health care

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Connecticut Hospital Association launched a new digital campaign this week decrying Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed cuts to hospitals.

Courtesy of Access Health CT

The third year of health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is here. But the goal now isn’t just increasing the number of people with insurance. It’s also making sure they go to the doctor. 

Connecticut's health insurance marketplace is providing a checklist of materials people need in order to purchase coverage through the exchange.

For decades, African-American women have been less likely to get breast cancer than white women, but that health advantage has now all but disappeared.

"For a while we've seen the increase in black women and stable rates in white women," says Carol DeSantis, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who led the study. "Even though we'd seen the trend," she says, "it's sort of shocking."

Month after month, Natalia Pedroza showed up at the doctor's office with uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. Her medications never seemed to work, and she kept returning to the emergency room in crisis.

Walfred Lopez, a Los Angeles County community health worker, was determined to figure out why.

Penn State flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/9661553955 / Creative Commons

Cancer that spreads to the brain often results in a terminal diagnosis, but new research out of Yale University School of Medicine says that's not always the case and is pointing toward an even more promising future for genetic testing and personalized medicine.

Are OB-GYN Well Visits Short-Changing Women?

Oct 26, 2015
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During their childbearing years, many women view their obstetrician-gynecologists as primary care physicians, seeing them for preventive health care as well as for reproductive-related issues.

Rhoda Baer / National Cancer Institute/Creative Commons

The American Cancer Society changed its recommendation for how often women should get mammograms. The new guidelines push back the recommended age for annual mammograms for most women from age 40 to 45. Some experts say the change is warranted and data-driven, while others say it'll lead to possible delays in detecting breast cancer. 

And Planned Parenthood is no stranger to headlines. Last month a heated exchange in Congress over de-funding the women’s health care agency, an effort that failed to pass the U.S. Senate. A highly edited sting video showed Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donations as impetus for the de-funding efforts. Some argue that tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on an organization that so many find objectionable in nature. 

OK, When Am I Supposed To Get A Mammogram?

Oct 20, 2015

If you're confused about when to start getting mammograms and how often you should be getting them, you're not alone. The very organizations that are responsible for telling us when and how often to get those screenings don't agree.

USDA / Creative Commons

Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

Phalinn Ooi/flickr creative commons

Navigating our healthcare system is frustrating and time-consuming enough when you're healthy. But what if you get a serious diagnosis? You'll probably have to deal with multiple doctors' offices and their front-desk staffs, a hospital or clinic that may not be familiar, and a sudden deluge of paperwork, phone calls, and appointments. The chances for confusion and miscommunication multiply all along the chain -- and this can lead to problems ranging from annoying clerical mistakes to serious medical errors.

Rhode Island’s largest provider of hospice care will merge with an Eastern Massachusetts hospice provider. The deal involves Home Care and Hospice of New England, which plans to join Hope Health. 

Home Care and Hospice of New England says in a statement the merger will create the largest nonprofit hospice provider in New England. The parent organization will adopt the Hope Health brand name and operate three nonprofit subsidiaries, two in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts. That includes a visiting nurse service. 

Four companies running urgent care centers in New York have agreed to disclose more fully which insurance plans they accept, following an inquiry by the state's attorney general that found unclear or incomplete information on their websites that could result in larger-than-expected bills for consumers.


As glucose monitors, continuous ultrasound systems, Fitbits and other wearable technology become more prevalent, the devices are changing the way doctors care for their patients and the way patients care for themselves.

Frankie Leon / Flickr Creative Commons

Opioid overuse is America’s “silent epidemic,” affecting far too many of the roughly eight million people on opioid painkillers.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC says overprescribing is to blame.  "Every single day, 46 Americans die from an overdose of prescription opioid painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin or Methadone," he said. "These drugs are commonly prescribed in every community, and a surge in prescriptions has been the main force of this epidemic."

With his ambulance sirens blaring, Edmund Hassan speeds to a home in South Boston after getting a call that someone there is unconscious. He's deputy superintendent of Boston Emergency Medical Services, and he suspects an opioid overdose. These days, he says, his workers administer Narcan, the drug that reverses that kind of overdose, roughly three times in every eight-hour shift.

Day Kimball Healthcare / Facebook

Hartford HealthCare has broken off merger talks with Day Kimball Healthcare, blaming Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to cut Medicaid reimbursement payments.

Josie Kemp / U.S. Air Force

Kathy Navaroli, 50, of Windsor, hadn’t seen a primary care doctor in years when she decided to go for a physical this summer.

She didn’t ask about preventive care screenings, such as a mammogram or Pap test, in part because she worried they might involve an insurance co-pay or deductible. Her household income is below $30,000 a year.

“I got a physical, they did some blood work, and that was it,” Navaroli said.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, alongside dozens of law enforcement officers, medical experts and advocates Tuesday, announced a new campaign designed to tackle the state’s opioid epidemic.

When you walk into a doctor’s office for the first time, you might be asked to fill out a slew of forms. Many include a box to check for your gender: male or female. But what if that’s not an easy—or a comfortable—question to answer? That’s just one example of what keeps many transgender patients from getting the medical care they need. 

Phalinn Ool / Creative Commons

There are lots of tools to help us gauge the quality of nearly any product or service we wish to buy, from cars to computers to restaurants. Yet there's no easy way to assess the quality of the doctors who take care of what's most important to us -- our health. 

Carly Fiorina's presidential campaign took her to an exam room at a crisis pregnancy center in South Carolina Thursday. She crammed in, along with a pregnant woman, an OB-GYN and a crowd of reporters.

The visit came as the former Hewlett-Packard CEO has doubled down on her opposition to Planned Parenthood. Fiorina visited the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg, a Christian-run organization that's becoming a popular campaign stop for presidential candidates opposed to abortion — at least the fifth GOP candidate to visit the center this year.

Doctors and medical students from the University of Vermont College of Medicine stepped out of the hospital halls recently and onto the stage. The team put on the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Wit,” to raise awareness about end-of-life issues and to spark discussion on a topic many people find to uncomfortable to talk about.

NEC Corporation of America / Creative Commons

Having health insurance is a near necessity, but paying for it is getting increasingly hard for consumers.