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UnitedHealth Group shares jump more than 5% on strong earnings, guidance

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Shares of UnitedHealth Group jumped more than 5% in early trading Tuesday after the company reported third quarter results that beat expectations for profit and revenue while putting a focus on the company's expanding business running outpatient medical centers.

David Wichmann, the UnitedHealth Group chief executive, told investors during a ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Minute: What is molecular breast imaging and who needs it?

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Mammography screening for breast cancer saves lives. But another test may be better for women with dense breasts. Dr. Deborah Rhodes, an internal medicine specialist from the Breast Diagnostic Clinic at Mayo Clinic, says that data from a study being done at Mayo Clinic and other centers across the country suggest that molecular breast imaging ...Read more

GM deal with UAW on health care costs may help end strike, hurt Ford

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DETROIT -- General Motors, in its negotiations with the UAW, has cost Ford a lot of money.

Why? Ford employs the most hourly workers in the United States and as a result pays more for health care. So any costs that GM negotiates in what is seen as a master contract with the Detroit Three directly impacts Ford disproportionately, labor analysts ...Read more

UnitedHealthcare plan faces Medicare sanction

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UnitedHealthcare is facing enrollment restrictions next year in one of its Medicare Advantage health plan contracts, regulators say, because the insurer hasn't been spending a large enough share of revenue on the health care needs of enrollees.

The sanction from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) applies to just one of United'...Read more

Elizabeth Warren, 70, flaunts her fitness as Democratic candidates' health becomes a debate issue

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WASHINGTON -- As hundreds of people gathered for a recent Elizabeth Warren rally in Rock Hill, S.C., the heat built so much that one woman in the crowd passed out before the event started.

The 90-degree day did not appear to slow Warren: She bounded up the steps to the stage and gave a kinetic, full-body wave to the crowd.

Without saying a ...Read more

Easy way to stay healthy on airplanes

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A colleague had been on an airplane -- and he felt a cold coming on. With watery eyes and a red nose, he asked, "Have you written about how to stay healthy on flights?"

It seems like it's time to do so again, especially because flu season is on the runway.

Getting sick after a flight is a common complaint for a few reasons. Fliers are squeezed...Read more

Taking the cops out of mental health-related 911 rescues

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DENVER -- Every day that Janet van der Laak drives between car dealerships in her sales job, she keeps size 12 shoes, some clothes and a packed lunch -- a PB&J sandwich, fruit and a granola bar -- beside her in case she sees her 27-year-old son on the streets.

" 'Jito, come home," she always tells him, using a Spanish endearment. There he can ...Read more

New study shows potential link between bad quality sleep and Alzheimer's in Hispanics

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Hispanics who have trouble sleeping may be at a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, according to a new study.

The study found a possible link between insomnia, prolonged sleep duration (more than nine hours of sleep) and a decline in neurocognitive functioning, which could precede Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, said ...Read more

Federal health officials propose loosening anti-kickback laws

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled plans to loosen two anti-corruption laws for doctors, in a bid to promote new ways of delivering coordinated health care while attempting to preserve the laws' core aim of combating fraud and abuse.

Physician groups have long sought changes to the anti-kickback law and the Stark self-...Read more

How PG&E's historic blackouts will put California's medical emergency planning to the test

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Health care providers and officials around Northern California said that PG&E's electrical grid shutdown, expected to trigger blackouts in 34 of 58 counties on Wednesday, will test on a grand scale whether residents and medical care facilities have done enough to planning for medical emergencies.

"Placer County is expected...Read more

Study: If you have heart disease, here's how much you should sleep to prevent early death

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If you've been diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes or heart disease, getting enough sleep at night is imperative, according to a new report.

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, to explore the association between lack of sleep and ...Read more

Cancer patients often need this one basic thing to participate in clinical trials

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When Paul Bagga was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer that soon spread to his brain, the nonsmoker was devastated and terrified.

More than five years later, the Flourtown retiree, 67, is going strong, thanks to participating in clinical testing of a targeted drug developed by Pfizer. Lorbrena was approved last November, and it is still ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: What are seborrheic keratoses?

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Dear Mayo Clinic: I have brown spots over the top half of my body, which my doctor says are seborrheic keratoses and are harmless. What causes them, and is there a way to prevent more from appearing?

A: Seborrheic keratoses are a common skin issue, particularly in older adults. Although they don't pose any health risks, these skin growths can ...Read more

Extent of health coverage gains from California gig worker law uncertain

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A new California law that reclassifies some independent contractors as employees, requiring they be offered a range of benefits and worker protections, will likely expand health insurance coverage in the state, health policy experts say.

But it might end up harming some workers.

That's in part because the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, could ...Read more

Warren has many plans, but on health care, she's with Bernie

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren has a plan for everything -- but on the crucial 2020 issue of health care, she's borrowing from a rival and fellow progressive -- Bernie Sanders.

The presidential candidate who made a mark with her signature "I have a plan for that!" is the only one of the five top-polling Democrats without a sweeping proposal of ...Read more

The roll-back of an Obama-era regulation could leave transgender patients at risk of health care discrimination.

Health / Health & Fitness /

Len Meyer knows what it's like to fight a health insurance company for coverage.

Meyer, who is nonbinary and transgender, spent more than six months battling an insurance company to cover a double mastectomy. The company claimed the procedure wasn't medically necessary, and denied it three times before the insurer agreed to cover it in 2015, ...Read more

Healthy Men: Do you need more testosterone?

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Testosterone has taken a beating lately. We all know that it's the hormone that makes guys, well, guys. It's also associated with ultra-macho, boorish behavior, excessive body hair, and other unwanted things. That said, it's still an essential hormone for men (and for women too, believe it or not), and if you don't have enough of it, you could ...Read more

Healthy Men: Could masculinity be killing us?

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Dear Healthy Men: How much do you think that masculinity could be hurting men?

A: A lot. But I'd argue that it's less masculinity itself and more the pressure to be a "real man"-- which, thanks to phrases like "Man up," "Play through it," and "Big boys don't cry," starts long before we can even stand up -- that's doing the harm.

John and ...Read more

Trump speech offers dizzying preview of his health care campaign strategy

Health / Health & Fitness /

President Donald Trump offered a preview of what his 2020 health agenda might look like in a speech Thursday -- blasting Democratic proposals for reform and saying he would tackle issues such as prescription drug prices and affordability.

He outlined the pillars of his health care vision, which included protecting vulnerable patients; ...Read more

You've got questions about Medicare's 2020 fall enrollment period. We've got answers.

Health / Health & Fitness /

Medicare's fall open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is an opportunity to review your benefits and make changes in time for 2020.

But signing up or reviewing your coverage can seem daunting.

Last year, we asked Philadelphia Inquirer readers what they'd like to know about Medicare, and brought an excellent list of questions ...Read more