Health

Shots - Health News
2:15 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Could The Ebola Outbreak Spread To Europe Or The U.S.?

On the lookout for SARS, an employee checks a baby's temperature at the Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, in 2003. The deadly virus quickly spread around the world once it reached Hong Kong, a central travel hub.
Nir Elias Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 8:41 am

Ebola headlines this past week make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

"Ebola Epidemic In West Africa 'Out Of Control,' " CNN said Monday. "Doctors Aren't Sure How To Stop Africa's Deadliest Ebola Outbreak," Shots reported.

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Shots - Health News
10:06 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Heart Of The Matter: Treating The Disease Instead Of The Person

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 8:28 am

A 56-year-old man is having lunch with his wife at a seafood restaurant just outside Boston when he develops crushing chest pain. He refuses an ambulance, so the man's wife drives him to the ER.

What happens next says a lot about the difference that being a doctor or a patient can make in how one feels about the health care system.

First, how did the patient and his wife see the trip to the hospital?

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Shots - Health News
8:56 am
Wed June 25, 2014

How Connecticut's Change In Autism Coverage Could Make Waves

Many families with children who have autism count on their insurance to help pay for expensive, long-term treatment. But a recent bulletin issued by the Connecticut Insurance Department may undermine existing coverage protections, some advocates say, and they are concerned that other states might follow suit.

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Around the Nation
2:25 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Trouble In Paradise: Opiate Use Spikes On Martha's Vineyard

A cache of Percocet and other opiates seized by Oak Bluffs police in an arrest earlier this year.
Courtesy of Oak Bluffs Police

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:48 am

Underneath the charm of Martha's Vineyard's picturesque beaches, peaceful woods and luxury homes is a problem: Since August, there have been six overdose deaths on the island.

"That's a phenomenal rate for a community of 16,000 people — and that's not to mention the overdoses that haven't been fatal," says Charles Silberstein, an addiction specialist and psychiatrist at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We've had overdoses for years, but I don't think we've ever seen this kind of number or frequency."

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The Salt
4:49 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

'Natural' Food Sounds Good But Doesn't Mean Much

Advocates say consumers may assume that the "natural" label is the same as "organic."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 8:50 am

Some people have had it with "natural" food.

For fifteen years, Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that "natural" is just about the most misleading label that you'll ever see on a food package. Yet consumers still look for that word, food companies still love to use it and the Food and Drug Administration can't or won't define it.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

3-D Mammography Finds More Tumors, But Questions Remain

A standard digital mammogram, left, compared to a 3-D tomosynthesis mammogram, right.
Courtesy of Hologic

A form of mammogram that takes multiple images does a slightly better job of finding tumors and reducing women's risk of having to be scanned again, a study finds.

It's the biggest study yet to look at tomosynthesis, also called 3-D mammograms. But it's still unclear if using this kind of mammogram increases a woman's odds of surviving breast cancer, the researchers say.

Rather, it found that the 3-D mammograms reduced the rate of recalls, where women had to have more scanning or a biopsy, by 1.6 percent.

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Shots - Health News
12:29 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Never Too Young: Pediatricians Say Parents Should Read To Infants

Cuddling up to read a story with the very young helps them recognize words and learn vocabulary, researchers say.
Jo Unruh iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 3:29 pm

Children whose parents read to them get a head start on language skills and literacy, as well as lovely cuddle time with Mom or Dad. But many children miss out on that experience, with one-third of children starting kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read.

So the nation's pediatricians are upping the ante, asking parents to start reading to their children when they're babies.

And pediatricians are becoming book purveyors, handing out books to families who might not have the resources to buy them.

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Shots - Health News
9:40 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Employer Health Costs Are Expected To Rise In 2015

Increases in health costs will accelerate next year, but changes in how people buy care will help keep the hikes from reaching the speed seen several years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers says.

The prediction, based on interviews and modeling, splits the difference between hopes that costs will stay tame and fears that they're off to the races after having been slow since the 2008 financial crisis.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:45 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Oklahoma Health Authority Weighs $252 Million In Medicaid Cuts

Lora Zibman Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority will consider $252 million in Medicaid cutbacks at its board meeting on Thursday, including new limits on patient services, higher copays and smaller reimbursements to doctors and other medical providers.

The cutbacks, described in a draft agenda for the board’s 1 p.m. meeting (see below), were devised by leaders of the Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in response to standstill state funding and reduced federal support.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Measles Outbreak In Ohio Leads Amish To Reconsider Vaccines

Amish show up at a makeshift clinic to get vaccinated against the measles. There's been an outbreak of measles among the Amish in central Ohio.
Sarah Jane Tribble Sarah Jane Tribble

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 8:53 am

The Amish countryside in central Ohio looks as it has for a hundred years. There are picturesque pastures with cows and sheep, and big red barns dot the landscape.

But something changed here, when, on an April afternoon, an Amish woman walked to a communal call box. She picked up the phone to call the Knox County Health Department. She told a county worker she and a family next door had the measles.

That call spurred nurse Jacqueline Fletcher into action.

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