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health care

Doctors Test Drones To Speed Up Delivery Of Lab Tests

Sep 13, 2016

Three years ago, Geoff Baird bought a drone. The Seattle dad and hobby plane enthusiast used the 2.5-pound quadcopter to photograph the Hawaiian coastline and film his son's soccer and baseball games.

ConnectiCare

It was revealed Monday that health insurer ConnectiCare has already quit the state’s health care exchange as it threatened. But the company still wants to find a way to continue to provide Obamacare plans, and has launched a rate appeal with Connecticut's insurance department. 

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Community advocates and union leaders in New London are concerned they had no opportunity to comment on the final order which allows Yale New Haven Health to take over the city’s hospital. 

Jessica Stefonik is grinning. She's got a bounce in her step. Her cheeks are a little puffy and her speech is a bit thick.

"It feels weird right now, but I'll get used to it," she says.

What she's trying to get used to is the feeling of having teeth.

On the day we met, Stefonik, a mom of three from Mosinee, Wis., got a set of dentures to replace all of her upper teeth, which she lost over many years to disease and decay.

Stefonik is just 31 years old.

Connecticut DEEP

State environmental police will now carry naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of opioid overdoses.

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Double-digit hikes in premiums look set to make health insurance even less affordable in Connecticut. But advocates say there will be few quick fixes for the rising cost of health care. 

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From self-driving cars to 3D printing to hydrokinetic energy technology, New Englanders are at the forefront of the latest cutting edge tech. 

This hour, we explore the latest gadgets and tech trends and learn about their impact locally and around the globe.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Four years ago, Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize medical marijuana. By 2014, the state officially launched its medical marijuana program, making it possible for card-holding patients to buy the drug legally. This hour, we get an update on that program from Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris. We also hear from a Connecticut woman who saw how the program helped her husband, and we check in with doctors and dispensaries in the state. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's administration has announced plans to privatize dozens of group homes for the developmentally disabled in Connecticut.

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Donald Trump canceled his big speech on immigration scheduled for Thursday. It could have something to do with the comments he made to his new Hispanic advisory council suggesting he'd like to find a more "humane" approach to dealing with the undocumented immigrants he has - up to now - wanted to deport. Up to now, his supporters have been loyal despite policy pronouncements contrary to their views. Immigration may be the one area they won't tolerate a back-pedal. We talk about this and more news in politics.

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You've probably heard of MDs, medical doctors, but what about another type of physician: NDs? Naturopathic doctors now want to be allowed prescribing rights in Connecticut.

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Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

It's not often in the midst of an antitrust fight that the public gets a look at the gamesmanship that's happening behind the scenes.

But thanks to the Huffington Post's Jonathan Cohn and Jeff Young, we got a glimpse at how health insurer Aetna is making its case to acquire rival Humana — and new insight into Aetna's decision announced Tuesday to pull out of Obamcare exchanges in 11 states.

Hebrew HealthCare

Hebrew HealthCare, which runs a nursing home, hospital and a wide range of care services in the greater Hartford area, announced it will lease out its flagship facility and restructure the rest of its operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Dozens of Connecticut doctors accepted six-figure payments from drug and medical device manufacturers in 2015 for consulting, speaking, meals and travel, with six of the ten highest-paid physicians affiliated with academic institutions, new federal data show.

Screenshot / CT-N

Two more health insurers have put their case to regulators for substantial rate hikes for next year. After Anthem’s public hearing before the Connecticut Insurance Department Wednesday, it was the turn of Connecticare and Aetna Thursday. 

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Health insurers Aetna and Anthem are both bargaining with federal courts about the upcoming anti-trust trial over their merger plans.

Alex Prolmos / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The U.S. Justice Department recently filed two lawsuits to block mega-mergers that would reduce the number of the nation’s largest health insurance companies from five to three.

The larger of the two multi-billion dollar mergers is a takeover of Connecticut-based Cigna by Indiana-based Anthem.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Connecticut-based health insurer Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.

Many More People Seek Medical Help For Opioid Abuse

Aug 1, 2016

Health care claims for people with opioid dependence diagnoses rose more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to an analysis of insurance records.

The findings illustrate that the opioid problem is "in the general mainstream," says Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, a nonprofit that analyzes health care costs and conducted the study.

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Connecticut's Department of Insurance is holding public hearings this week on double-digit rate increases requested by the state's health insurers for the 2017 coverage year.

The increases would affect more than 100,000 residents insured by three companies.

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A growing number of adults -- about 52 million -- suffer from arthritis, and data show women are more likely than men to develop it.

In 2014, 26.5 percent of women reported having doctor-diagnosed arthritis, compared with 20.5 percent of men, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention behavioral risk survey.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Activists and mental health experts gathered in Hartford this week to talk about the need for more equitable access to health care services. But sometimes, health care isn't on the top of people's minds.

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Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose a bit over four percent in June, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, a banking and real estate trade publisher.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Self-identified gay men in Connecticut make up a growing percentage of new HIV infection cases, an alarming trend over the last decade that's forcing AIDS activists to get creative. 

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