News and Highlights

August 2011

Publications

Drs. Bishop, Casalino and Ryan Publish Article in JAMA on Errors in Outpatient Settings
Paid Malpractice Claims for Adverse Events in Inpatient and Outpatient Settings,” by Tara F. Bishop, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Medicine and the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Clinical Evaluation; Andrew M. Ryan, PhD, MA, the Walsh McDermott Scholar and Assistant Professor of Public Health; and Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, the Livingston Farrand Associate Professor of Public Health and Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, was published in the June 15, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers compared malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians in hospital versus doctors’ offices to assess the prevalence of adverse events in the outpatient setting. They found that the number of paid malpractice claims for events in the outpatient setting was similar to the number in the inpatient setting. They also found that adverse events in hospitals largely have to do with unsuccessful surgery (although these errors are increasing outside of hospitals as well), while negative outcomes in the outpatient setting are most often related to errors in diagnosis and treatment. The authors say their study points to a great need to improve patient safety, though means such as better coordination of care within and between doctors’ offices, and proper use of electronic health records. The June 15, 2011 issue of JAMA also included an editorial about the article (the issue’s sole editorial). The article was covered by a medical college press release. It has received enormous worldwide media attention, including from the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Reuters, NPR, ABC News Radio, Newsday, Fox News, Baltimore Sun, HealthDay News, US News & World Report, CNBC, Kaiser Health News, Medscape, Medical News Today, Becker's Hospital Review, Bdnews24, The Malaysian Insider, CHINAdaily, GMA News, Health Imaging & IT, KUHF-FM, Internal Medicine News, MedIndia.net, several Canadian newspapers, and many other print, online, radio and television news outlets.

Dr. Tara Bishop Authors Article on Physicians’ Unwillingness to Accept Insurance
Dr. Bishop was also the lead author of an article published in the June 27, 2011, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine on the trend of physicians to accept fewer and fewer patients with health insurance. Dr. Bishop and her co-authors, Dr. Alex Federman of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Salomeh Keyhani of the University of California, San Francisco, were surprised to find that the decline in physicians who accept private insurance was greater than the decline in physicians who accept Medicare. They discuss how this trend may end up hampering access to health care, despite the fact that many more people will gain health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The article, titled “Declines in Physician Acceptance of Medicare and Private Coverage,” was covered in a medical college press release and also received a huge amount of media attention. Among the outlets reporting on the findings have been The New York Times, NPR stations, Bloomberg News, San Francisco Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, UPI, and Science Daily.

Dr. Lawrence Casalino Leads Study Comparing Physician Practice Costs of Interacting with Health Plans in the U.S. and Canada
Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, the Livingston Farrand Associate Professor of Public Health and Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, was the principal investigator and senior author of a study published August 4, 2011, in Health Affairs titled “US Physician Practices Spend Nearly Four Times as Much Money Interacting with Health Plans and Payers than Do Their Canadian Counterparts.” The first author is Dante Morra, MD, MBA, FRCP, of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Ontario. Co-authors include Dr. Sean Nicholson of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Dr. Wendy Levinson of the University of Toronto and Mr. David N. Gans and Dr. Terry Hammons of the Medical Group Management Association in Englewood, Co. The authors determined that if US physicians had administrative costs similar to those of Ontario physicians, the total savings would be approximately $27.6 billion per year. The results support the opinion shared by many US health care leaders interviewed for this study that interactions between physician practices and health plans could be performed much more efficiently. The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund, which issued a press release. Weill Cornell Medical College issued a press release on the study as well. The article has already received extensive media attention, with coverage by CBS Radio News, the Toronto Sun, the Montreal Gazette, redOrbit, MedIndia, R&D Magazine, Modern Healthcare, Cornell Chronicle, Medscape, USNews.com, HealthCanal.com, FamilyPracticeNews.com, HealthcareFinanceNews.com, MedicalNewsToday.com, and numerous other online outlets.

Report by Dr. Lawrence Casalino Published in London
A monograph by Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, The Livingston Farrand Associate Professor of Public Health and Chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, titled "GP Commissioning in the NHS in England: Ten Suggestions from the United States," was published June 9, 2011, in London, England. The publication was based on his work as the 2010 John Frye Fellow at The Nuffield Trust in London. The research and analysis Dr. Casalino performed during his fellowship has contributed significantly to the policy debate over GP (general practitioner) Commissioning, which is the central issue in the British government’s proposed major “reform” of the National Health Service. Dr. Casalino was chosen for this role because of his expertise on the experience of similar networks of physicians in the United States: independent practitioner associations (IPAs). Read more on Dr. Casalino’s work for the Nuffield Trust in the Deans Bulletin. The British Medical Journal published an article on Dr. Casalino’s report and his suggestions have been reported on by the British media.

Dr. Laith Abu-Raddad Leads Study on HIV in Men who have Sex with Men in the Middle East and North Africa
Laith J. Abu-Raddad, PhD, Director of the Biostatistics and Biomathematics Research Core and Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group at Weill Cornell Medical College/Qatar, was the principal investigator and senior author of an article published August 2, 2011, in PLoS Medicine, titled “ Are HIV Epidemics among Men Who Have Sex with Men Emerging in the Middle East and North Africa?: A Systematic Review and Data Synthesis.” The first author was Ghina Mumtaz, MSc, Senior Epidemiologist in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group at Weill Cornell Medical College/Qatar. Several authors were also affiliated with the World Bank, the San Francisco Department of Public Heath, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the United Nations. This study was the first to analyze the epidemiology of HIV transmission in men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Middle East and North Africa. The authors found that rates of HIV infection among MSM vary across the region but have already exceeded 5 percent, the threshold defining concentrated epidemics, in several countries. They report that the findings indicate an urgent need to expand HIV surveillance and access to HIV testing, prevention, and treatment services in a rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to prevent the worst of HIV transmission among MSM in the Middle East and North Africa. PLoS Medicine issued a press release on the study, including it as the leading study in the journal’s weekly news release. The article was also covered in a Weill Cornell Medical College press release. It has already received media attention, with coverage in The New York Times, Reuters, MSNBC.com, Bloomberg Business Week, Science Magazine, All Voices, RedOrbit, and New Scientist.

Dr. Madelon Finkel Co-Authors Commentary on Hydraulic Fracking and Presents Findings of Research
Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, Professor of Clinical Public Health, and Adam Law, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine at WCMC and an Endocrinologist and Family practitioner at the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, published a commentary in the May 2011 issue of American Journal of Public Health titled “The Rush to Drill for Natural Gas: A Public Health Cautionary Tale.” The authors discuss the many significant health dangers posed by horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale located in western New York, central Pennsylvania, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Drilling for natural gas is viewed by many as an alternative to oil, coal, and nuclear energy; however, the process involves injecting tons of chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic, into the shale to extract the natural gas. There has been no study conducted to assess the potential for harm to human health, which Drs. Finkel and Law strongly feel is necessary before there can be endorsement and adoption of this technology. Dr. Finkel presented their findings at an international conference on Biodiversity in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, on August 4, 2011.

Drs. Joseph Fins and Pablo Rodríguez del Pozo Publish Article on Hidden Curricula

Dr. Joseph Fins
In an article published in the March 2011 issue of Academic Medicine, authors Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Psychiatry, and Pablo Rodríguez del Pozo, MD, PhD, JD, Associate Professor of Public Health/Qatar in the Division of Medical Ethics, discuss why medical educators need to be aware of their local cultural contexts in order to engage in effective pedagogy. The article, “The Hidden and Implicit Curricula in Cultural Context: New Insights From Doha and New York,” is based on their experience teaching the clinical ethics and palliative care clerkship in New York and Doha. It builds on previous explorations by the authors and others of the “hidden curriculum,” which is not the formal curriculum but includes what has crept into the student’s experience because of interpersonal dynamics or covert institutional forces. The authors discuss how in a high-context society (such as Doha), much information is culturally embedded and seemingly hidden, while in a low-context society (such as New York), information is typically made overt.
Dr. Pablo Rodríguez del Pozo
Because of these societal differences, they argue that there is not a single hidden curriculum; rather, what is hidden or implicit to a large degree depends on whether teaching occurs in a high or low context setting. The article was covered in a medical college press release, as well as in Medical News Today, and PhysOrg.com. It was also the basis for a new article in Medscape written by Drs. Fins and Rodríguez del Pozo.

In the same issue of Academic Medicine, Dr. Fins also published a letter to the editor titled “Osler, Guilds, and Community.” In the letter, he discusses his reaction to an article on the Osler Fellows at McGill University.

Dr. Linda Gerber, Dr. Penny Feldman, Yolanda Barrón, and Others Author Article on Patient Activation
Linda Gerber, PhD, Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology in Medicine, is the lead author of “Activation Among Chronically Ill Older Adults With Complex Medical Needs: Challenges to Supporting Effective Self-Management,” published in the July/September 2011 issue of the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. Penny Feldman, PhD, Director of the Center for Home Care Policy and Research at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and Associate Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell, is the senior author. The other authors, with the exception of Yolanda Barrón, MS, Research Associate in Biostatistics, are from VNSNY. The study examined patient engagement among hypertensive patients over the age of 65 years. It found a very low proportion to be actively involved in their own care. Higher activation was associated with higher self-ratings of health, health literacy, and receipt of patient-centered care, shorter lengths of stay, and lower depression and hearing impairment levels. The authors conclude that effective self-management support for chronically ill elders will likely require varied strategies and may need to address depression, health literacy, and/or hearing impairments.

Dr. Yuhua Bao Authors Four Articles, Some with Other Department Members
Yuhua Bao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Health Policy, published four recent articles. Department faculty (Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, and Bruce R. Schackman, PhD) were among the co-authors. Huibo Shao, MS, MA, was the lead author of one of the articles:

Dr. Bruce Schackman and Jared Leff Author Two Articles on the Cost of Integrated HIV and Buprenorphine/Naloxone Care and the Implementation of HIV Testing After a Clinical Trial
Bruce Schackman, PhD, Chief of the Division of Health Policy and Associate Professor of Public Health, is the lead author of “The Cost of Integrated HIV Care and Buprenorphine/Naloxone Treatment: Results of a Cross-Site Evaluation,” and Jared Leff, MS, a Research Coordinator in the Division of Health Policy, is second author (Schackman BR, Leff JA, Bostko M, Fiellin DA, Altice FL, Korthuis PT, Sohler N, Weiss L, Egan JE, Netherland J, Gass J, Finkelstein R, and the BHIVES Collaborative. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2011. Mar 1; 56 [Suppl 1]: S76-82). The paper describes the costs associated with integrating HIV and buprenorphine/naloxone care, as part of a cross-site evaluation of integrated care programs using a variety of integration approaches. The researchers found that integrated care requires different resources at the HIV clinic level, including costs that are not third-party reimbursed. Implementing integrated care will require funding for training and for new staff including buprenorphine coordinators, in addition to reimbursement for buprenorphine/naloxone.

Additionally, Dr. Schackman is the senior author and Mr. Leff is a co-author of “HIV rapid testing in substance abuse treatment: Implementation following a clinical trial” (Haynes LF, Korte JE, Holmes BE, Gooden L, Matheson T, Feaster DJ, Leff JA, Wilson L, Metsch LR and Schackman BR. Evaluation and Program Planning. Epub February 28, 2011). This article describes the experience of a substance abuse treatment agency where, following participation in a clinical trial, the agency implemented an HIV testing and counseling program. An examination of costs indicated that some staff time may not be adequately reimbursed by funding sources for activities such as intervention adaptation, start-up training, ongoing supervision and quality assurance, and overhead costs.

Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martín Publishes Articles in American Journal of Bioethics and Philosophy & Technology
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health and Public Health in Reproductive Medicine, published a commentary titled “IRBs and The Long-Term Social Implications of Research” in the May 2011 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics. In it, she takes issue with the argument posed in an article in the same issue that institutional review boards (IRBs) should not consider the potential long-range social and policy impact of research in the protocol review process.

Dr. de Melo-Martín is also the lead author of “Betwixt and Between: Feenberg’s Ecumenical Philosophy of Technology,” published in the June 2011 issue of Philosophy and Technology. This article is part of a book symposium that she edited in this issue entitled “Book Symposium on Andrew Feenberg's Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity, Philosophy and Technology.”

Quality Division Publishes Article on Physician Difficulties in Switching Between EHRs
An article by faculty and staff of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics titled “Transitioning Between Electronic Health Records: Effects on Ambulatory Prescribing Safety” was published online April 16, 2011, in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The lead author was Erika L. Abramson, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health, and the senior author was Rainu Kaushal, MD, Chief of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health, and Medicine. The other authors were Sameer Malhotra, MB,BS, MA, Karen Fischer, RN, Alison Edwards, MStat, Elizabeth R. Pfoh, MPH, S. Nena Osorio, MD, and Adam Cheriff, MD. The authors found that a new electronic system for prescribing medicines reduced some types of prescribing errors, but that the transition to the new system was problematic for many physicians. They suggest several measures to smooth the transition so that doctors can use the new systems to make medical care safer and more effective. Read the medical college press release on the article. The article was featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Becker’s Hospital Review, Chiropractic Economics, Health Imaging & IT, mediLexicon, TheStar.com.my, and SmartBrief.

Quality Division Publishes Perspective on Community Based HIT
A perspective by faculty and staff in the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics titled “Evaluating health information technology in community-based settings: lessons learned,” was published online July 31, 2011, in the Journal of the American Informatics Association. The lead author was Lisa M. Kern, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Public Health and Medicine, and the senior author was Rainu Kaushal, MD, Chief of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health, and Medicine. The other authors were Jessica S. Ancker, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health in Pediatrics and Assistant Professor of Public Health, Erika L. Abramson, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health, Vaishali Patel, PhD, previously an Assistant Professor in the Division, and Rina V. Dhopeshwarkar, MPH, Senior Research Coordinator. This study describes lessons learned from experience as a multi-institutional academic collaborative established to provide independent evaluation of community-based health IT initiatives. The authors present practical recommendations for researchers interested in pursuing similar collaborations. The article was covered by CMIO Industry News.

Dr. William Borden Leads JAMA Study on Use of Appropriate Therapy for Stable Coronary Artery Disease
William B. Borden, MD, MBA, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health and the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health/Prevention, was the lead investigator of a study that examined how often optimal medical therapy (OMT) is being used for patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). Alvin I. Mushlin, MD, ScM, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Public Health, was a study co-author. The article, which was published in the May 11, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is titled “Patterns and Intensity of Medical Therapy in Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.” The researchers wanted to find out if current best practices in the treatment of stable CAD are being followed. These best practices were established in the 2007 Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation (COURAGE) study, which concluded that a trial of OMT is warranted before stenting is used. Dr. Borden and his colleagues discovered that real-world practice has changed little since publication of the COURAGE study, with fewer than half of patients receiving OMT before their stenting procedure, and almost one-third not receiving these recommended drugs afterward. The article was covered in a medical college press release. It received widespread print, television, radio, and online media attention, including from The Wall Street Journal, WABC-TV, WNYC Radio, JAMA Report, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Reuters, MSNBC.com, the Los Angeles Times, Forbes.com, USA Today, WebMD, NaturalNews.com, and more than 125 additional online sites. Dr. Borden was also quoted in an article in CNBC.com on inappropriate use of heart stents.

Dr. Jennifer Epstein Studies Relationship Between Alcohol and Computer Use in Teens
Jennifer Epstein, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior, authored a study in the May 2011 issue of Addictive Behaviors titled “Adolescent computer use and alcohol use: What are the role of quantity and content of computer use?” Dr. Epstein found that teenagers who drink alcohol spend more time on their computers for recreational use, including social networking and downloading and listening to music, compared with their peers who don’t drink. The research was covered in a medical college press release and was reported by nearly 80 television affiliate stations nationwide, and by U.S. News & World Report, United Press International, News-Medical.net, About.com, and HealthJockey.com, as well as other outlets. There was also a link to the press release from the May 13, 2011 issue of the Cornell Chronicle Weekly Highlights.

Drs. Schiff, Fins, and Others Study Use of fMRI in Measuring Cognitive Functioning in Brain-Injured Patients
A study in the March 2011 issue of Brain used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to try to identify cognitive function and communication capacity in some severely brain-injured patients without the sufficient motor function to demonstrate their abilities. Titled “Dissociations between behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluations of cognitive function after brain injury,” the study showed the potential for fMRI to reveal higher level functioning that a bedside exam would show.
The study’s corresponding author is Nicholas D. Schiff, MD, Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience and Public Health. The study’s co-authors include, among others, Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, the E. William Davis, Jr., M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics, and Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Medicine in Psychiatry, and Jennifer E. Hersch, MBE, Research Coordinator in the Division of Medical Ethics. The lead author is Jonathan Bardin, a third-year neuroscience graduate student at Weill Cornell Medical College, and the senior author is Henning Voss, PhD, Associate Professor of Physics in Radiology at WCMC. The study, including its ethical implications, was covered in a medical college press release. The work received a great deal of publicity, and also engendered further explorations on this subject in Discover Magazine and Huffington Post.

Dr. Hassan Ghomrawi and Others Author CERT Article on Methods for Addressing Missing Data
Hassan Ghomrawi, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Outcomes Research Scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery, is the lead author of an article published online May 23, 2011, in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Titled “Is There a Role for Expectation Maximization Imputation in Addressing Missing Data in Research Using WOMAC Questionnaire?” the study compared two methods for addressing missing data in patient-reported outcomes research. It found that the Expectation Maximization (EM) method is more accurate and creates a more complete data set compared with the Western Ontario and Mc Master (WOMAC) conventional mean imputation method. These features are very valuable for patient-reported outcomes research in which resources are limited and the WOMAC score is used in a multivariate analysis. Madhu Mazumdar, PhD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, is the senior author. Other authors include Lisa Mandl, MD, MPH, Assistant Attending Physician at HSS and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health at WCMC, John Rutledge, MAS, previously a Research Biostatistician in the Department of Public Health, and Michael Alexiades, MD, Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at HSS and Assistant Clinical Professor or Orthopedic Surgery at WCMC.

Dr. Yan Ma Is Lead Author on Article in Statistics in Medicine
Yan Ma, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the Hospital for Special Surgery, is the lead author of an article titled “Causal models for randomized trials with two active treatments and continuous compliance,” which was published online July 12, 2011, in Statistics in Medicine. The authors propose an approach to address the inference about principal causal effects when there are two active treatments with continuous measures of compliance. The approach is illustrated with real study data from a smoking cessation trial. As part of the analysis, they estimate causal effects at particular levels of the compliance variables and within subpopulations that have similar compliance behavior. Co-authors include Dr. Jason Roy from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Bess Marcus from Brown University. Dr. Ma’s work was partially supported by the Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC) (UL1-RR024996).

Dr. Andrew Ryan Co-Authors Article on Pay-for-Performance in Medicaid
Andrew Ryan, PhD, MA, the Walsh McDermott Scholar in Public Health and Assistant Professor in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, was a co-author of an article titled “Analysis raises questions on whether pay-for-performance in Medicaid can efficiently reduce racial and ethnic disparities,” which appeared in the June 2011 issue of Health Affairs. The authors found that the early years of a pay-for-performance program have yielded little evidence of racial or ethnic disparity in hospital care in Massachusetts, and raise questions about whether pay-for-performance as it is now practiced is a suitable tool for addressing disparities in hospital care. The lead author was Jan Blustein, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Policy and Medicine at NYU Wagner School of Public Service and Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division Faculty and Staff Among Authors of CERT Studies

Dr. Madhu Mazumdar
Madhu Mazumdar, PhD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology; Yan Ma, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the Hospital for Special Surgery; and Ya-Lin Chiu, MS, Research Biostatistician; are among the authors of two recently published studies funded by the Weill Cornell/HSS Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics:

Both studies were discussed in press releases from the Hospital for Special Surgery. The first study identified patient-related risk factors for major morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing bilateral total knee arthroplasty. The second study revealed the paradoxical finding that obesity was associated with a decreased incidence and adjusted odds for in-hospital mortality after surgery.

Recent Articles Co-Authored by Dr. Paul Christos
Paul J. Christos, DrPH, MS, Lecturer in Public Health in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, was a co-author of several recently published articles:

Jared Leff Co-Authors Article in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Jared Leff, MS, Research Coordinator in the Division of Health Policy, was a co-author of an article published in the July 2011 issue of the Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics titled “Optimising the care of patients with cirrhosis and gastrointestinal haemorrhage: a quality improvement study.” In 2007-2008, as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Leff contributed to the creation of data collection tools to evaluate the quality of care delivered before and after the implementation of a quality improvement initiative to better adhere to practice guidelines for patients with cirrhosis and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. He also contributed to data collection and drafting of the manuscript. Results demonstrated that the quality improvement initiative lead to better adherence to guidelines and the delivery of optimal care. Other results suggest a decrease in length of stay and lower 30-day readmission rates post-implementation.

Dr. Brian Edlin Writes Perspective for Nature
Brian R. Edlin, MD, Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical College and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, published a perspective policy article on hepatitis C for Nature (Vol. 474, 9 June 2011). In his article, “Test and treat this silent killer,” Dr. Edlin reports that the prevalence and impact of this disease are woefully underestimated. (Currently at least five million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C—five times as many as have HIV.) He argues for significant investment in research, as well as prevention, testing, surveillance, and treatment efforts. The article was covered in a SUNY Downstate press release and it received publicity in Bloomberg News, and beforeitsnews.com. Dr. Edlin was also quoted about the hepatitis C epidemic in recent articles in The New York Times and Newsday.


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