Health Beat

The consumer healthcare website Nerd Wallet Health analyzed 100 of the most common treatments at 89 of Louisiana’s largest hospitals to determine the most affordable hospitals in the state. Topping the list were the Baton Rouge Medical Center in Baton Rouge (ranking at No. 1 for affordability for treatments such as shingles and hernia), the American Legion Hospital in Cowley (No. 2 for emphysema and pneumonia) and the LSU Medical Center in Shreveport (No. 3 for severe heartburn and spinal fusion).
The rankings included only the top 10 hospitals, and New Orleans did not make the list. You can view the study here.

In March The Lancent, a general medical and specialty journal, published findings associating smoke-free legislation with reduced hospital visits for asthma and in premature births. Researchers in the study concluded that smoke-free legislation “has the potential to reduce the substantive disease burden associated with second-hand smoke exposure, particularly in children.” Since its 2007 statewide smoking ban in public places, schools, workplaces and restaurants (excluding bars), legislation to attempt further bans in bars, casinos and to prohibit smoking within 25-feet of places where smoking already is banned has been rejected by the Louisiana State Legislature. The New York Times reported soon after the study was published in The Lancet that, “… the new analysis did not prove that smoke-free laws caused the improvements in children’s health.”
Citing that researchers didn’t evaluate other possible contributing factors, such as taxes on tobacco products and advertisement bans. Citing the need for further studies, researchers said, “this study provides strong support for World Health Organization recommendations to create smoke-free environments.”

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center announced that 53 percent, or 92 of 175, LSUHSC New Orleans graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program this year, chose to remain in Louisiana to complete medical training. “All of our residency programs filled,” Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of the School of Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans said in a statement. “The increased number of positions – up to 182 this year – bodes well for Louisiana’s future. The supply of physicians practicing in Louisiana not only affects access to care, but also local economies and the larger state economy.” The statement also noted that the percentage of LSUHSC New Orleans medical graduates going into primary care rose from 43 percent in 2013 to 57 percent this year.

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