Medical Monday: Breaking News from the World of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

For the first time in many months, there is nothing new to report about the Zika virus. I am going to take this is as a good thing and report on the rest of the news. 

With the end of 2016 approaching, ACA (Affordable Care Act) signups have reached a new high. At the same time many fear loss of their contraceptive method if the ACA is repealed. The ACA as it currently stands, pays 100% for contraceptives. 

The ACA seems to have enabled more people to keep up on preventive care. Also according to a new study, the number of adults who skipped recommended medical care fell about 20 % between 2013 and 2015. Similarly, a new Vanderbilt study showed that patients accessed emergency department care more quickly since cost was not a consideration in choice of hospital.  

Texas has noticed all Planned Parenthood Clinics that it is removing them from the Medicaid Program. This means that no Medicaid recipients may be seen at Planned Parenthood, which normally serves predominantly the Medicaid population. I’m wondering if this will have unintended consequences. For example, perhaps Planned Parenthood will have to start filing their clinics with well insured women, while the private and hospital owned clinics uptown will start to fill with medicaid patients ? It will be interesting to see how this will play out. It almost certainly will mean less access to care and a shift in who sees whom. Planned Parenthood is appealing the Texas Health and Human Services Division. 

ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist) has officially endorsed 30-60 seconds of delayed cord clamping. This procedure allow baby to get more blood from the umbilical cord. This is especially beneficial for smaller, early babies, but can be good for term babies as well. It results in higher blood hemoglobin counts, but also, understandably more jaundice, since jaundice comes from the breakdown products of blood cells. As an obstetrician, I can tell you that this works out most of the time. However, if baby is not breathing well, I get them to the nursery staff right away. Also, if there is excess maternal bleeding, we cut this procedure short, and move to get the placenta delivered. 

On a personal note to readers, I have appreciated all the attention to my posts. However, I plan to curtail my blogging to once a week come January 1st, 2017. I will continue Medical Monday since I believe this information to be very important to you. Additionally, I do plan to put out an occasional digest of existing website pages and posts on selected topics, which I think will be high value. However, based on my numbers of readers and subscribers, it seems clear to me that I need to get my information out in more accessible forms, such as in books or apps. There is so much material on the site now, that most topics are really well fleshed out, though the material is deep in the pages. I will need some time to pull this content out and organize it. At the same time, you are of course welcome and encouraged to access the website anytime via the menu, the search page, or the blog tags on the right of the home page on your own and free of charge. My website will be there free for all as an up to date medical resource.