health

Health Care
6:34 am
Mon September 2, 2013

For Many Oklahomans, The Doctor Is Not In

Dr. Maha Sultan, who practices in Frederick in southwest Oklahoma, is one of only three licensed doctors in Tillman County.
Credit Frederick Press-Leader

Despite efforts to increase the number of doctors in rural areas, many Oklahoma counties are still sorely lacking physicians to provide sufficient care to their residents.

Is there a doctor shortage in your county?

Seventy-two of the state’s 77 counties, or 94 percent, are designated by the federal government as shortage areas for primary health professionals; 30 have 10 or fewer doctors of any kind. The five counties not considered shortage areas are Oklahoma, Johnston, Canadian, Rogers and Wagoner, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

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Health Insurance
10:46 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Premium Increases Approved For State Workers

Credit James Martin / Flickr

The cost of health benefits for state and education workers is going up in 2014.

At the recommendation of a board that oversees benefits for most public workers, Office of Management and Enterprise Services Preston Doerflinger approved the increase in premium rates on Friday.

The Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board recommended an overall increase of 3.6 percent for the self-funded HealthChoice Plan and a 2.2 percent hike in the monthly premium for the HealthChoice Medicare supplement plan.

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State Capitol
9:46 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Officials Prepare To Set State Employee Health Insurance

Credit ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials are nearing the completion of the selection of health insurance providers for state workers, the first under a new process established in 2012.

“The Office of Management and Enterprise Services is finalizing the plans and rates proposals,” said John Estus, spokesman for the agency.

“We plan to share that information with various employee groups and the (Employee Benefits and Insurance) board will discuss it at their Aug. 16 meeting and makes it recommendations,” he said.

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Shots - Health News
8:40 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Swallowing Tiny Magnets Can Lead To Big Trouble For Kids

There's only one way to know if magnets and kids attract: with an x-ray.
Julie Brown/Seattle Children"s Hospital

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:56 am

About five years ago, emergency room doctor Julie Brown met an 8-year-old girl who complained about a weeklong stomach ache. The girl was tight-lipped about what might be causing the pain, and she ended up visiting the Seattle Children's Hospital, where Brown works, twice. And then a third time.

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Shots - Health News
8:01 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Doctors Increasingly Ignore Evidence In Treating Back Pain

Unfortunately, that CT scan probably won't help.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 11:18 am

The misery of low back pain often drives people to the doctor to seek relief. But doctors are doing a pretty miserable job of treating back pain, a study finds.

Physicians are increasingly prescribing expensive scans, narcotic painkillers and other treatments that don't help in most cases, and can make things a lot worse. Since 1 in 10 of all primary care visits are for low back pain, this is no small matter.

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Shots - Health News
8:24 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Test-Driving The Obamacare Software

Hit return for health coverage.
iStockphoto.com

All the outreach in the world won't count for much if the Obamacare ticket counter doesn't work.

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Kids Count
2:24 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Survey Shows Oklahoma Children's Well-Being Improves

Credit Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

An annual report on the well-being of children in the United States shows improvement in Oklahoma.

The state's ranking improved from 40th to 36th among the 50 states in the Kids Count report released Monday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The foundation ranks states based on four areas — economic well-being; education; health; and family and community issues.

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Animal Health
4:57 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

OSDH Urges Rabies Precautions

Credit Alan Levine / Flickr

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 41 cases of rabies in the state thus far in 2013. The cases include 25 skunks, nine cows, five dogs, one horse and one fox.

Health officials in Oklahoma are urging residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from rabies by having their pets vaccinated.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.

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8:29 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Consultant: Pay Private Insurers To Cover Medicaid Eligible Oklahomans

State leaders have been looking for a way to cover thousands of uninsured Oklahomans after Gov. Mary Fallin rejected a federal expansion of Medicaid. A consultant told the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to look toward Arkansas for an answer.
A consultant hired by Oklahoma to propose ideas on state health care policies is recommending the state adopt a plan similar to one in Arkansas that channels state and federal money to private insurers to cover the uninsured. The approach would mean changing and expanding the current Insure Oklahoma plan, which subsidizes premiums for more than 30,000 uninsured people but is capped.
State Capitol
2:46 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

State House Approves Changes To Abortion Reporting

Credit Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Abortion providers in Oklahoma would be required to answer dozens of new questions on a state questionnaire under a bill given final approval in the House despite concerns the bill paves the way for costly litigation against the state.

The bill by State Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) adds several questions to the Individual Abortion Form that abortion providers in Oklahoma are required to fill out and submit to the Department of Health.

Providers already are required to ask a woman dozens of questions about her age, race, marital status, previous pregnancies, and relationship problems.

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