Some hospitals, trying to free up ERs, will pay for uninsured’s preventive care.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

For years, hospitals have struggled with the burden of treating uninsured patients who show up at the emergency department, often with maladies that could have been prevented if they’d only seen a doctor earlier.

Now Twin Cities hospitals are going to try an ounce of prevention.

Stung by a sharp increase in charity care, a number of area hospitals are going to fund preventive care at nearby clinics for people with no insurance precisely so they don’t have medical emergencies later.

Starting in January, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Fairview Southdale Hospital, North Memorial Medical Center, Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical Center will contribute a total of $500,000 for the year toward annual physicals, screenings and other primary care at clinics affiliated with the hospitals.

Making Gardasil Vaccination Mandatory Would Be Unwise, Academics Say

From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:

More academics are joining arguments against government mandates for immunizing girls with Merck’s Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer.

In the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, three scholars argue that state and local governments shouldn’t require girls get cervical cancer vaccinations for both public health and constitutional reasons.

Gail Javitt of Johns Hopkins’s Berman Institute of Bioethics, Deena Berkowitz of George Washington University School of Medicine and Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University Law Center say the vaccine — recommended for young girls to prevent cervical cancer — doesn’t address the same level of public health threat as existing mandates for polio, measles and other childhood vaccinations.

And for that reason, the authors argue, courts may not uphold the constitutionality of a mandate for vaccination against human papillomavirus, the target of Gardasil.