New Pennsylvania Law Bans Pelvic Exams On Anesthetized Patients
Beginning in January, medical students are barred from performing pelvic or rectal exams without a patient's verbal and written consent. Also in the news: a biomarker testing bill in New York; pressure on Texas food banks; delayed wheelchair repairs in Massachusetts; and more.
A new Pennsylvania law will require doctors to get a patient's verbal and written consent before medical students can perform pelvic or rectal exams on someone who receives anesthesia. At a press conference Monday, supporters touted the recently enacted legislation, which goes into effect in January. Tracking how often medical students are asked to perform pelvic, rectal or prostate exams on anesthetized patients is difficult, but concern about the procedures has led to a broad national effort to require informed consent for the procedures. (11/27)
A bill on Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk would make insurance companies cover what doctors call life-saving cancer genetic testing. Biomarker testing helps create more targeted treatment plans. However, one-third of health plans don't currently cover it. ... "If a doctor determines that a biomarker test would help them figure out the best course of medicine, it should be covered as standard of care," said Michael Davoli of the American Cancer Society. (Gusoff, 11/27)
Usually, the Town of Navassa鈥檚 Community Center parking lot is empty on Sundays, but that wasn鈥檛 the case the weekend before Thanksgiving. Navassa, a predominantly Black community, is in Brunswick County and gets its drinking water from the Cape Fear River, as does its neighbor Wilmington, which is about six miles southeast. That makes the town鈥檚 residents prime candidates to join the GenX Exposure Study, a multisite study where environmental health researchers are examining the blood of people who鈥檝e been exposed to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have contaminated waterways throughout the state.聽And that鈥檚 why cars were in the center鈥檚 lot on Sunday. (Atwater, 11/28)
Two pilot programs intended to address chronically delayed wheelchair repairs are themselves taking months longer than planned to launch. MassHealth, which is responsible for the pilot programs, was supposed to have two vendors in place to run the programs by this fall. The state鈥檚 Medicaid administrator now anticipates both contractors won鈥檛 be in place until August 2024. (Laughlin, 11/27)
Twice a week starting around 6:30 a.m., drivers head to a parking lot in South Austin. Once there, volunteers direct them into orderly rows, where they are ushered forward one-by-one to open their doors and receive a bundle of free food. (Peters, 11/28)