health care

When it comes to health care, Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum and his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis couldn't be further apart.

State Uninsured Rate Increases, Tops National Average

Sep 13, 2018

More than 2.6 million people in Florida lacked health insurance at some point in 2017, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Editor's note: Shortly after this story by Kaiser Health News and NPR was published and broadcast on Monday, St. David's said it was now willing to accept $782.29 to resolve the $108,951 balance because Drew Calver qualifies for its "financial assistance discount." In a statement, the hospital said this offer was contingent on Calver submitting his application for a discount based on his household finances. Calver disputed that he owes any additional money to St. David's and said this situation should have been resolved long before now.

One day this spring, an elderly patient of mine became upset with me because, she said, I had betrayed her trust.

The issue was a short note I had written in her medical record about her difficult relationship with her child. The note was a reminder for me and anybody else in the hospital where I worked that the patient didn't have anyone who could accompany her to appointments.

My back hurts when I sit down.

It's been going on for 10 years. It really doesn't matter where I am — at work, at a restaurant, even on our couch at home. My lower back screams, "Stop sitting!"

To try to reduce the pain, I bought a kneeling chair at work. Then I got a standing desk. Then I went back to a regular chair because standing became painful.

I've seen physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain specialists. I've mastered Pilates, increased flexibility and strengthened muscles. At one point, my abs were so strong my husband nicknamed them "the plate."

Taking a genetic test in your 20s or 30s could, indeed, affect your ability to get long-term-care insurance later — or at least the price you'll pay. And people who are considering enrolling in Medicare after age 65 would do well to read the fine print of the sign-up rules. Readers have insurance questions on these topics this month, and we have answers:

Q: Can getting a genetic test interfere with being able to buy long-term-care insurance in the future? If you do get a plan, can the insurer drop you after you find out the results of a genetic test?

Delay In Federal Approval Trims Medicaid Savings

Aug 7, 2018

Nearly $100 million the state assumed would be saved by changing a policy about patient eligibility for Medicaid won’t come to fruition this year.

The antipsychotic drug Seroquel was approved by the FDA years ago to help people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other serious mental illnesses. But too frequently the drug is also given to people who have Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The problem with that? Seroquel can be deadly for dementia patients, according to the FDA.

Lisa Iezzoni was in medical school at Harvard in the early 1980s when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She started experiencing some of the symptoms, including fatigue, but she wasn't letting that get in the way of her goal. Then came the moment she scrubbed in on a surgery and the surgeon told her what he thought of her chances in the field.

"He opined that I had no right to go into medicine because I lacked the most important quality in medicine," Iezzoni recalls "And that was 24/7 availability."

President Donald Trump says insurers are "going wild" about his new health care options and "millions and millions" of people will be signing up.

The Trump administration says it will restore Affordable Care Act payments to insurers that it had recently frozen, leading to concerns about higher premiums next year.

Hospitals Gear Up For New Diagnosis: Human Trafficking

Jul 24, 2018

The woman arrived at the emergency department at Huntington Hospital on New York's Long Island after she was hit by her boyfriend during an argument. Her situation raised concerns among the medical staff, which had recently been trained to be on the lookout for signs of sex trafficking.

If you're in the hospital or a doctor's office with a painful problem, you'll likely be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10 – with 0 meaning no pain at all and 10 indicating the worst pain you can imagine. But many doctors and nurses say this rating system isn't working and they're trying a new approach.

Jose Belardo of Lansing, Kansas, spent most of his career in the U.S. Public Health Service. He worked on the frontlines of disasters in places like Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. At home with his three kids and wife, Elaine, he'd always been unfailingly reliable, so when he forgot their wedding anniversary two years in a row, they both started to worry.

"We recognized something wasn't right and pretty much attributed it to being overworked and tired," Elaine says.

State Challenged On Children’s Medical Contract

Jul 18, 2018

A managed-care plan owned by the North Broward and South Broward hospital districts is fighting a state decision to eliminate it from providing Medicaid services to some of Florida’s sickest children. 

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