health

Health
2:35 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care

Amanda Gerety, a staff nurse at Boston Medical Center, checks monitors that track patients' vital signs. Fewer beeps means crisis warnings are easier to hear, she says.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:46 am

Go into almost any hospital these days and you'll hear a constant stream of beeps and boops. To most people it sounds like medical Muzak.

But to doctors and nurses, it's not just sonic wallpaper. Those incessant beeps contain important coded messages.

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Health
4:16 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

The Healthy, Not The Young, May Determine Health Law's Fate

Insurers get paid more for older people under the Affordable Care Act, even if they're healthy.
Tony Ding AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:37 am

Now that the problems with the balky HealthCare.gov website are largely fixed, the Obama administration is finally feeling comfortable enough to launch some of the outreach it planned for last fall.

Its top target: young adults, specifically those between 18 and 35.

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Politics/Health
9:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Bullitt Fiscal Court Passes Local Smoking Ban Covering County Buildings

About one-third of Kentucky is covered by some kind of local smoking ban.

The Bullitt County Fiscal Court is giving its approval to a plan that would bar smoking on county-owned property. Still unsolved, however, is a lawsuit against the county Board of Health over a regulation it passed in 2011 that outlaws smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants.

According to the Courier-Journal, Bullitt Fiscal Court and eight cities in the county sued the Board of Health, saying the body doesn’t have the power to enact such rule changes.

That lawsuit is currently before the state Supreme Court.

The ban passed by the county fiscal court Wednesday doesn’t cover all work and public places, only select facilities owned by the county.

Two Kentucky state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill at the General Assembly that would create a statewide smoking ban.

A recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians support a statewide smoking ban.

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Health
10:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Feds Extend Coverage For People In High-Risk Insurance Pools

The tens of thousands of people with a history of serious illnesses who are enrolled in high-risk insurance pools created under the Affordable Care Act will have two more months before they lose that coverage, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.

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Health
9:22 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Coffee Myth-Busting: Cup Of Joe May Help Hydration And Memory

A barista makes coffee using the pour-over method at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:51 pm

Despite caffeine's many benefits, there's a belief out there that a daily coffee habit can cause dehydration.

So is it true? Not according to the findings of a new study.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. studied the fluid levels of 50 men who had a habit of consuming about three to six cups of coffee each day.

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Health
4:56 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Poll: Three in Ten Kentucky Adults Went Without Health Insurance in 2013

Interview with Susan Zepeda, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

An annual statewide poll shows that one-quarter of Kentucky adults are without health insurance.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll is funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. That group's President and CEO, Susan Zepeda, says an even higher number of adults in the commonwealth was without coverage for at least part of 2013.

"Three in ten Kentucky adults were uninsured at some point in the last 12 months, which really underscores the need for helping people get access to insurance," Dr. Zepeda told WKU Public Radio.

Zepeda says the recent poll is important because it sets a baseline for how many Kentuckians have health insurance, and from what sources, ahead of the broader impacts of the federal Affordable Care Act.

That baseline, Zepeda says, will help policy analysts determine how much effect the changes related to the ACA are having on individuals and states.

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Health
8:17 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Abortion Rights Supporters Say Kentucky Bill Would Limit Access to Procedure

Several Democrats in the Kentucky House have filed a bill that would make it a felony for doctors not to consult with patients seeking abortions a day before the procedure.

The bill is one of many filed this year that would limit abortion access.

Derek Selznick, Reproductive Freedom Project Director of the ACLU of Kentucky, says this bill and others would most severely affect women outside of major cities.

“If a woman is from a rural part of the state, that means she’s gonna have to get a hotel. If she works an hourly job, she’s out two days’ wages. All of these are serious impediments that offer really no higher quality of care. All they do is put a higher burden on a woman seeking abortion.”

Selznick says the bill is cobbled together from Republican proposals in the Senate.

Health
2:09 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pain In The Back? Exercise May Help You Learn Not To Feel It

Janet Wertheimer does a back hyperextension exercise at Boston Sports Club in Wellesley, Mass. Regular exercise has helped control her chronic back pain.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:56 pm

More than 1 in 4 adult Americans say they've recently suffered a bout of low-back pain. It's one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor. And more and more people are being treated for it.

America spends more than $80 billion a year on back pain treatments. But many specialists say less treatment is usually more effective.

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Health
10:28 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Grant Aims to Help Kentucky Combat Risk Factors Related to Obesity, Heart Disease, Stroke

A new federal grant is designed to help Kentucky reduce the major risk factors leading to obesity and chronic disease.  

The goal of the five-year, $1.7 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant is to promote improved physical activity and nutrition, reduce obesity, and prevent and control diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Kentucky could use the help. According to the 2012 edition of America’s Health Rankings from United Health Foundation, the commonwealth is at or near the bottom of nearly every major health indicator, ranking the 44th least healthy state overall.

Kentucky has the highest smoking rate in the U.S. and has the most preventable hospitalizations of any state in the country.

Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield says part of the grant focus will be on partnering with schools to help children make better health decisions.

Health
3:00 am
Thu January 2, 2014

'Good Behavior' More Than A Game To Health Care Plan

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:03 am

Behaving well in elementary school could reduce smoking in later life. At least, that's what Trillium Community Health Plan hopes, and it's putting money behind the idea.

Danebo Elementary in Eugene, Ore., is one of 50 schools receiving money to teach classes while integrating something called the "Good Behavior Game." Teacher Cami Railey sits at a small table, surrounded by four kids. She's about to teach them the "s" sound and the "a" sound. But first, as she does every day, she goes over the rules.

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