How to Be Mindful on a Hike

March 29, 2017 Meditation for Real Life By DAVID GELLES “Hiking in nature provides an opportunity to tune in — both to our own experience and to the world around us. While it can be easy to get lost in thought or daydreams while hiking, the simple practices of mindfulness can draw us more closely …

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First Edition: March 29, 2017

Mar 29 2017 Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations. Kaiser Health News: Justice Department Joins Lawsuit Alleging Massive Medicare Fraud By UnitedHealthFred Schulte reports: “The Justice Department has joined a California whistleblower’s lawsuit that accuses insurance giant UnitedHealth Group of fraud in its popular Medicare Advantage health plans. Justice officials filed legal …

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March Madness Vasectomies Encourage Guys To Take One For The Team

Doctors say it all started eight years ago, when a urology clinic in Oregon ran an ad promoting the benefits of scheduling a vasectomy in March. “You go in for a little snip, snip and come out with doctor’s orders to sit back and watch nonstop basketball,” the voice-over promised. “If you miss out on …

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On The Air With KHN: What’s Next For The Affordable Care Act?

On Friday, House Republican leaders failed to secure enough support to pass their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Reporters with Kaiser Health News and California Healthline (produced by KHN) have appeared on numerous radio and television shows in recent days to assess what’s next for the health law. Listen to what they had to say …

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Justice Department Joins Lawsuit Alleging Massive Medicare Fraud By UnitedHealth

The Justice Department has joined a California whistleblower’s lawsuit that accuses insurance giant UnitedHealth Group of fraud in its popular Medicare Advantage health plans. Justice officials filed legal papers to intervene in the suit, first brought by whistleblower James Swoben in 2009, on Friday in federal court in Los Angeles. On Monday, they sought a …

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Lead Poisoning’s Lifelong Toll Includes Lowering Social Mobility, Researchers Find

Cynthia Brownfield was lucky. When her daughter, then 2 years old, tested for high levels of lead in her blood, she could do something. Brownfield, a pediatrician in St. Joseph, Miss., got her home inspected and found lead in the windows. She got them replaced and had her pipes fixed, too. Her daughter, now 12, …

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Costly Doctors Don’t Provide Better Care

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR March 28, 2017 Doctors who tend to spend more in treating hospitalized patients do not get better results than those who spend less, a new study has found. Researchers examined spending records of 72,042 physicians at more than 3,000 acute care hospitals. The patients were fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older treated between January …

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Viewpoints: Short Shrift For Mental Health Coverage; Medicare’s Firewall From ‘Harmful’ Changes

A collection of opinions on health care from around the country. Boston Globe: Changing Attitudes Is Harder Than Changing The Law Someone trying to access mental health care is twice as likely to be denied coverage by a private insurer than someone seeking surgical or other medical care, according to a survey of 84 insurance plans …

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Perspectives On What Happens Now: Can Obamacare Be Fixed Or Will It Be Left To ‘Explode’?

Opinion writers offer their thoughts on this question, outline ways the health law can be spared and examine the direction in which the political winds could send the ongoing debate. The Washington Post: Obamacare Is The Law Of The Land. But It’s Still Vulnerable.House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s (R-Wis.) decision to pull legislation to reconfigure …

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Different Takes On Who’s To Blame For The Demise Of The House GOP Health Plan

Editorial pages across the country offer their thoughts on the blame game as well as the policies and politics that led to last week’s dramatic outcome. Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Debacle Results From Republicans Believing Their Own MythsDonald Trump and congressional Republicans created a political debacle for themselves by believing a set of scare stories …

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State Highlights: Once-Grand D.C. Hospital Serving African-American Patients Beset By Troubles; Colo. City Bucks Free-Standing ER Trend

Media outlets report on news from D.C., California, Missouri, Colorado, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Washington Post: Howard University Hospital Shows Symptoms Of A Severe CrisisBut over the past decade, the once-grand hospital that was the go-to place for the city’s middle-class black patients has been beset by financial troubles, empty beds and an exodus …

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Clinic Seeks To Turn Marijuana From ‘Gateway Drug’ To Gateway To Treatment

A small but growing number of pain doctors and addiction specialists are overseeing the use of marijuana as a substitute for more potent and dangerous drugs. In other public health news: the opioid epidemic, lead standards, childhood trauma, multiple sclerosis, Zika, HPV vaccines and concussions. The New York Times: Addiction Specialists Ponder A Potential Aid: …

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White House Shies Away From Planned Parenthood Defunding Talk

Press secretary Sean Spicer says the Trump administration won’t commit to including the hot-button issue in the upcoming spending bill. In other women’s health news, some states are still moving to protect access to contraception and Democrats try to reconcile their platform with a need to include anti-abortion voters. The Hill: WH Won’t Commit To …

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McAuliffe Says Health Bill’s Collapse In Congress Signals Need For Virginia To Expand Medicaid

But the state’s Republican lawmakers, who have consistently opposed such a move, appear unlikely to accept the governor’s suggestion. News outlets also examine a proposal in Georgia to revamp Medicaid, a look at how the program for low-income Americans has evolved since the 1960s and a request from Wisconsin to add drug tests for eligibility. …

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Kansas Senate Gives Preliminary Approval To Medicaid Expansion Bill

Moderate Republicans join with Democrats to easily push through the legislation. But Gov. Sam Brownback has criticized the measure and may veto it. KCUR: KanCare Expansion Bill Now Just One Step Away Buoyed by the failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Senate on Monday gave tentative approval to a …

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Federal Government Takes In $22 Billion In Fines Paid By Health Companies Since 2010

Stat looked at data from 39 agencies to analyze which segments of the health care industry have settled with the government. It found that pharmaceutical companies paid the most, accounting for almost 80 percent of penalties. Stat: Who Paid The Biggest Fines In Health Care?When you think of business expenses in the health care industry, you …

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Price, A Fierce Opponent Of ACA, Now Stuck Holding The Reins On Administering It

Many expect new HHS Secretary Tom Price to shift the regulations onto a more conservative path, but don’t expect him to try to sabotage it completely. The Hill: Price Faces Unwanted Task Of Administering ObamaCare Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price came into office last month ready to lead the charge on repealing ObamaCare. …

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New Vaccine Recommendation Cuts Number Of HPV Shots Children Need

You’d think that a vaccine that protects people against more than a half-dozen types of cancer would have people lining up to get it. But the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which can prevent roughly 90 percent of all cervical cancers as well as other cancers and sexually transmitted infections caused by the virus, has faced …

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