WXXI AM News

healthcare

Medicare is celebrating a birthday, and on the national stage, it’s being touted by Democrats as the model for a new healthcare system. Many Democratic presidential contenders call it Medicare for All; is that a fair description?

We examine the proposals and discuss what Medicare for All would entail, if put into practice. Our guests:

Former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised that if elected, cancer would be cured during his presidency. President Trump made the same promise, as did President Richard Nixon when he signed the National Cancer Act nearly 50 years ago.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., leaving many people asking why no cure has been found. Researchers say it’s complicated, and some cancers are more likely to become treatable than others. This hour, we’re joined by local oncologists who discuss the current state of cancer research and treatment. In studio:

We have a conversation about compassion fatigue. The term refers to a deep emotional and physical exhaustion or burnout that comes from caring for others who are experiencing significant emotional or physical distress. It’s common among medical practitioners, emergency responders, and people who are caring for friends or loved ones.

Shani Wilson is a physician assistant with a local healthcare practice who has done extensive research on the subject. She joins us to discuss the symptoms and impact of compassion fatigue, and how to work through and prevent it. In studio:

  • Shani Wilson, physician assistant with a local healthcare practice

Noelle Evans

  

The American Council of the Blind, an advocacy group for the rights of visually impaired and blind people, elected new leadership at the organization’s 58th Annual Conference and Convention in Rochester.

Around 1,200 people attended, along with roughly 300 guide dogs at the Riverside Convention Center for the week-long event, which wrapped up Friday.

The New York State Legislature will hold hearings on single payer healthcare next week. Advocates say that it’s up to states to pass single payer, with the federal government aligned against it. Opponents argue that it will be a massive hit to the business community in particular.

Our guests debate the merits of single payer and the New York Health Act:

What do you know about the New York Health Act? We talk about the bill that could bring single-payer healthcare to New York State.

Our guests discuss both sides of the issue:

  • Dr. Rae-Ellen Kavey, M.D., retired pediatric cardiologist
  • Kristi Reisch, parent of a child with a medical condition
  • Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center
  • Lev Ginsburg, director of government affairs for the Business Council of New York State, and father of two

A new study from researchers at Harvard estimates that nearly 5,000 people may have died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. That's more than 70 times the death toll reported by the government, and more than twice the number of deaths from Hurricane Katrina.

Faculty members and research fellows at the University of Rochester Medical Center were part of the response team in Puerto Rico, helping medical personnel on the island set up mobile medical units. Prior to the hurricane, the URMC team was conducting research projects in Puerto Rico, and came to understand the differences in medical infrastructures between the mainland and the island.

Members of that team join us to discuss cultural competency in medical care, the challenges in bringing aid to devastated areas where caregivers may not speak the patients' language, and how to help resident medical personnel care for their people. Our guests:

  • Dr. Tim Dye, associate chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • José Pérez-Ramos, a native of Puerto Rico and current doctoral student in Translational Biomedical Science at the University of Rochester
  • Hilda Rosario Escher, president of the Ibero American Action League

How can doctors better communicate with their patients, especially when they need to discuss the prognosis of a serious illness? That's the subject of an upcoming lecture at the Rochester Academy of Medicine.

We preview that talk with our guests:

  • Dr. Ronald Epstein, M.D., professor of family medicine, psychiatry, and oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Dr. Robert Horowitz, M.D., chief and professor of palliative care in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway are joining together to launch a new healthcare company. They may seem like strange bedfellows in the healthcare industry, but they think their partnership and ideas could help drive down the cost of care for their employees – about 950,000 people worldwide.

How will they do it? One option is offering telemedicine technology to providers. It’s a growing service that is already widely used in our area. So what will the future of healthcare look like – not only for the employees of these companies, but for all Americans? We talk about the impact of telemedicine and other innovative services, and how they could change the way you visit your doctor. Our guests:

  • Dr. Neil Herendeen, M.D., professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital
  • Cynthia Gordon, director of telehealth services at Rochester Regional Health
  • Christopher Bell, executive director of the Monroe County Medical Society
  • Lois Irwin, president of EZaccessMD

What is going on with CHIP? The Children's Health Insurance Program has been widely discussed as a potential victim of budget cuts in Washington. What exactly is CHIP, and whom does it serve? What kind of impact should we expect if the program is cut?

The Washington Post and NPR have tried to lay out the particulars, dispel myths, and explain what kind of timeline the program is on. Meanwhile, celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel have taken up the cause, saying that millions of special-needs children are at risk.

We break it down with our guests:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Murray, assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital
  • Dr. Steve Cook, associate professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital

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