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Data wave hits health care

Health / Health & Fitness /

Technology used by Facebook, Google and Amazon to turn spoken language into text, recognize faces and target advertising could help doctors fight one of the deadliest infections in American hospitals.

Clostridium difficile, a bacterium spread by physical contact with objects or infected people, thrives in hospitals, causing 453,000 cases a year...Read more

Idaho Blue Cross jumps into controversial market for plans that bypass ACA rules

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That didn't take long.

It's barely been two weeks since Idaho regulators said they would allow the sale of health insurance that does not meet all of the Affordable Care Act's requirements -- a controversial step some experts said would likely draw legal scrutiny and, potentially, federal fines for any insurer that jumped in.

On Wednesday, ...Read more

US health care tab to keep rising, led by higher costs for drugs and services, government report says

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WASHINGTON -- Driven by rising prices for drugs and medical services, the nation's health care tab will continue to outpace economic growth over the next decade, according to a new government report.

And by 2026, health care spending will account for almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy, an all-time record.

The new report, which was prepared ...Read more

Maryland offers many insured men free vasectomy coverage

Health / Health & Fitness /

It was a well-intentioned effort to provide men with some of the same financial protection from birth control costs that women get. But a new Maryland law may jeopardize the ability of thousands of consumers -- both men and women -- to use health savings accounts.

The law, which took effect Jan. 1, mandates that insurers cover vasectomies ...Read more

LGBTQ health care: How to get what you need as concerns rise over new division at HHS

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Health care can be challenging for anyone these days, but getting the right services is especially daunting for the LGBTQ community, which has faced decades of discrimination and misunderstanding.

The creation last month of a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is raising concerns among ...Read more

Judge allows UnitedHealth Medicare fraud case to proceed

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MINNEAPOLIS -- A whistleblower case alleging that Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group defrauded the federal Medicare program can move forward, a federal judge ruled Monday, although the decision narrowed the set of claims that the government might pursue.

The ruling came in a case brought by a former UnitedHealth Group employee in Minnesota ...Read more

White House doubles down on its goal of Obamacare repeal in new budget proposal

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WASHINGTON -- Even as prospects for a new Republican push to roll back the Affordable Care Act remain dim, the White House is doubling down on the repeal effort, calling for massive cuts to health care assistance in its 2019 budget.

The budget blueprint -- which lays out a host of Trump administration health care proposals --outlines nearly $1....Read more

Runner's science: Research predicts, prevents injuries in athletes

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For the past 11 years, a team of physicians and researchers at Mayo Clinic has been collecting data from athletes in an attempt to predict and prevent running injuries.

Runner's Science, as the research study is known, studies the effects of distance running on the human body. The project was launched in 2008 alongside the inaugural 26.2 with ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: California confronts the complexities of creating a single-payer health care system

Health / Health & Fitness /

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon may have expected to torpedo the idea of a statewide single-payer health care system for the long term last June, when he blocked a Senate bill on the issue from even receiving a hearing in his house.

He was wrong, of course. His shelving of the Senate bill created a political uproar (including the ...Read more

Changing the way we look at dementia 

Health / Health & Fitness /

In November, six people with Alzheimer's disease and related types of cognitive impairment stood before an audience of 100 in North Haven, Conn.

One by one, they talked about what it was like to live with dementia in deeply personal terms.

Before the presentation, audience members were asked to write down five words they associated with ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Pain near artificial hip should be evaluated without delay

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Dear Mayo Clinic: Six years ago, at age 67, I had my right hip replaced. I'd been feeling fine until about eight weeks ago, when it started to hurt toward the front of my hip when I lift my right leg. The pain is quite significant -- to the point where it hurts every time I get in my car or attempt to put on socks. What could be causing this to ...Read more

Update your child's immunizations

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Updated immunization schedules were released on recently, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"The biggest change this year is the recognition that all babies should get the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of life," says Dr. Robert Jacobson, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician. "There's no logic or science to ...Read more

Despite Trump's attacks, Obamacare sign-ups for 2018 hold steady

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WASHINGTON -- Almost 12 million Americans signed up for 2018 health coverage through marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, according to a new tally that indicates nationwide enrollment remained virtually unchanged from last year despite President Donald Trump's persistent attacks on the 2010 health law.

The new enrollment numbers -- ...Read more

Nurse calls cops after new mom seeks help for depression. Was it the right call?

Health / Health & Fitness /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Four months after having her second baby, Jessica Porten started feeling really irritable. Little things would annoy her, like her glider chair.

"It had started to squeak," she said. "And so when I'm sitting there rocking the baby and it's squeaking, I would just get so angry at that stupid chair."

She read online that this ...Read more

Minnesota effort has health care revamp lessons for Amazon and its partners

Health / Health & Fitness /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The effort rolled out last week by three of the nation's most influential companies to revamp health care is the latest in a series of such pushes by corporate America, including a widely heralded effort in the Twin Cities that ultimately failed.

For a period during the late 1990s, big employers in Minnesota launched an ...Read more

Trump administration: Let states decide if health plans have enough doctors

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WASHINGTON -- In Washington state, a woman in Spokane named Cynthia Harvey bought health insurance from Coordinated Care, in part because the brochure promised a robust roster of physicians and coverage for an array of services, including, if needed, emergency room services.

According to a federal lawsuit, however, Coordinated Care failed to ...Read more

Trump stirs a hornet's nest in Britain by blasting its National Health Service

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump has a way of bringing Britons together.

He united them in outrage when he retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British party. He galvanized popular support for London's mayor when he accused the mayor of not taking terror threats seriously -- even as London was recovering from a deadly terror ...Read more

Community health centers caught in 'Washington's political dysfunction'

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As lawmakers face another deadline this week for passing legislation to keep the federal government open, one of the outstanding issues is long-term funding for a key health care safety-net program.

The Community Health Center program serves 27 million people at almost 10,000 nonprofit clinics nationwide, almost all of which are in low-income ...Read more

Americans in poor areas want jobs, but health problems get it the way

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON ––The tightest labor market in years isn't pulling in all Americans.

Despite a robust job market that added 200,000 positions in January and many companies struggling to find skilled labor, the unemployment rate is 10 percent in impoverished neighborhoods, compared with the national rate of 4.1 percent, according to a Gallup ...Read more

Skin care line takes aloe's healing powers one step further

Health / Health & Fitness /

Several years ago, Hillsborough resident Pat Criscito and her sister made a life-changing discovery at an alternative health conference. Criscito's sister had long suffered with a painful chronic bladder disorder, and she found relief in a sample of aloe vera caplets she picked up at the event.

But the capsules weren't strong enough to provide ...Read more