that a brand-new species can now infect people who are around cattle.”

      The end of a nightmare

      Beckley was not treated with anti-parasitic medicine because doctors were worried that a dead worm might remain in her eye, possibly causing scarring. Instead, she was told to continue to monitor her eyes and remove any worms she found. How did she handle the uncertainty?

      Fascinating, mysterious, and medically amazing case files. This series is the most interesting education into the world of medicine and disease and the human body.

      “You can go into ‘Poor me, Oh, my God, I’m going to let this destroy me,’ or you can just think, ‘OK, these are worms, and now I know the life cycle, and I know that they will die, and they are just sharing space,’ ” she said. “Doesn’t mean I wasn’t grossed out! It doesn’t mean I wasn’t angry! But I would try to self-soothe and put it in perspective.”
      Twenty days after pulling the first worm from her eye, Beckley discovered the final wiggling worm. Once that was out, her ordeal was over. She knows because she’s not found another since. Her vision remains good, with no other complications.

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      But why go public with her story?
      “Part of the reason I’m speaking out is that I had wished I could find one article or source that would reassure me this happened to someone else and they are fine,” Beckley said. “if this does happen again, I’m hoping my story will be out there for the next person to find.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/health/human-eye-worms/index.html

      A single dad walked 11 miles to work every day — until his co-workers found out

      (CNN)Trenton Lewis’ legs ached from the 11-mile walk he made every morning to get to his 4 a.m. shift. And yet the 21-year-old dutifully did it for seven long months.

      “My pride is strong,” he told CNN. “Whatever she needs, I’m the person who is supposed to provide it for her.”
      But his co-workers at a UPS facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, found out. And last week, they decided to make things right.
        They asked Lewis to come to a brief union meeting.
        When he showed up, his stoic face gave way to disbelief and then a grateful smile as his coworkers handed him keys to a new car.
        “I was emotionally moved. My heart just fell,” the young worker recalled.

        Rallying behind a colleague

        When Lewis began working at the UPS facility, he had no means of getting to and from work.
        “I was banking on my feet,” he said.
        So every morning, he walked, and kept most of his colleagues in the dark about his pre-dawn journey.
        But every large workforce has that one “queen bee” who knows all and sees all.
        For Trenton Lewis, that was Patricia “Mama Pat” Bryant.
        “She was like a second mom,” Lewis said. “She actually got upset with me when she found out I was walking to work.”
        Bryant and her husband, Kenneth, have both put in almost 40 years at UPS.
        “For a young person to decide in their mind ‘if I don’t have a ride, if I can’t get a ride then I’ll walk,'” Kenneth Bryant said. “If a guy can do that, we can pitch in to help.”
        The Bryants quietly shared Lewis’ story with their fellow workers and took up a collection to buy their determined colleague a car.
        Most of the employees didn’t even know Lewis but were impressed with his grit.
        Soon enough, the group raised almost $2,000.

        The big reveal

        “Everybody that I talked to said yes! The hardest part was reminding them to bring cash,” Kenneth Bryant said. “I told the seller what I was doing and who it was for and he said he was willing to work with me on a price.”
        Bryant wanted everything to be perfect for the big reveal. He even went as far as fixing a small nick on the bumper.
        The group lured Lewis to the parking lot for that brief “union meeting.” Kenneth Bryant reached into his pocket, pulled out the keys to the 2006 Saturn Ion and stunned Lewis.
        “God always has something for you,” said Lewis. “I’m never going to forget this ever.”
        Lewis thanked his co-workers profusely.
        His first ride in the car was to pick up his daughter for a bite to eat.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/13/health/iyw-single-dad-car-surprise-trnd/index.html

        A rowdy boy almost made her quit teaching. Then he became her son

        (CNN)Fourth-grader Jerome Robinson was the bane of his young teacher’s career.

        Haley joined Teach for America to make a difference in a low-income school. She did not expect to encounter a tough boy like Jerome. She definitely did not plan on adopting him and his little brother.
        “I never thought I’d be a single mom at age 24, especially of two boys, one of which was my 12-year-old student. And the other one who was only a year-and-a-half.”

          Teacher and student form unlikely bond

          Haley had been chairwoman of the College Republicans at the University of Georgia. While interning on Capitol Hill, she sat in on meetings about education policy and joined Teach For America upon graduation. That’s how she ended up at an elementary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, struggling to control Jerome Robinson and, somehow, gaining his trust.
          Other teachers would send the boy to Haley’s classroom, where she made him get his work done. “I got a lot of thankful emails and knocks on my door,” she said.
          Jerome lived with his birth mother at the time. “It was really hard on her after she lost her husband,” Haley said. A little sister also passed away. “It was just a combination of tragedy coupled with the other social situations you face when you live in poverty.”
          The boy, and his newborn brother Jace, moved around a lot. “They spent a lot of time living with their grandparents.”

          Birth mother makes bold request

          By 2015, Haley was finishing her two-year Teach For America obligation, but she felt something pulling her back as though her work wasn’t quite done.
          The school principal suggested Haley stick around “for Jerome.” She did, signing on for a third year as a special education teacher.
          One night that October, Haley felt as though God came to her in a dream, telling her she was destined to be Jerome’s mother. She laughed out loud, thinking the idea was preposterous, and went back to sleep. But the next day at school, the teacher was overcome with a profound, peaceful feeling while Jerome sat alone with her taking a test.
          “He just asked me if he could live with me,” Haley recalled. “I told him I had been feeling the same thing.”
          The next day, Haley went to dinner with Jerome, Jace and their mother.
          Haley explained she was finishing her third year at the school, and planned to return to Georgia. “You can go back,” the boys’ mother told Haley. “But I want you to take Jerome and Jace with you.”

          Forming a new family

          Haley filed papers for permanent custody of Jerome in December 2015. Later she filed papers to adopt Jace as well.
          “You have to be 12 years older than somebody to obtain custody of them, and I am 12 years and three months older than him.”
          Haley pulled money out of her retirement plan for a down payment on a house where her two boys could have a stable life.
          She’s now a 26-year-old middle school teacher in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.
          Jerome “has not gotten any suspensions or anything, which is a huge improvement from life in Louisiana,” Haley said. “He used to fail all of his classes and just didn’t care. Now he has made honor roll both quarters of his eighth-grade year so far.”
          The boys are thriving. So is Chelsea Haley — as a teacher and as a mother.
          “I always knew I wanted to be a mom and I wouldn’t trade this for anything,” Haley said.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/07/health/iyw-teacher-adopts-son-trnd/index.html

          Health Win: This New App Helps Users Track How Far Theyve Fallen Every Time They Tumble Down A Flight Of Stairs

          If you’re having trouble staying active (uh, who isn’t??), here’s something that might actually motivate you to get your butt off the couch: This new app helps users track how far they’ve fallen every time they tumble down a flight of stairs.

          Finally, a way to figure out how many steps you really fell down on your way to work this morning, without any of the guesswork!

          Here’s how it works: The app is called StairTracker, and after you download it and make a StairTracker profile specifying your height and weight, it will automatically log how many vertical feet you drop and how many stair steps you bypass every time you careen headfirst down a flight of stairs. According to StairTracker developers, the app uses the accelerometer on your phone to track your flailing body’s journey as it skids down a staircase—but users who are committed to making tracking their tumbles a part of their lifestyle can also buy a StairTracker watch that syncs with the smartphone app automatically.

          Plus, StairTracker lets you set goals for distance fallen, and alerts you with a notification when you’ve hit your “plummet goal” for the day. The app’s developers also made sure to include a social element, so you can add friends to your profile and react to the falls they post with a “nice spill” sticker.

          So the next time you find yourself sitting there at the bottom of a staircase, wondering how far you’ve fallen, why not give StairTracker a try? It could be just what you need for the new year.

          Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/article/health-win-new-app-helps-users-track-how-far-theyv-7157

          Why No Gadget Can Prove How Stoned You Are

          If you’ve spent time with marijuana—any time at all, really—you know that the high can be rather unpredictable. It depends on the strain, its level of THC and hundreds of other compounds, and the interaction between all these elements. Oh, and how much you ate that day. And how you took the cannabis. And the position of the North Star at the moment of ingestion.

          OK, maybe not that last one. But as medical and recreational marijuana use spreads across the United States, how on Earth can law enforcement tell if someone they’ve pulled over is too high to be driving, given all these factors? Marijuana is such a confounding drug that scientists and law enforcement are struggling to create an objective standard for marijuana intoxication. (Also, I’ll say this early and only once: For the love of Pete, do not under any circumstances drive stoned.)

          Sure, the cops can take you back to the station and draw a blood sample and determine exactly how much THC is in your system. “It's not a problem of accurately measuring it,” says Marilyn Huestis, coauthor of a new review paper in Trends in Molecular Medicine about cannabis intoxication. “We can accurately measure cannabinoids in blood and urine and sweat and oral fluid. It's interpretation that is the more difficult problem.”

          You see, different people handle marijuana differently. It depends on your genetics, for one. And how often you consume cannabis, because if you take it enough, you can develop a tolerance to it. A dose of cannabis that may knock amateurs on their butts could have zero effect on seasoned users—patients who use marijuana consistently to treat pain, for instance.

          The issue is that THC—what’s thought to be the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana—interacts with the human body in a fundamentally different way than alcohol. “Alcohol is a water-loving, hydrophilic compound,” says Huestis, who sits on the advisory board for Cannabix, a company developing a THC breathalyzer.1 “Whereas THC is a very fat-loving compound. It's a hydrophobic compound. It goes and stays in the tissues.” The molecule can linger for up to a month, while alcohol clears out right quick.

          But while THC may hang around in tissues, it starts diminishing in the blood quickly—really quickly. “It's 74 percent in the first 30 minutes, and 90 percent by 1.4 hours,” says Huestis. “And the reason that's important is because in the US, the average time to get blood drawn [after arrest] is between 1.4 and 4 hours.” By the time you get to the station to get your blood taken, there may not be much THC left to find. (THC tends to linger longer in the brain because it’s fatty in there. That’s why the effects of marijuana can last longer than THC is detectable in breath or blood.)

          So law enforcement can measure THC, sure enough, but not always immediately. And they’re fully aware that marijuana intoxication is an entirely different beast than drunk driving. “How a drug affects someone might depend on the person, how they used the drug, the type of drug (e.g., for cannabis, you can have varying levels of THC between different products), and how often they use the drug,” California Highway Patrol spokesperson Mike Martis writes in an email to WIRED.

          Accordingly, in California, where recreational marijuana just became legal, the CHP relies on other observable measurements of intoxication. If an officer does field sobriety tests like the classic walk-and-turn maneuver, and suspects someone may be under the influence of drugs, they can request a specialist called a drug recognition evaluator. The DRE administers additional field sobriety tests—analyzing the suspect’s eyes and blood pressure to try to figure out what drug may be in play.

          The CHP says it’s also evaluating the use of oral fluid screening gadgets to assist in these drug investigations. (Which devices exactly, the CHP declines to say.) “However, we want to ensure any technology we use is reliable and accurate before using it out in the field and as evidence in a criminal proceeding,” says Martis.

          Another option would be to test a suspect’s breath with a breathalyzer for THC, which startups like Hound Labs are chasing. While THC sticks around in tissues, it’s no longer present in your breath after about two or three hours. So if a breathalyzer picks up THC, that would suggest the stuff isn’t lingering from a joint smoked last night, but one smoked before the driver got in a car.

          This could be an objective measurement of the presence of THC, but not much more. “We are not measuring impairment, and I want to be really clear about that,” says Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs. “Our breathalyzer is going to provide objective data that potentially confirms what the officer already thinks.” That is, if the driver was doing 25 in a 40 zone and they blow positive for THC, evidence points to them being stoned.

          But you might argue that even using THC to confirm inebriation goes too far. The root of the problem isn’t really about measuring THC, it’s about understanding the galaxy of active compounds in cannabis and their effects on the human body. “If you want to gauge intoxication, pull the driver out and have him drive a simulator on an iPad,” says Kevin McKernan, chief scientific officer at Medicinal Genomics, which does genetic testing of cannabis. “That'll tell ya. The chemistry is too fraught with problems in terms of people's individual genetics and their tolerance levels.”

          Scientists are just beginning to understand the dozens of other compounds in cannabis. CBD, for instance, may dampen the psychoactive effects of THC. So what happens if you get dragged into court after testing positive for THC, but the marijuana you consumed was also a high-CBD strain?

          “It significantly compounds your argument in court with that one,” says Jeff Raber, CEO of the Werc Shop, a cannabis lab. “I saw this much THC, you're intoxicated. Really, well I also had twice as much CBD, doesn't that cancel it out? I don't know, when did you take that CBD? Did you take it afterwards, did you take it before?

          “If you go through all this effort and spend all the time and money and drag people through court and spend taxpayer dollars, we shouldn't be in there with tons of question marks,” Raber says.

          But maybe one day marijuana roadside testing won’t really matter. “I really think we're probably going to see automated cars before we're going to see this problem solved in a scientific sense,” says Raber. Don’t hold your breath, then, for a magical device that tells you you’re stoned.

          1 UPDATE: 1/29/18, 2:15 pm ET: This story has been updated to disclose Huestis' affiliation with Cannabix.

          Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/why-no-gadget-can-prove-how-stoned-you-are/

          Apple wants to gather all your medical records in the Health app

          Apple announced a new health effort as part of iOS 11.3. The new Health Records section in the Health app lets you gather and view all your medical records. The company is partnering with hospitals and clinics.

          Apple released the first beta version of iOS 11.3 today. While the new version of iOS is going to remain in beta testing for a couple of months, it should be available as a free download to all iPhone users pretty soon.

          Health Records is going to be a new menu in the Health Data section of the Health app. You’ll be able to add any file to this menu as long as it’s a CDA file (Clinical Document Architecture). Some hospitals already email you those files or make them available on their website. But Apple wants to automate this process.

          Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine and others are already testing the feature with their patients. Health Records is based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a standard when it comes to data formats and APIs.

          So it means that those hospitals and clinics will be able to push this data to your phone directly. You’ll receive a notification alerting you that you just received a new medical record. Data is encrypted on your phone and protected by your passcode.

          And it looks very thorough based on the screenshot. You’ll be able to list your allergies, medications, immunizations and lab results in the Health app.

          This could be particularly useful for patients who get a lot of lab results to track cholesterol or something else. Newest results appear at the top of the Healthcare Records timeline.

          It’s going to be hard to convince every single hospital and clinic around the U.S. and around the world to adopt the new Health Records feature. But here’s a list of all the institutions participating in the beta test:

          • Johns Hopkins Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland
          • Cedars-Sinai – Los Angeles, California
          • Penn Medicine – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
          • Geisinger Health System – Danville, Pennsylvania
          • UC San Diego Health – San Diego, California
          • UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
          • Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois
          • Dignity Health – Arizona, California and Nevada
          • Ochsner Health System – Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
          • MedStar Health – Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
          • OhioHealth – Columbus, Ohio
          • Cerner Healthe Clinic – Kansas City, Missouri
          1. iPhone_X_Apple_All_Health_Records_Screen_01232018

          2. iPhone_X_Apple_Health_Records_screen_01232018

          Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/24/apple-wants-to-gather-all-your-medical-records-in-the-health-app/

          CNN Exclusive: California launches investigation following stunning admission by Aetna medical director

          (CNN)California’s insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into Aetna after learning a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.

          “If the health insurer is making decisions to deny coverage without a physician actually ever reviewing medical records, that’s of significant concern to me as insurance commissioner in California — and potentially a violation of law,” he said.
          Aetna, the nation’s third-largest insurance provider with 23.1 million customers, told CNN it looked forward to “explaining our clinical review process” to the commissioner.
            The California probe centers on a deposition by Dr. Jay Ken Iinuma, who served as medical director for Aetna for Southern California from March 2012 to February 2015, according to the insurer.
            During the deposition, the doctor said he was following Aetna’s training, in which nurses reviewed records and made recommendations to him.
            Jones said his expectation would be “that physicians would be reviewing treatment authorization requests,” and that it’s troubling that “during the entire course of time he was employed at Aetna, he never once looked at patients’ medical records himself.”
            “It’s hard to imagine that in that entire course in time, there weren’t any cases in which a decision about the denial of coverage ought to have been made by someone trained as a physician, as opposed to some other licensed professional,” Jones told CNN.
            “That’s why we’ve contacted Aetna and asked that they provide us information about how they are making these claims decisions and why we’ve opened this investigation.”
            The insurance commissioner said Californians who believe they may have been adversely affected by Aetna’s decisions should contact his office.
            Members of the medical community expressed similar shock, saying Iinuma’s deposition leads to questions about Aetna’s practices across the country.
            “Oh my God. Are you serious? That is incredible,” said Dr. Anne-Marie Irani when told of the medical director’s testimony. Irani is a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and a former member of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology’s board of directors.
            “This is potentially a huge, huge story and quite frankly may reshape how insurance functions,” said Dr. Andrew Murphy, who, like Irani, is a renowned fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He recently served on the academy’s board of directors.

            The Gillen Washington case

            The deposition by Aetna’s former medical director came as part of a lawsuit filed against Aetna by a college student who suffers from a rare immune disorder. The case is expected to go to trial later this week in California Superior Court.
            Gillen Washington, 23, is suing Aetna for breach of contract and bad faith, saying he was denied coverage for an infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) when he was 19. His suit alleges Aetna’s “reckless withholding of benefits almost killed him.”
            Aetna has rejected the allegations, saying Washington failed to comply with their requests for blood work. Washington, who was diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency, or CVID, in high school, became a new Aetna patient in January 2014 after being insured by Kaiser.
            Aetna initially paid for his treatments after each infusion, which can cost up to $20,000. But when Washington’s clinic asked Aetna to pre-authorize a November 2014 infusion, Aetna says it was obligated to review his medical record. That’s when it saw his last blood work had been done three years earlier for Kaiser.
            Despite being told by his own doctor’s office that he needed to come in for new blood work, Washington failed to do so for several months until he got so sick he ended up in the hospital with a collapsed lung.
            Once his blood was tested, Aetna resumed covering his infusions and pre-certified him for a year. Despite that, according to Aetna, Washington continued to miss infusions.
            Washington’s suit counters that Aetna ignored his treating physician, who appealed on his behalf months before his hospitalization that the treatment was medically necessary “to prevent acute and long-term problems.”
            “Aetna is blaming me for what happened,” Washington told CNN. “I’ll just be honest, it’s infuriating to me. I want Aetna to be made to change.”
            During his videotaped deposition in October 2016, Iinuma — who signed the pre-authorization denial — said he never read Washington’s medical records and knew next to nothing about his disorder.
            Questioned about Washington’s condition, Iinuma said he wasn’t sure what the drug of choice would be for people who suffer from his condition.
            Iinuma further says he’s not sure what the symptoms are for the disorder or what might happen if treatment is suddenly stopped for a patient.
            “Do I know what happens?” the doctor said. “Again, I’m not sure. … I don’t treat it.”
            Iinuma said he never looked at a patient’s medical records while at Aetna. He says that was Aetna protocol and that he based his decision off “pertinent information” provided to him by a nurse.
            “Did you ever look at medical records?” Scott Glovsky, Washington’s attorney, asked Iinuma in the deposition.
            “No, I did not,” the doctor says, shaking his head.
            “So as part of your custom and practice in making decisions, you would rely on what the nurse had prepared for you?” Glovsky asks.
            “Correct.”
            Iinuma said nearly all of his work was conducted online. Once in a while, he said, he might place a phone call to the nurse for more details.
            How many times might he call a nurse over the course of a month?
            “Zero to one,” he said.
            Glovsky told CNN he had “never heard such explosive testimony in two decades of deposing insurance company review doctors.”

            Aetna’s response

            Aetna defended Iinuma, who is no longer with the company, saying in its legal brief that he relied on his “years of experience” as a trained physician in making his decision about Washington’s treatment and that he was following Aetna’s Clinical Policy Bulletin appropriately.
            “Dr. Iinuma’s decision was correct,” Aetna said in court papers. “Plaintiff has asserted throughout this litigation that Dr. Iinuma had no medical basis for his decision that 2011 lab tests were outdated and that Dr. Iinuma’s decision was incorrect. Plaintiff is wrong on both counts.”
            In its trial brief, Aetna said: “Given that Aetna does not directly provide medical care to its members, Aetna needs to obtain medical records from members and their doctors to evaluate whether services are ‘medically necessary.’ Aetna employs nurses to gather the medical records and coordinate with the offices of treating physicians, and Aetna employs doctors to make the actual coverage-related determinations.
            “In addition to applying their clinical judgment, the Aetna doctors and nurses use Aetna’s Clinical Policy Bulletins (‘CPBs’) to determine what medical records to request, and whether those records satisfy medical necessity criteria to support coverage. These CPBs reflect the current standard of care in the medical community. They are frequently updated, and are publicly available for any treating physician to review.”
            Jones, the California insurance commissioner, said he couldn’t comment specifically on Washington’s case, but what drew his interest was the medical director’s admission of not looking at patients’ medical records.
            “What I’m responding to is the portion of his deposition transcript in which he said as the medical director, he wasn’t actually reviewing medical records,” Jones told CNN.
            He said his investigation will review every individual denial of coverage or pre-authorization during the medical director’s tenure to determine “whether it was appropriate or not for that decision to be made by someone other than a physician.”
            If the probe determines that violations occurred, he said, California insurance code sets monetary penalties for each individual violation.
            CNN has made numerous phone calls to Iinuma’s office for comment but has not heard back. Heather Richardson, an attorney representing Aetna, declined to answer any questions.
            Asked about the California investigation, Aetna gave this written statement to CNN:
            “We have yet to hear from Commissioner Jones but look forward to explaining our clinical review process.
            “Aetna medical directors are trained to review all available medical information — including medical records — to make an informed decision. As part of our review process, medical directors are provided all submitted medical records, and also receive a case synopsis and review performed by a nurse.
            “Medical directors — and all of our clinicians — take their duties and responsibilities as medical professionals incredibly seriously. Similar to most other clinical environments, our medical directors work collaboratively with our nurses who are involved in these cases and factor in their input as part of the decision-making process.”

            ‘A huge admission’

            Dr. Arthur Caplan, founding director of the division of medical ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center, described Iinuma’s testimony as “a huge admission of fundamental immorality.”
            “People desperate for care expect at least a fair review by the payer. This reeks of indifference to patients,” Caplan said, adding the testimony shows there “needs to be more transparency and accountability” from private, for-profit insurers in making these decisions.
            Murphy, the former American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology board member, said he was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” by the medical director’s admission.
            “This is something that all of us have long suspected, but to actually have an Aetna medical director admit he hasn’t even looked at medical records, that’s not good,” said Murphy, who runs an allergy and immunology practice west of Philadelphia.
            “If he has not looked at medical records or engaged the prescribing physician in a conversation — and decisions were made without that input — then yeah, you’d have to question every single case he reviewed.”
            Murphy said when he and other doctors seek a much-needed treatment for a patient, they expect the medical director of an insurance company to have considered every possible factor when deciding on the best option for care.

            See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

            “We run into the prior authorization issues when we are renewing therapy, when the patient’s insurance changes or when an insurance company changes requirements,” he said.
            “Dealing with these denials is very time consuming. A great deal of nursing time is spent filling and refilling out paperwork trying to get the patient treatment.
            “If that does not work, then physicians need to get involved and demand medical director involvement, which may or may not occur in a timely fashion — or sometimes not at all,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.”

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/11/health/aetna-california-investigation/index.html

            For the first time in its history, the Gerber spokesbaby is a child with Down syndrome

            (CNN)This cutie with a contagious smile is 18-month-old Lucas Warren and on Wednesday he made history: He’s the first child with Down syndrome to become Gerber’s “Spokesbaby of the year” in its 91-year history.

            Lucas is from Dalton, Georgia. Gerber picked him from more than 140,000 entries to its photo search contest. The initiative to find the “Gerber Baby” began soon after the company was founded in 1927, when it put out a call looking for a baby to feature in its ads.
            The title means Lucas’ parents will get a $50,000 prize and Lucas will appear on Gerber’s social media channels and will be featured in Gerber ads through the year.
              “We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world — just like our Lucas,” his mom said.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/07/health/first-gerber-baby-down-syndrome-trnd/index.html

              Lunar trifecta: Rare ‘super blue blood moon’ will light the sky this week

              (CNN)Set your alarms, space fans — if you can drag yourself out of bed on Wednesday, you’re in for a treat.

              To prepare you for the lunar triple whammy, here’s your all-you-need-to-know guide.

              What is a ‘super blue blood moon’?

                It may sound like the apocalypse is nigh, so let’s break it down by its three parts: “super,” “blue” and “blood.”
                So, a “supermoon” is when a full moon occurs at the same time as its perigee, the closest point of the moon’s orbit with Earth. The result: the moon appears larger than normal and NASA is predicting this one will be 14% brighter than usual.
                Chances are you have used the phrase “once in a blue moon” — but have you ever wondered where it came from? The well-known idiom actually refers to the rare instance when there is a second full moon in a calendar month. The first supermoon of 2018 — which took place on New Year’s Day — was previously described by NASA as the “biggest and brightest” one expected for the entire year.
                Then completing this “lunar trifecta” is the “blood” element. Although it does not have a scientific definition, a “blood moon” occurs during a lunar eclipse when faint red sunbeams peek out around the edges of the Earth, giving it a reddish, copper color.

                Where can I see it?

                Eager stargazers living in North America, Alaska or Hawaii will be able to see the eclipse before sunrise on Wednesday, according to NASA. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the “super blue blood moon” will be visible during moonrise on the evening of January 31.
                As long as the weather doesn’t try to ruin things, observers in Alaska, Australia, eastern Asia and Hawaii will be experience the whole phenomenon from start to finish.
                For those living in the US, NASA says the best spots to watch the entire celestial show will be in California and western Canada.
                “Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish,” said George Johnston, lunar blogger at NASA, in a press statement. “Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the eastern time zone. The eclipse begins at 5.51 a.m. ET, as the moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east.”
                For observers living in New York or Washington D.C., the space agency suggests a 6.45 a.m. ET start for the best viewing.
                “Your best opportunity if you live in the east is to head outside about 6.45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse,” Johnston said. “Make sure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west, opposite from where the sun will rise.”
                Where the moon is covered by the Earth’s shadow, known as the period of totality, it will last just over one and a quarter hours, according to EarthSky. And unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to watch in the night with the naked eye.
                Unfortunately, the eclipse will not be visible from the European or African continents as they will already be in daylight during these hours.
                But fear not, Virtual Telescope will be streaming the event live for anyone unable to view the eclipse up close.
                There are usually a couple of lunar eclipses each year so if you do miss it this time around, the next one will happen on July 27 — though it won’t be visible in North America. It’ll be a long wait for skywatchers in the US as Johnston predicts the next visible lunar eclipse will be on January 21, 2019.
                Be sure to take your favorite pictures and tag #CNNSpace for a chance to be featured.

                Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/26/world/super-blue-blood-moon-guide-2018-intl/index.html