health care

Lyme disease was once unheard of in western Pennsylvania, where Barbara Thorne, now an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time as a kid.

Thorne knew that if black-legged ticks are infected with bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, they can transmit Lyme to people and, that if untreated, symptoms can range from fever, fatigue and a rash, to serious damage to the joints, heart and nervous system.

Acupuncturists, Physical Therapists Battle Over Treatment

May 4, 2018

Acupuncturists and physical therapists are waging a war --- over needles.

As a growing opioid epidemic has made patients leery of continued use of the drugs, the Florida Board of Physical Therapy has proposed a rule that would authorize certain physical therapists to treat patients with a “dry needling” technique.

One July evening a few years ago, Carol Harnett was in a crosswalk in downtown Portland, Ore., when a driver made an illegal turn and hit her.

Transported by ambulance to a hospital, Harnett, who is president of the nonprofit Council for Disability Awareness, was diagnosed with a severely sprained right ankle and left wrist, as well as a concussion.

At the emergency room, doctors gave her steel-reinforced braces for her wrist and ankle and told her she was free to go.

Health Plans Lawyer Up For Medicaid Challenges

May 2, 2018

The 12 managed-care plans at risk of being shut out of Florida’s Medicaid program have turned to 11 different law firms to represent them.

The Tallahassee-based firm Rutledge Ecenia has been hired by two managed-care plans unhappy with the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s decisions.

Attorney Stephen Ecenia is representing Magellan Complete Care, while Tana D. Story has been hired to represent Our Childen PSN of Florida.

Stoneman Shooting Survivors
Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

"We are the long-term people." That's how  Dr. Judith Aronson-Ramos, a member of the Advisory Board of Parkland Cares, describes the mission of the organization. 

Military service. Bathroom use. Job bias. And now, health care.

The Trump administration is coming under fire for rewriting a federal rule that bars discrimination in health care based on "gender identity." Critics say it's another attempt to undercut acceptance for transgender people.

State Workers Hand Over Papers For Health Coverage

Apr 27, 2018

More than 1,800 people have been removed from the state-employee health insurance program after Gov. Rick Scott’s administration started requiring workers to fork over tax documents and their children’s birth certificates to verify that family members qualify for coverage.

For today, there are no doctor's visits. No long afternoons with nothing to do. No struggles over bathing.

At the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., a group of older adults — some in wheelchairs, some with Alzheimer's — sit with their caregivers in a semicircle around a haunting portrait of a woman in white.

State Names Nine Medicaid Health Plans But Challenges Loom

Apr 25, 2018

Florida officials on Tuesday announced the names of the nine health plans the state wants to ink contracts with to provide health care to nearly four million poor, elderly and disabled residents.

The woman arrived at the emergency department gasping for air, her severe emphysema causing such shortness of breath that the physician who examined her immediately put her on a ventilator to help her breathe.

The patient lived across the street from that suburban Denver ER. The facility wasn't physically located at a hospital, says Dr. David Friedenson, the physician who took care of her that day. But it was affiliated with a hospital several miles away — North Suburban Medical Center.

As she leaves a 12-hour-day on the labor and delivery shift, Dr. Katie Merriam turns off her pager.

"I don't know what I'd do without it, you know? It's another limb. I always know where it is," she says, laughing.

The third-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Carolinas Medical Center hospital in Charlotte, N.C., works in a medical specialty dominated by women, treating women. Merriam says she feels a special connection to her patients.

Our Take A Number series is exploring problems around the world through the lens of a single number.

It's about 7 p.m. on a chilly night, and Sirene Garcia is standing outside an apartment building about an hour's drive from Rochester, N.Y.

Even though Garcia has had a cold for the past few days, she has her laptop perched on the hood of her car, trying to test out the new telehealth program. Once the program kicks off, Finger Lakes Community Health's doctors and nurse practitioners will be able to see patients at their homes through video calls.

It came down to the wire, but a federal agency that helps thousands of Florida seniors sign up for Medicare will be funded for another year.

For the 3 million people in America (myself included) with celiac disease — an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten — culinary life is a series of intricate leaps, accommodations and back-steps. We peer at labels, know the difference between "gluten-free" and "certified-gluten free" and keep a dedicated set of dishes and pots at home to avoid contamination by flour dust, crumbs of bread and bits of pasta indulged in by family members or roommates.

Treading into ethically and legally uncertain territory, a New York end-of-life agency has approved a new document that lets people stipulate in advance that they don't want food or water if they develop severe dementia.

The directive, finalized this month by the board for End Of Life Choices New York, aims to provide patients a way to hasten death in late-stage dementia, if they choose.

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