Opinions on Racial Disparity Are Strong, Varied; Signs of Long COVID; and Fixing Drug Costs and ACA

Kaitlin Edwards

July 21, 2022

Physicians Have Strong Emotions — and Contrary Opinions — on Racial Disparity Issues

People in the United States are sharply divided on many important issues — and that extends to physicians. Racial disparities ranked third in physician's importance ratings, behind healthcare access and substance/opioid abuse, according to a new survey from Medscape.

Fifty-four percent of respondents included it in their top 5.

Similar rankings for employees and patients: Only 21% of physicians said that they see racial disparities in the treatment of employees. Twenty-two percent said that they see racial disparities in the treatment of patients.

Answers vary by respondent race: Ten percent of White respondents said that racial disparities affect physicians' families, whereas 50% of Asian respondents and 85% of Black respondents answered yes to the same question.

Fifty-five percent of physician respondents agreed or slightly agreed that in medicine, patients are treated differently on the basis of their race.

Read the full Medscape report here.

How to Spot Long COVID in Patients

About 1 in 13 adults in the United States have COVID symptoms that last at least 3 months after initially contracting the virus, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Currently, there are no easy ways to screen for long COVID, but there are some things you can look for.

Timing: Patients who are still experiencing symptoms after 30 days since initially coming down with the illness could indicate some level of long COVID.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of long COVID include residual shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and constant fatigue. Often, the symptoms interfere with daily life and appear when patients exert themselves. Other symptoms fall into cardiac/lung categories, like coughing and chest pain, and neurologic symptoms, like headache and sleep problems.

Fast-Track Policy Bill Will Include Prescription Drug Cost Controls and Obamacare Fix

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that controls for prescription drug cost and a 2-year extension of the Affordable Care Act will be included in a bill planned to pass in reconciliation, according to Reuters.

Lower drug costs: The bill aims to control exorbitant prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices.

Extended assistance: The bill extends increased financial assistance for people who qualify for subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, which is set to expire this year.

Kaitlin Edwards is a staff medical editor based in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @kaitmedwards. For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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