health care

Diane Orson / WNPR

The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide whether state officials were right to force a 17-year-old girl to undergo chemotherapy against her and her mother's wishes.

Connecticut hospitals reported record numbers of patients killed or seriously injured by hospital errors in 2013, with large increases in the numbers of falls, medication mistakes and perforations during surgical procedures, a new state report shows.

When the Affordable Care Act passed, many people focused on the law's creation of marketplaces to help the uninsured buy coverage, often with the help of federal subsidies.

Her head draped with thin white fabric in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, Konjit walked to the stately entrance to the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. But the soft-spoken 26-year-old did not go inside to pray because of her "sin." Days before, she had had an abortion; she had become pregnant after her birth control failed.

Like many women in Ethiopia, Konjit felt caught between two powerful forces when making decisions about reproductive health: the church and the state [note: we are using only her first name to protect her privacy].

Kathleen Schassler

Candid online posts describing the challenges of breastfeeding fill the Facebook page of Breastfeeding USA’s Connecticut chapter. The daily stream of anecdotes, questions and comments alternate in tone from exasperated to celebratory.

A Split View On Obamacare's Past And Future

Dec 29, 2014

Kevin Counihan and Michael Cannon look at the Affordable Care Act and see very different things.

Cannon is part of the brain trust behind a Supreme Court case that could result in the repeal of a part of the exchanges he says is illegal.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Kevin Counihan began 2014 as the head of Connecticut's health care marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. Now, he's the head of the entire federal Obamacare effort. WNPR checked in with him recently.

This time last year, federal officials were scrambling to get as many people enrolled in health insurance through as they could before the start of the program on Jan. 1.

Now, with the technical problems mostly fixed, they're facing a different problem: the possibility that the Supreme Court might rule that the subsidies that help people afford coverage are illegal in the 37 states where the federal government is running the program.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has closed the door on a purchase of Waterbury Hospital and four other non-profit hospitals in Connecticut by Dallas, Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Corporation. 

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center — many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

This is the second year of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. The state said it has nearly exceeded its goals. 

Waterbury Hospital

Five hospitals in Connecticut are contemplating their next steps after Texas-based Tenet Healthcare withdrew a bid to buy the hospitals last week.

The CEO of one of the biggest hospitals in the failed deal said they're now looking to Hartford for help. 

A job that's been open in President Obama's administration since July of 2013 was finally filled Monday, as the Senate voted to confirm Vivek Murthy as America's new surgeon general.

The tally was 51-43, ending a confirmation process that began after Obama nominated Murthy to the post in November of 2013 — yes, that's one year ago.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been two years since a gunman killed his mother at home and then opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first-graders, six educators, and himself.

But experts are still hashing out just how parents and educators should handle children like Adam Lanza. 

Mark Wragg/iStock / Thinkstock

According to a new Yale study, addiction is a chronic disease that is treated like an acute illness. But what if we treated it differently, with longer-term goals? 

Young women who are sexually assaulted are vastly unlikely to report those crimes to police, according to a newly released Justice Department report.

Even more striking, women ages 18 to 24 who are in college or trade school are less likely to report such incidents than those who aren't in school, despite the increasing number of sexual assault advocates and counselors on campus in recent years.

Chion Wolf

Botox was first approved for medical use 25 years ago. It's famous as a quickie cosmetic fix but new uses pop up all the time.

Today, Botox applications are being tried for MS, Parkinson's Disease, migraines, bladder problems, profuse sweating and TMJ.

Connecticut's Response to the Ebola Threat

Dec 11, 2014
Chion Wolf / WNPR

The world is facing the largest and most widespread Ebola outbreak in history. On August 8, 2014, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was declared by the World Health Organization to be a "public health emergency of international concern" because it was determined to be an "extraordinary event" with public health risks to countries around the globe.

Ten to 20 percent of new mothers will experience a mental health issue. A new study indicates that one way to help them is by leaning on pediatricians. 


Connecticut’s acute-care hospitals saw gains from their operations tumble 35 percent in the last fiscal year, with seven of 29 hospitals reporting operating losses, according to a new state report.

Chion Wolf / WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio

Earlier this week, countries marked World AIDS Day. In the U.S., 1.2 million people are estimated to be HIV-positive.

Turner Construction

A group of small, independent hospitals in Connecticut said the increasing cost of providing health care coupled with lower reimbursement rates from insurance providers and the government is making it harder for them to survive, and they’re seeking help from state lawmakers.

Chion Wolf

More than a million people get cancer every year in the United States, with about 22,000 new cases in Connecticut in 2014. But, thanks to better detection and more advanced treatment, the number of people surviving cancer is growing rapidly. There are 13 million survivors alive today.

So, most of us likely know someone with cancer...a neighbor, a friend, or more often, a member of our family.

The American Cancer Society says that three-out-of-four families have at least one person in their family who has survived cancer...and that number is rising every year. 

scantaur/iStock / Thinkstock

Hospital groups in Connecticut have defended the increasing practice of charging facility fees. These are charges that may be billed separately to patients, and vary depending on where the care was delivered.

Chion Wolf

I got interested in this topic last year when the Yale Medical School got a $10 million Blavatnik grant for more work in the specific area of  Immunobiology.

Army Medicine / Creative Commons

WNPR's Where We Live is kicking off a new, biweekly series in partnership with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn. The series, called Topline, aims to explore new topics using data pulled from the center's opinion polling archives. 

The Food and Drug Administration is considering revising a ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with other men.

An FDA advisory committee Tuesday mulled the issues raised by changing the policy, which has been in effect since the early 1980s.

Dario Lo Presti/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s medical devices industry could benefit from the change in control in Washington next year as Republicans vow to repeal a tax that was put on device makers almost two years ago.

Exactly what would happen to the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court invalidates tax credits in three dozen states where the federal government runs the program?

Legal scholars say a decision like that would deal a potentially lethal blow to the law because it would undermine the government-run insurance marketplaces that are its backbone, as well as the mandate requiring most Americans to carry coverage.