Kaiser Health News – CDC Urges Doctors To Aggressively Test Pregnant Women For Zika
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on doctors to more aggressively screen pregnant women for the Zika virus and to take advantage of new testing technology to improve the diagnosis, follow-up and monitoring of those who have been infected. The guidance, published Monday, comes amid growing concerns about Zika, which is spread by mosquito bite and sexually transmitted. If contracted by pregnant women, it can result in severe birth defects — including microcephaly, which stunts children’s brain development. It has also been implicated in miscarriages and diseases like Guillain-Barre, a neurological disorder that causes temporary paralysis.

USA Today – American Red Cross calls for emergency blood donations amid shortage
Monday, the American Red Cross put out an emergency request for blood donations amid a summer blood shortage. The humanitarian organization currently has less than a five-day blood supply on hand, according to a statement. Shortages are often caused when more blood and platelets are distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, according to the organization.

Tech Times – Medicare Proposes Fixed Payments To Hospitals For Heart Attack Treatments
A Medicare proposal plans to issue fixed payments to hospitals for treating heart attack patients instead of health care providers sending bills for each service being provided to senior Americans. This follows the offer for fixed reimbursements for knee and hip replacements. The new Medicare proposal is an important extension of the current administration’s initiatives to improve the health care quality offered by the federal program and cut costs.

Time – A New Depression Treatment Shows Promise
One of the worst things about clinical depression is its cruel circularity. Feeling lousy smothers motivation; loss of motivation leads to inactivity; inactivity makes depression worse—and on and on. There are an awful lot of people caught in that terrible spiral: According to research by the World Economic Forum, an estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, with a projected global cost approaching $5.4 trillion over the 20-year period from 2011 to 2030. The good news is that treatments work. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in which people are taught to reframe their thinking and challenge negative assumptions about their lives, can reduce symptoms. Anti-depressant medications can help as well. The not-so-good news is that treatment outcomes can be uneven across populations, with reduction of symptoms heavily dependent on the skills of the psychologist or other caregiver. Not insignificantly, therapy can also be expensive.