6:17 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Western Hemisphere Wipes Out Its Third Virus

Health worker Jackie Carnegie delivers a rubella vaccine in Colorado in 1972.
Ira Gay Sealy Denver Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 4:45 pm

It took 15 years and hundreds of millions of vaccines. But North America and South America have officially eradicated rubella, health authorities said Wednesday. Rubella is only the third virus eradicated from people in the Western Hemisphere.

Also known as German measles, rubella causes only a mild illness in children, with a rash and sometimes a fever.

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5:05 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

He Carried His Mom On His Back For 5 Hours En Route To Medical Care

Amar Baramu carried his 70-year-old mother on his back for five hours, then rode with her on a bus for 12 more, to get her to a hospital for the head wound she suffered during the earthquake.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 8:57 am

He carried his 70-year-old mother on his back for five hours.

Then he traveled with her by bus for 12 more.

She suffered a severe head injury when the earthquake rumbled through her village of Thumi. He was trying to get her to a hospital in the Gorkha district in northern-central Nepal.

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All Tech Considered
3:53 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

The Doctor Will Video Chat With You Now: Insurer Covers Virtual Visits

UnitedHealthcare says it will cover doctors' visits by live video on smartphones, tablets and computers.
Doctor On Demand

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 7:19 pm

If you can live stream movies, why not live stream medical care?

Insurance company UnitedHealthcare will start covering visits to the doctor's office — via video chat. Patients and physicians talk live online — on smartphones, tablets or home computer — to get to a clinical diagnosis. This move to cybermedicine could save insurers a ton of money — or have unintended consequences.

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Shots - Health News
2:21 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Health System Took Control To Make Joint Replacement More Profitable

Northeast Baptist Hospital, one of five hospitals within the Baptist Health System in San Antonio.
Courtesy of Baptist Health System

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:13 pm

To understand how the health law is supposed to fix the mediocre, overpriced, absurd medical system, you could read wonky research papers on bundled payments and accountable care organizations.

Or you could look at what's going on at Baptist Health System in San Antonio.

Under the potent lure of profit, doctors, nurses and managers at Baptist's five hospitals have joined forces to cut costs for hip and knee replacements, getting patients on their feet sooner and saving taxpayers money.

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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Expanding Medicaid Trims Hospitals' Costs Of Caring For Uninsured

St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore is one of the 131 hospitals run by Ascension Health. It's a not-for-profit, Catholic health care system that treats many low-income patients.
St. Agnes Hospital

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:42 pm

When patients show up in the hospital without health insurance, they often receive charity care — the hospital treats the person and then swallows some or all of the costs.

It's central to the mission of many nonprofit hospitals, particularly those serving low-income areas.

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Shots - Health News
1:13 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Small Plague Outbreak In People Tracked To Pit Bull

Rod-shaped specimens of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial cause of plague, find a happy home here in the foregut of a flea. Fleas can transmit the infection to animals and people, who can get pneumonic plague and transmit the infection through a cough or kiss.
Science Source

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:14 pm

For the first time in 90 years, U.S. health officials say they have diagnosed a case of the plague that may have spread in the air from one person to another. Don't be alarmed — the plague these days is treatable with antibiotics and is exceptionally rare (just 10 cases were reported nationwide in 2014).

And if the plague has become mostly a curiosity in the United States, this case is more curious than most.

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Shots - Health News
10:28 am
Thu April 30, 2015

The Great Success And Enduring Dilemma Of Cervical Cancer Screening

Dr. George Papanicolaou discovered that it was possible to detect cancer by inspecting cervical cells. The Pap smear, the cervical cancer screening test, is named after him.
American Cancer Society AP

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 2:01 am

Cervical cancer, which still kills about 4,000 American women every year, is almost entirely preventable. Proper screening can catch early warning signs that could lead to cancer without the right treatment. But how often women should get screened and which tests should be used has been hotly debated by women, doctors and medical researchers for the past decade.

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Shots - Health News
10:08 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Health Plans Often Fail To Provide Free Coverage For Women's Health

After the conversation about contraception, will there be a copay?
Garo/Phanie Science Source

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 7:31 pm

Many women were thrilled when the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, because it required insurance companies to cover a broad array of women's health services without any out-of-pocket costs.

Five years later, however, the requirement isn't being enforced, according to two new studies. Health insurance plans around the country are failing to provide many of those legally mandated services including birth control and cancer screenings.

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Goats and Soda
9:21 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Safe Surgery Is A Dream In The Developing World

A surgeon and nurse anesthetist a baby by emergency cesarean section at a hospital in Rwanda.
Amber Lucero Dwyer/Courtesy Lifebox Foundation

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 1:21 pm

As you're wheeled down to surgery, nervously waving goodbye to loved ones, it's unlikely that one of your fears is whether your surgeon will have to double up as your anesthesiologist.

But at a hospital in Kenya, Dr. David Barash remembers watching an obstetrician perform a cesarean section while at the same time instructing a nurse on how to deliver anesthesia.

Then at another hospital in Nigeria, Barash saw women left unattended, lying on beds in the hallway, to recover on their own after C-sections.

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Shots - Health News
6:42 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Your Tough Job Might Help Keep You Sharp

Engaging, mentally stimulating work is good for the brain, scientists say, whether you get paid to do it or not. Running a household can be as mentally demanding as running a company.

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 3:40 pm

It's just Wednesday, but maybe you're already crashing. You've got three deadlines to juggle, your boss is breathing down your neck and Lillith from Finance is being a total pain.

Here's a bit of research that might reassure you it's all worth it.

Challenging work that involves lots of analytical thinking, planning and other managerial skills might help your brain stay sharp as you age, a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology suggests.

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