Hospice Program Comforts Dying Veterans

We Honor Veterans strives to address the needs of dying veterans in hospice care.“I started out in Southern France and ended up in Belgium," is how Palmer Gaetano describes his army service in World War II. The 92-year old lives in a hospice facility in Spencerport, near his daughter and her family.Gaetano is one of more than 9 million American military veterans over the age of 65, according to 2013 census bureau figures. With an aging population that includes vets from Vietnam, Korea, and...
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Sound Medicine Radio Hour Has Ended Its Run

After fifteen years on the air, the Sound Medicine Radio Hour broadcast and podcast its final new show on the last weekend in April (check your local listings for broadcast times). Click here to visit the archive of past shows. The Sound Medicine team, our home station 90.1 WFYI Indianapolis, Indiana University and the IU School of Medicine are proud of the program’s long run and of its mission - educating public radio listeners about timely health and medicine topics in a lively and engaging format. The talented members of that team—host Barbara Lewis-West, senior producer Nora Hiatt, associate producer Eric Metcalf, reporter Jill Ditmire, and engineer Chris Lieber—brought in top physicians and researchers and highlighted medical innovations from here in Indiana and around the world.
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Charla Douglas, who had a bad experience with TennCare, and her adoptive mother, Lynda Douglas in Hartsville, Tennessee
Jay Hancock / Kaiser Health News

Sweeping proposals disclosed Tuesday would create profit guidelines for private Medicaid plans as well as new standards for the plans’ doctor and hospital networks and rules to coordinate Medicaid insurance more closely with other coverage.

“We are taking steps to align how these programs work,” said Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which proposed the rules.

This article was originally published by Pro Publica.

When 17-year-old Lexie Grüber first entered the Allison Gill Lodge group home for girls in Manchester, Connecticut, she said it felt less like a home than a business. Instead of family photos, the walls were covered in informational posters and licensing certificates. When her emotions got the better of her, she said, the only conversations she had were with a doctor with a prescription pad at the ready.

Now 22 and a recent college graduate, Grüber came before the Senate Finance Committee this week to testify about the experience. She recalled being medicated to the point that she developed a facial tic. She said she lost basic privileges like phone calls and television time for what she now considers normal teenage behavior. 

If you're in the hospital or a nursing home, the last thing you want to be dealing with is bedbugs. But exterminators saying they're getting more and more calls for bedbug infestations in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor's offices.

Andrew Chambers is one of five addiction psychologists in the state of Indiana.
Andrew Chambers

Containing the nation’s growing heroin addiction problem and ongoing prescription opioid abuse epidemic, is often presented as a law enforcement problem. But behavioral health specialists say the addiction treatment side of the equation is equally urgent. And it’s an uphill battle in many states where addiction psychiatrists are few and funding is lacking.

Air pollution comes from many sources — power plants, industrial production and fires, to name a few. In Pittsburgh, the most polluted city east of California, according the American Lung Association, avoiding dirty air while outdoors can be difficult, if not impossible. But a new device, available through the public library system, helps people identify and reduce bad air quality inside their homes.

The case against trans fats is not new. For years, health experts have been telling us to avoid them.

And as retailing behemoths such as Wal-Mart have committed to the removal of all remaining, industrially produced trans fats in the products they sell, the food industry has stepped up its pace to reformulate its offerings.

Telemedicine For Abortion Comes Before The Supreme Court

May 21, 2015
pregnancy test positive result
By Klaus Hoffmeier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The House of Representatives’ approval last week of a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks brings into sharp focus the issue of early access to abortion.  Abortion rights supporters say more than a dozen states have banned one option that could improve early access: telemedicine.

Gabriela Garbero poses outside Britches Clothing, in Columbia, Mo., while she is beta testing the accessibility app Compeer.
Jack Howard / KBIA

A new accessibility app called Compeer is currently being beta tested and may soon be able to help those with disabilities navigate cities more easily. Based in Missouri, the app is being tested in two cities in that state: St. Louis and Columbia.

A decade ago, Ken Lewis almost lost his arm to an intravenous (IV) drug addiction. Twice he developed cysts in his veins that exploded in the hospital. When he came out of surgery the doctor prescribed painkillers. So he traded his meth and heroin for the prescribed opiates.

"I was at my wit's end. I mean I was mentally gone, dead," he says. "Spiritually, I didn't believe in a god. Emotionally, didn't realize I was hurting people or hurting myself. Physically, I probably should've been dead."

Making morphine — or heroin*, for that matter — isn't easy. You have to know a bunch of fancy chemistry to synthesize the drug from scratch. Or you have to get your hands on some opium poppies and extract morphine from the flowers' milky juice.

The latter is tougher than it sounds. Sure, the beautiful flowers grow across millions of acres around the world. But farming and trading poppies are tightly regulated both by laws and by drug kingpins.