health care

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.

When journalist Maya Dusenbery was in her 20s, she started experiencing progressive pain in her joints, which she learned was caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

As she began to research her own condition, Dusenbery realized how lucky she was to have been diagnosed relatively easily. Other women with similar symptoms, she says, "experienced very long diagnostic delays and felt ... that their symptoms were not taken seriously."

Direct 'Primary Care Bill' Gets Scott's Approval

Mar 26, 2018
Rick Scott/flickr

After years of legislative discussion about the issue, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a measure (HB 37) that amends the state insurance code to make clear that “direct primary care” agreements do not run afoul of insurance laws. Under direct primary-care agreements, doctors charge patients monthly fees in advance of providing services, with patients then able to access services at no extra cost. The bill, sponsored by House Insurance & Banking Chairman Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Sen.

As Trump Targets Immigrants, Elderly Brace To Lose Caregivers

Mar 26, 2018

After back-to-back, eight-hour shifts at a chiropractor’s office and a rehab center, Nirva arrived outside an elderly woman’s house just in time to help her up the front steps.

Nirva took the woman’s arm as she hoisted herself up, one step at a time, taking breaks to ease the pain in her hip. At the top, they stopped for a hug.

“Hello, bella,” Nirva said, using the word for “beautiful” in Italian.

“Hi, baby,” replied Isolina Dicenso, the 96-year-old woman she has helped care for for seven years.

The recent school shootings in Florida and Maryland have focused attention on the National Rifle Association’s clout in state and federal lobbying activities.

To reach the Martinez home in Puerto Rico's central mountains, social worker Eileen Calderon steers around piles of dirt, treacherous potholes and power company trucks that block the road. Finally, we pull up to a sagging cement home, the roof done in by Hurricane Maria. Laundry hangs under a tarp, and a cat is tied to a leash outside the door.

When Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler announced that scientists had discovered the virus that caused AIDS at a press conference in 1984, the disease was still mysterious and invariably fatal.

doctor
Flickr Creative Commons/Hamza Butt / WLRN

A bill that would allow physicians, chiropractors and group practices to sign “direct primary-care” agreements with patients without running amok of Florida’s insurance laws is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve the measure (HB 37), sponsored by Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa. The House passed the bill in January by a 97-10 vote.

The Trump administration is embarking on a sweeping effort to redefine civil rights in health care, with critics accusing the Department of Health and Human Services of sidestepping the rights of patients to soothe a far smaller constituency: conservative nurses, hospitals and other caregivers.

It's shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years.

If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are sick with the flu, this one's for you.

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