(With) honey, I shrunk the wound

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

Hy­per­baric oxy­gen ther­apy, biosyn­thetic dress­ings, neg­a­tive pres­sure wound ther­apy … and honey?

Yes. It turns out that mod­ern med­i­cal sci­ence has some­thing to learn from the an­cient Egyp­tians, who found that cer­tain types of honey con­tain anti-bac­te­rial agents that can help in wound heal­ing.

But be­fore you go and swap that tube of Neosporin in your medicine cabi­net for a plas­tic honey bear bot­tle, keep in mind that we’re talk­ing about a spe­cific type of the sweet stuff. ( Out­liers ad­vises against squeez­ing honey onto your in­fected fin­ger af­ter you’re done putting it in your cafe con miel.) Wound-care cen­ters around the world, in­clud­ing the Caron­delet St. Mary’s Hos­pi­tal Wound Heal­ing Cen­ter, have be­gun us­ing a new prod­uct called Medi­honey, made by a com­pany called Derma Sci­ences, in Prince­ton, N.J.

The prod­uct, which passed muster with the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, con­sists of wound dress­ings treated with a “med­i­cal-grade honey” pro­duced by spe­cial bees in Aus­tralia and New Zealand. Called lep­tosper­mum honey, it con­tains con­cen­trated doses of anti-bac­te­rial agents that help keep a wound moist while killing bac­te­ria.

How­ever, to re­it­er­ate: This is medic­i­nal honey we’re talk­ing about. Al­though most types of honey start out with at least some med­i­cal prop­er­ties, they can be de­stroyed in the process of har­vest­ing and stuff­ing it into plas­tic bears. And Out­liers will not pay your med­i­cal bills if you show up at the doc­tor’s of­fice with an in­fected wound drip­ping with din­ner-ta­ble-grade honey.

Should Andy Grif­fith nip it in the bud? ...

The CMS is bank­ing on the power of nostal­gia, hop­ing that soft-fo­cus mem­o­ries of Aunt Bee, Opie and the rest of the May­berry gang will help to ease se­niors’ fears and con­vince them of the ben­e­fits of up­com­ing health re­forms. The govern­ment re­leased a 30-sec­ond pub­lic ser­vice ad on July 30—the 45th an­niver­sary of Medi­care—fea­tur­ing Andy Grif­fith, the 84-year-old star best known for his roles as the town sher­iff on The Andy Grif­fith Show and a clever South­ern lawyer on Mat­lock, one of Out­liers’ old fa­vorites.

The ad, which will run on cable TV sta­tions, shows Grif­fith in a sunny room, in­ter­mit­tently ad­dress­ing the cam­era di­rectly and pet­ting a yel­low Labrador retriever. “1965, a lot of good things came out that year, like Medi­care,” he says, in his trade­mark drawl. “This year, like al­ways, we’ll have our guar­an­teed ben­e­fits, and with the new health­care law, more good things are com­ing.”

The TV spot is only one of the ways that the govern­ment is try­ing to com­bat mis­in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­cate older adults about im­prove­ments in­cluded in the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act, such as the “dough­nut hole” re­bate checks and pre­ven­tive-care screen­ings, the CMS said in a news re­lease.

But Repub­li­cans cried foul at us­ing tax­payer dol­lars to cre­ate what they say is a pro-health re­form ad. In an Aug. 3 let­ter to HHS Sec­re­tary

... or he could get a gig at the White House

Late last month, a three-minute, 20-sec­ond in­fomer­cial of Barack Obama ex­plain­ing how to nav­i­gate the health­care.gov web­site www.health­care.gov/news/blog/po­tus_­ex­plores_health­care_­dot­gov.html was posted and, pre­dictably, In­ter­net cov­er­age of the video was fol­lowed by pages of ra­bid com­ments from the pres­i­dent’s op­po­nents and sup­port­ers who had very lit­tle to do with con­tent of the video.

Jon Ste­wart, host of Com­edy Cen­tral’s “The Daily Show,” is known for his satir­i­cal swipes at con­ser­va­tive pun­dits and politi­cians. But on this topic, he went af­ter the pres­i­dent.

“Shouldn’t Wil­ford Brim­ley be do­ing this? Or Robert Wag­ner? Or the late Art Lin­klet­ter?” Ste­wart asks. “Doesn’t any­body else work at the White House, dude?” Ste­wart of­fers his the­ory for why Obama made the video. “At this point, he trusts no one else at the White House,” Ste­wart says. “He’s like the sole pro­pri­etor of a one-man movie theater.”

Af­ter do­ing his im­i­ta­tion of the pres­i­dent as an old man tak­ing tick­ets and sell­ing pop­corn, Ste­wart goes on to show how a few glitches ap­pear in the Obama video. These in­cluded popup mes­sages from Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den who says he’s think­ing about re­liev­ing his bore­dom by mak­ing prank phone calls to John McCain and then sends the pres­i­dent a video of a dog rid­ing a trac­tor.

OK, it was a lit­tle silly, but Out­liers thinks it would be nice if all tele­vi­sion pro­grams dis­cussing health­care rose to this level of in­tel­li­gence.

Quotable

“It’s shock­ing that even relatives don’t know if their par­ents are alive or dead. … These cases were typ­i­cal ex­am­ples of thin­ning re­la­tion­ship among fam­i­lies and neigh­bors in Ja­pan to­day.”

—Chiba Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor Yoshinori Hiroi, an ex­pert on pub­lic wel­fare, dur­ing an in­ter­view about how many Ja­panese cen­te­nar­i­ans are un­ac­counted for be­cause of poor record­keep­ing and fol­low-up by

fam­ily mem­bers. Kath­leen Se­be­lius, a group of five Repub­li­can sen­a­tors said the com­mer­cial “had a clear po­lit­i­cal mo­ti­va­tion,” and they called for the CMS to pull the ad and re­im­burse the Trea­sury.

Brooks Jack­son, di­rec­tor of FactCheck.org, also took is­sue with the ad, he said, be­cause the re­form law will lead to cuts in Medi­care Ad­van­tage plans. “Would the sher­iff of May­berry mislead you about Medi­care? Alas, yes,” he wrote in a blog post­ing.

For now, Grif­fith is keep­ing quiet and has de­clined to com­ment on the hub­bub.

Andy Grif­fith is back on tele­vi­sion in an ad to ease the fears of se­niors and tout the im­por­tance of Medi­care.

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