hospitals

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America’s elderly population is growing, and so is the number of older adults with mental health needs. According to the American Psychological Association, between 20 and 25 percent of adults aged 65 and older have a mental health disorder. Yet reports show only a small fraction are receiving the kind of specialized professional care they need.  

Every year, U.S. hospitals treat hundreds of thousands of violent injuries. Often, the injured are patched up and sent home, right back to the troubles that landed them in the hospital in the first place.

Now, as these institutions of healing are facing pressure under the Affordable Care Act to keep readmissions down, a growing number of hospitals are looking at ways to prevent violence. In Baltimore, health department workers have pitched hospitals an idea they want to take citywide.

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It's been 16 years since Connecticut passed its Safe Haven law to protect newborns. The state Department of Children and Families says in that time, 27 babies have been brought to local hospitals.

Carolyn Rossi has been a registered nurse for 27 years, and she's been fiercely protective of infants in her intensive care unit — babies born too soon, babies born with physical and cognitive abnormalities and, increasingly, babies born dependent on opioids.

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This hour, our news roundtable The Wheelhouse tackles some of the biggest political stories of the week. We discuss everything from state budget cuts, to automatic voter registration, to a "legislative mystery" that's got everyone asking: Who added language to the SEEC's bill? 

Carla used to get dialysis a couple of times a week at the public hospital in Indianapolis, Eskenazi Hospital. She would sit in a chair for hours as a machine took blood out of her arm, cleaned it and pumped it back into her body.

Then one day in 2014, she was turned away.

Even though her lungs were full of fluid, the doctors said her condition wasn't urgent enough to treat that day, she says. "I explained to the doctors that I couldn't breathe," she recalls, "and they told me it wasn't true, that I had to wait three more days."

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The first milk bank in the state has opened in Guilford. It's a place where mothers in Connecticut can donate their breast milk.

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Connecticut hospitals are being notified they may not receive about $150 million in anticipated payments because of state budget problems.

After hearing oral arguments on what could be one of the most important abortion cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, NPR's Nina Totenberg says that the only thing that is certain is that Justice Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote.

As expected, Nina says, the three conservatives and four liberals on the court stuck to their positions for and against a Texas law that puts restrictions on abortions.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the United States, even though fewer people die from from heart attack and cardiac arrest than ever before.

It's no secret that stimulant medications such as Adderall that are prescribed to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are sometimes used as "study drugs" aimed at boosting cognitive performance.

And emergency room visits linked to misuse of the drug are on the rise, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Connecticut Health I-Team

Officials at Yale-New Haven Hospital said a Bridgeport man received a new heart on Valentine's Day.

John Pesavento had been on the donor list for a year after being diagnosed with end-stage heart failure due to complications from a heart attack he'd suffered two decades ago. He has been using a device to pump blood from his heart to the rest of his body.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

With rising concern about the spread of the Zika virus, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for more federal funding for research into a vaccine, and said avoiding travel to affected regions isn't enough.

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Speaking in his final State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama announced an ambitious challenge last week -- a call to cure cancer, as he put it, "once and for all."

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U.S. Army veteran Bob Swirsky’s face lit up when home health care nurse Jeanette Hutchinson entered his room to check his blood pressure and attend to his body to prevent bedsores.

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Like all pediatricians, Dr. Lori Smith keep tabs on many aspects of her patients’ health, but until recently the Westport-based doctor didn’t always consider whether the children she sees might be going hungry.

How safe is it in the United States to be born someplace other than a hospital? The question has long been the focus of emotional debate and conflicting information. Now, Oregon scientists and health workers who deliver babies have some research evidence that sheds a bit more light.

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Patients billed for a facility fee for outpatient hospital services will get a clearer explanation of the charge, under legislation taking effect Friday.

This week Connecticut's leaders had to close a $350 million hole in the state's budget. One place they cut is hospital funding, and that's making hospital executives furious.

The battles lines are clear. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, says the hospitals are getting rich off taxpayers, making more money than in past years — thanks, in part, to the Affordable Care Act. So he thinks hospitals can afford to give some money back.

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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.

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Connecticut's hospitals are threatening to take the state to court over a hefty tax that amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone, and it's part of an ongoing  tension between the hospitals and Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In the weeks following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, Hartford Hospital trauma surgeon Dr. Lenworth Jacobs took a close look at patterns of injury the victims suffered. Using lessons learned from the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, he and a group of medical experts, law enforcement, and fire and rescue professionals helped to develop a new national protocol  for medical first responders  in active shooter and mass casualty events.

Now, Jacobs is advocating for a next step: preparing immediate responders. 

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Connecticut had one of the highest rates in the nation of motor vehicle fatalities in which drivers were alcohol impaired in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available -- 41 percent, compared to the national average of 31 percent, according to federal estimates.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

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

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.

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.

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Connecticut's hospitals are embroiled in a battle with Governor Dannel Malloy over Medicaid cuts, and they're not ruling out a path taken by their counterparts in New Hampshire: legal action.

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.

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Connecticut is "The Land of Steady Habits," which is why our state budget remains in a state of permanent crisis. Recently, Governor Dan Malloy made emergency cuts to the budget and targeted hospital funding and social services. He was on Where We Live this week and defended his actions and drew more criticism from the hospital community.

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

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