Health

  • Photo by Getty Images

    Recent data from the IMS Institute document a sharp change during 2013. The share of privately insured women who got their birth control pills without a copayment jumped to 56 percent, from 14 percent in 2012. The law’s requirement that most health plans cover birth control as prevention, at no additional cost to women, took full effect in 2013. Continue reading

  • Dignity Health offers online ER booking at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco and Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City as a way to overcome the frequently grueling emergency room wait times. Photo by Flickr user brooklyn

    Scott Paul knew he needed to head to the emergency room on a recent Sunday after his foot became so painful he couldn’t walk. The one thing that gave him pause was the thought of having to wait several hours next to a bunch of sick people.

    But his wife, Jeannette, remembered she’d seen Dignity Health television commercials featuring a woman sitting in a hospital waiting room and then cutting to the same woman sitting on her living room couch as words come up on the screen: “Wait for the ER from home.” Continue reading

  • Lori Windham, senior counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, joins supporters in front of the Supreme Court after the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
    June 30, 2014   BY Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News 

    More than half the states have “contraceptive equity” laws on the books that require most employers whose health insurance covers prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptives as part of that package. Unlike the ACA, those laws do not require that coverage to be available without deductibles or co-pays. Continue reading

  • cancersurvivor
    June 30, 2014  

    Thanks to better treatments, more people are surviving cancer. But those treatments come with a downside: Survivors, especially those who got sick as children, are at greater risk for other significant health issues later. The NewsHour’s Cat Wise profiles a clinic at the University of California, San Francisco that specializes in caring for survivors of pediatric cancer and studying their long-term health. Continue reading

  • Lori Windham, senior counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, joins supporters in front of the Supreme Court after the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
    June 30, 2014  

    The Supreme Court ruled that family-owned corporations with religious objections are not required to pay for the contraceptive coverage of employees or their dependents. Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal offers background on the case and Judy Woodruff gets debate on the potential fallout from Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center and attorney Kevin Baine. Continue reading

  • Health passport
    June 30, 2014   BY Cat Wise 

    One of the biggest success stories in the fight against cancer has been the number of children who are surviving the disease. But ironically, the same treatments that are helping save so many lives can also cause a host of other health problems years later, and children who survive pediatric cancer are at particular risk. A wallet-sized card called a “Survivor Health Passport” can provide patients a portable cheat sheet of their treatment history. Continue reading

  • High temperatures and high humidity are expected to send more people to health professionals for care as the climate changes. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
    June 30, 2014   BY Lisa Gillespie, Kaiser Health News 

    “One of the most striking findings in our analysis is that increasing heat and humidity in some parts of the country could lead to outside conditions that are literally unbearable to humans, who must maintain a skin temperature below 95°F in order to effectively cool down and avoid fatal heat stroke,” the report’s authors wrote. They use a “Humid Heat Stroke Index” that combines heat and humidity levels to measure how close they come to the point where the body is unable to cool its core temperature. So far the nation has never reached that level, “but if we continue on our current climate path, this will change, with residents in the eastern half of the U.S. experiencing 1 such day a year on average by century’s end and nearly 13 such days per year into the next century.” Continue reading

  • Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was announced June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
    June 30, 2014   BY Domenico Montanaro 

    There is no question that Monday’s Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision is a blow to the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act. But while conservatives celebrate the narrow 5-4 decision striking down the law’s contraception mandate for “closely held” companies with owners who have religious objections, the ruling could ironically help Democrats fire up a key part of their base. Continue reading

  • Photo illustration by Getty Images.
    June 30, 2014   BY Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News 

    “To think that health care is this ‘ginormous’ business that doesn’t understand costs is mind-blowing,” said Vivian Lee, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah, an academic medical center with four hospitals and 1,330 physicians. In 2012, Lee was stunned when she challenged senior managers and physicians to find ways to reduce spending, and “they said, ‘We don’t know what it costs, so how can we manage it?’” Continue reading

  • European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) supports MSF, WHO and IFRC in their efforts to contain the epidemic.
    June 29, 2014   BY Xander Landen 

    West Africa’s Ebola epidemic is now the deadliest on record, according to the World Health Organization. The disease has a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. Since the outbreak began in February, there have been 635 known infections and … Continue reading