Health & Spirit

Mayo clinic minute: How to tell if someone is drowning

Health / Health & Fitness /

A sunny day at the beach or pool can take a dark turn in seconds.

"Drowning in this country remains one of the leading causes of accidental death in children and affects adults, as well," says Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician.

But Boniface says drowning usually doesn't look how people expect it to.

According to...Read more

'Holy cow' moment changes how Montana's state health plan does business

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Marilyn Bartlett, the director administrator of Montana's Health Care and Benefits Division, recalls thinking "holy cow" when she got an urgent directive from state legislators in late 2014: "You have to get these costs under control, or else."

Increasing health care costs in the state workers' health plan were helping hold down workers' wages....Read more

'Children must not be abused for political purposes': What health groups say about family separation

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America's medical and public health organizations have been unanimous in their criticism of the Trump administration's practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border. President Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the policy on Wednesday, after U.S. border officials placed more than 2,300 children in ...Read more

Medicaid strategy favored by Trump may make care less affordable, new studies indicate

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WASHINGTON -- Even as the Trump administration pushes to make Medicaid enrollees pay a greater share of their health care costs, new research suggests this strategy may prevent many poor patients from getting needed care.

An independent study of Indiana, which has helped pioneer the strategy of charging Medicaid patients, identified lower rates...Read more

Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway name CEO of joint healthcare venture

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Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and bestselling author, has been named chief executive of a venture sponsored by Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that aims to bring down those three firms' healthcare costs.

The companies announced the appointment Wednesday and said the new venture, to be based in...Read more

Mayo Clinic minute: Easing the itch of mosquito bites

Health / Health & Fitness /

They are a common summer nuisance. Mosquitoes are pesky parasites leaving bite marks that can be unbearable to itch. So what's the best way to stop yourself from scratching?

Jason Howland has the answer from a Mayo Clinic expert in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

There are millions of mosquitoes swarming this summer, sucking blood and leaving itchy, ...Read more

Republicans outline their latest strategy to roll back Obamacare

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- In a bid to revive the Republican effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act, a group of leading conservative health care advocates is proposing a new strategy to overhaul the law.

The plan -- which is outlined in a seven-page blueprint unveiled Tuesday -- faces long odds on Capitol Hill, where GOP leaders remain wary of ...Read more

Trump health plan change may ease insurance costs for some; critics fear it could weaken Obamacare

Health / Health & Fitness /

Employees of small businesses and self-employed workers may soon be able to get cheaper health insurance under a new federal rule unveiled Tuesday, though critics warn coverage might not be comprehensive and could leave other consumers paying higher prices.

The rule expands the use of association health plans, in which small businesses, ...Read more

Republicans outline their latest strategy to roll back Obamacare

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- In a bid to revive the Republican effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act, a group of leading conservative health care advocates is proposing a new strategy to overhaul the law.

The plan -- which is outlined in a seven-page blueprint unveiled Tuesday --faces long odds on Capitol Hill, where GOP leaders remain wary of reopening...Read more

Newborns in opioid withdrawal may do better on methadone than morphine, major study finds

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The number of babies born hooked on their mothers' opioids has been soaring for almost two decades, yet experts still are not sure whether morphine or methadone is best to gradually break the infants' drug dependence.

A rigorous new government-funded study has found that methadone has a slight advantage over morphine, modestly reducing babies' ...Read more

Congress' move to leave Obamacare mostly intact may save law

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WASHINGTON -- Congress killed off a key penalty in the 2010 health care law last year but left the rest of the law intact -- and that might prove pivotal to a lawsuit in which the Justice Department and 20 Republican-led states argue that the law's other major provisions must now be struck down.

That's because the federal courts will look at ...Read more

Unwieldy health costs often stand between teachers and fatter paychecks

Health / Health & Fitness /

As teacher strikes flared this spring in more than half a dozen states, from West Virginia to Arizona, protesters bemoaned stagnant salaries, overcrowded classrooms and a lack of basic supplies like textbooks and computers.

But often missing from hand-scrawled placards and fiery speeches was an issue that has contributed greatly to the ...Read more

Many recommend teaching mental health in schools. Now 2 states will require it

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WASHINGTON -- Amid sharply rising rates of teen suicide and adolescent mental illness, two states have enacted laws that for the first time require public schools to include mental health education in their basic curriculum.

Most states require health education in all public schools, and state laws have been enacted in many states to require ...Read more

Want to control that 'hangry' feeling you sometimes get? UNC researchers explore how

Health / Health & Fitness /

If my 3-year-old goes more than two hours without a snack, he turns into a screaming, hangry monster. And if we're being honest, so do I.

But Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, which ended Thursday, and they don't all transform into the Hulk for a month.

UNC researchers have been studying hunger and anger and have found that ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Juicing can help increase your fruit and vegetable intake

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Dear Mayo Clinic: Is juicing as healthy as some proclaim, or are some nutrients lost in the process?

A: Juicing -- extracting the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables -- can be a good way to add nutrients to your diet. If you struggle to eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, juicing can help you get ...Read more

UnitedHealth Group buys into hearing aid benefits

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UnitedHealth Group is pushing further into the hearing aid business by purchasing the subsidiary of a Swiss hearing aid manufacturer that manages insurance benefits for the devices.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based health care giant said it has directed customers for more than a decade to a company called Epic Hearing when employers want to ...Read more

Psychedelic drugs change brain cells in ways that could help fight depression, addiction and more

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Psychedelic drugs' mind-expanding properties may be rooted in their ability to prompt neurons to branch out and create new connections with other brain cells, new research has found.

This discovery may explain why psychedelic drugs appear to be a valuable treatment for a wide range of psychiatric diseases, scientists said.

In test tubes as ...Read more

Nonprofit hospitals are being less charitable. They say that shows Obamacare is working

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California's nonprofit hospitals are providing sharply less free and reduced-cost medical care than they did a few years ago, raising questions about the role and obligations of those institutions in the age of Obamacare.

About 170 nonprofit general acute hospitals provided $651 million of charity care in 2016, down from $985 million in 2011, ...Read more

Work snacks add up to nearly 1,300 calories a week, study finds

Health / Health & Fitness /

ATLANTA -- It's no secret that cupcakes in the break room provide little nutrition. But a new report reveals that many Americans might be overindulging in snacks.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently conducted a study, presented at a American Society for Nutrition meeting, to determine how many unhealthy ...Read more

There's no such thing as dry drowning, doctors say: 'This whole thing has totally been over-hyped'

Health / Health & Fitness /

As kids cannonball into summer pools and swim in Lake Michigan, parents keep a watchful eye to make sure they're safe.

But physicians and water safety experts say one worry -- so-called "dry" or "secondary drowning" -- may be on the minds of parents when it shouldn't be, and shifts focus from real concerns.

"Everyone needs to calm down," said ...Read more