Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
First Senate Hearing for HHS Secretary Nominee
The first of two Senate committee confirmation hearings for
President Barack Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services
Secretary will be held Thursday.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell will appear before the Senate Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. At a date yet to be
decided, she will testify before the Senate Finance Committee,
which will vote on Burwell's nomination, the
Burwell was picked by Obama to replace outgoing Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who announced her resignation
last month. Burwell recently served as Obama's budget director.
If confirmed in her new role, Burwell will assume responsibility
for the health care overhaul. Prior to Thursday's hearing, she
received support from the health insurance industry. Burwell is
"uniquely qualified to lead HHS during this critical time," Karen
Ignagni, head of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a
Wide Variation in Hospital C-Section Rates: Study
There are large differences in the numbers of unnecessary
cesarean section births done by hospitals in the United States,
according to a new study.
Researchers looked at C-section rates for low-risk deliveries at
more than 1,500 hospitals in 22 states and found wide variations,
even between hospitals in the same communities or areas,
For example, the rate of C-sections for low-risk deliveries was
more than 50 percent at Los Angeles Community Hospital, compared
with 15 percent at California Hospital Medical Center in Los
Angeles and 11 percent at Western Medical Center Anaheim.
In El Paso, Texas, rates of C-sections for low risk deliveries
were 37 percent at Sierra Medical Center and 15 percent at
University Medical Center of El Paso. In Denver, Colo., the rates
were 20 percent at Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and 8
percent at Denver Health Medical Center, according to
The researchers also found that it can be hard to find
information about hospitals' C-section rates.
"We think it's time those hidden numbers are brought to light,"
Dr. John Santa, medical director of
Consumer ReportsHealth, said in news release from the group.
"How you deliver your baby should be determined by the safest
delivery method, not which hospital you choose."