Seth Herald

Indiana's HIV Outbreak Changes Strongly Held Beliefs On Needle Exchange

On a recent afternoon, public health nurse Brittany Combs drove a white SUV slowly through residential streets at the northern end of the town of Austin, Indiana. In the back of her vehicle were hundreds of sterile syringes, sealed in their plastic wrappers. “Anybody need clean needles today?” she asked of people sitting on front porches or walking on the street. When they approached, Combs would open up the hatch and hand each of them a week’s worth of clean syringes. Combs’ SUV is Scott...
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Dallas's Parkland Hospital treats a lot of people without health insurance. On a November day in 1963, emergency room doctors at this county hospital frantically tried to save an American president who could not be saved. These days, emergency room doctors frantically try to treat 240,000 patients every year.

"So you can see we have every treatment area filled up. Beds are in the hallways and the rooms are all full," says Dr. John Pease, chief of emergency services.

At 59 years old, Michael Froome just got a new heart.  His problem goes back 20 years after a chest pain led his doctor to order a cardiac stress test.

“When they put on the last electrode so the monitor comes live with your data, someone in the room goes, ‘Oh! That’s not good,’” Froome recalled.

Spencer Rosero, a cardiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, is one of Froome’s doctors. He has an idea that could cut the number of hospital visits patients like Froome have to make.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to figure out how the military managed to ship anthrax spores that were apparently live from one of its facilities to more than a dozen labs across the United States.

"We have a team at the [military] lab to determine what may have led to this incident," says CDC spokesman Jason McDonald. In addition, he says, the agency is working with health officials in nine states to make sure the potentially live samples are safely disposed of and the labs affected are decontaminated.

CT scan
Rebecca A. Perron/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ / U.S. Navy

Douglas White knew high-deductible insurance is supposed to make patients feel the pain of medical prices and turn them into smart shoppers. So he shopped.

He called around for price quotes on the CT scan his doctor ordered. After all, his plan’s $2,000 deductible meant paying the full cost out of pocket. Using information from his insurer, he found a good deal — $473.53 at Coolidge Corner Imaging in Boston, a half hour from his house.

But the bill he got later was for $1,273.02 — more than twice as much — from a hospital he had no idea was connected to the imaging center.

Last weekend, around 100 students graduated from the University of Missouri School of Medicine.  

 

But four times that many doctors will commit suicide this year in the United States.

 

Many believe problems with depression and anxiety in medical students is a leading cause for the mental health issues among physicians. Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, said these issues can also effect a doctor's ability to practice.

 

"Some doctors end up taking their own lives, but many go on practicing in a state where they're not as effective as they would be if they were completely healthy," said Frederick, who is also an orthopedic surgeon. "The healthcare provided by those physicians in training and future physicians will be much better if they aren't themselves suffering from depression.

 


Seth Herald

On a recent afternoon, public health nurse Brittany Combs drove a white SUV slowly through residential streets at the northern end of the town of Austin, Indiana. In the back of her vehicle were hundreds of sterile syringes, sealed in their plastic wrappers.

“Anybody need clean needles today?” she asked of people sitting on front porches or walking on the street.  When they approached, Combs would open up the hatch and hand each of them a week’s worth of clean syringes.

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.

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Looking for the Sound Medicine Radio Hour?

After fifteen years on the air, the Sound Medicine Radio Hour, a weekly news magazine about medicine and health, broadcast and podcast its final new show on the last weekend in April 2015. The archive continues to live on this website. Learn more here.
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