Trump’s HHS Choice: First A Letter To Medicare. Then A Campaign Contribution

Tom Price, the Georgia congressman tapped for the nation’s top health job, pressed Medicare officials on a funding change that led to a windfall for the small biotech company run by one of his top campaign contributors, according to a document released under an open records request. Price is facing a Senate hearing Tuesday on …

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Head Trip: Meditation Apps for Travelers

January 24, 2017 Stephanie Rosenbloom THE GETAWAY Having long tried to virtually transport listeners to beaches, rain forests and other dreamy respites, meditation apps today are also trying to appeal to people who are actually traveling to such places. Several apps — including Buddhify, Calm, OMG. I Can Meditate! and Simple Habit — offer specialty …

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People With Medical Debt Most Likely To Be Dunned By Collection Agencies

More people have health insurance than ever before, but many still struggle to pay for care. According to a new report, medical debt is the No. 1 reason consumers reported being contacted by a collection agency. If efforts to overhaul the health law result in more people losing their coverage, those numbers could rise. The study by the …

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In a Liberal Pocket, Assisted Living Residents Fear Obamacare’s Death

SEATTLE — From an upscale assisted living center here, 87-year-old Brendan Wall has some advice for members of Congress eager to repeal the Affordable Care Act: Slow down. “They haven’t said what they’re going to replace it with or how they’re going to replace it,” said Wall, who taught philosophy and religion for more than …

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The Right Way to Fall

By KATE MURPHY January 24, 2017 Rare is the individual who hasn’t tripped over a pet or uneven pavement, tumbled off a bike, slipped on ice or maybe wiped out skiing or skating. Some get injured, while others go unhurt — often claiming it’s because they knew how to fall. According to a paratrooper, a stuntman, a …

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Health Law Coverage Helped Many Chronically Ill — But Still Left Gaps

As President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress devise a plan to replace the 2010 health law, new research suggests a key component of the law helped people with chronic disease get access to health care — though, the paper notes, it still fell short in meeting their medical needs. Research published Monday in the Annals …

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Viewpoints: GOP Con On Obamacare; Repeal Health Law And Return Taxes To People

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. The New York Times: The Republican Health Care ConRepublicans say the Affordable Care Act provides health insurance that manages to be both lousy and expensive. Whatever the flaws of these policies, the new Trump administration is trying to pull off a con by offering …

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State Highlights: NYC Lags Behind In Anti-Smoking Efforts; Mass. Long-Term Care Insurance Rates On Rise

Outlets report on news from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, D.C., Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota, California, New Hampshire and Washington. The New York Times: Once A Leading Foe Of Tobacco, New York Lags Under De BlasioIn the 12 years that Michael R. Bloomberg spent as mayor of New York, he became known for pushing far-reaching health initiatives …

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Child Dies In California From Flu As Cases Of Influenza Spike

“If you compare this time last year we’re seeing twice as many flu cases,” says Dr. Michael Neely, interim chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times: First Child Death From Flu Reported This Season In California As Cases Rise SharplyThousands of Californians have been showing up at doctors’ offices and …

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Lead Levels Deemed Dangerous For Kids Should Be Lower, Federal Advisory Panel Votes

The CDC will next consider the panel’s recommendation to lower by 30 percent the threshold at which a child is considered to have elevated lead. And local newspapers focus on tainted water in Ohio. Stat: CDC Panel Urges New Rules For Diagnosing High Lead LevelsMore children across the US would likely be diagnosed with high lead …

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More Women Dying From Cervical Cancer Than Previously Estimated, Study Finds

The research also shows a growing racial disparity with death rates for black women 77 percent higher than previously thought, while the rate for white women is 47 percent higher. Other public health stories report on longevity studies, the growing use of kangaroo care for newborns, a program that images the brains of adolescent inmates …

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New Message For ER Docs: Prescribe Opioids Only As Last Resort

Medical personnel at hospitals around the country are now being retrained to resist prescribing strong narcotics. In other news on the drug epidemic, The Washington Post reports on the hunt for a painkiller that is not addictive. Stat: Hospitals Train Emergency Doctors To Resist Prescribing OpioidsEmergency departments, in particular, feel a heavy responsibility to take …

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Anti-Abortion Movement’s New Focus: Burial And Cremation Regulations

Those who champion the rules say it is about showing respect to human beings, while abortion rights activists say they’re simply imposing more obstacles on women. Meanwhile, the House is planning to squeeze in a vote on federal funding for abortions before Republicans leave for a retreat with the new president. Los Angeles Times: The …

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Former CMS Official Finds Common Ground With Trump: Fighting High Drug Prices

“I’ll help him any way I can,” says former acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt. However, Republicans in Wisconsin aren’t so eager to jump behind the president’s plan. Politico Pro: Slavitt Supports Trump’s Attack On Drug Prices In an exclusive interview with POLITICO, Slavitt grew animated describing how drug companies have “milked” the government and other customers …

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Price Has Pattern Of Helping Companies That Donate To His Campaigns, Documents Reveal

News outlets examine HHS nominee Tom Price’s actions when advocating for specific companies. Roll Call: HHS Nominee Tom Price, Staff Aided Donors in Agency BattlesPresident-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services has advocated over the years for companies with the federal agencies he may soon oversee. At least three …

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Republican Senators To Introduce Their Version Of Replacement Monday

Sens. Susan Collins and Bill Cassidy’s plan would give more flexibility to the states. Meanwhile, health care is expected to be a top priority at the president’s retreat with congressional Republicans, but it’s unlikely a full replacement plan will emerge from the three-day conference. CNN: GOP Senators To Present Obamacare AlternativeTwo Republican senators are set …

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Trump’s HHS Pick Favored Drugmakers, Device Makers And Doctors

As Cabinet nominee Tom Price faces a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, a newly released trove of documents sheds further light on how he interacted as a congressman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the massive agency he may soon oversee. Letters provided by CMS after an open records request show that the Health and …

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Tackling Patients’ Social Problems Can Cut Health Costs

HOUSTON — Donning a protective gown, rubber gloves and a face mask, Dayna Gurley looks like she’s heading into surgery. But Gurley is a medical social worker charged with figuring out why her client, a man who uses more health care services than almost anyone else in Houston, has been in three different hospitals in …

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California’s Community Clinics, Big ACA Beneficiaries, Worry About Their Future

Paula Wilson has seen some tough times in her 23 years as the CEO of Valley Community Healthcare, a clinic that provides care for the poor in North Hollywood, Calif. But nothing was quite like Nov. 9, the day after the U.S. elections, when walking around the office “was like coming into a funeral,” she …

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Sleeping Like A Baby Is A $325 Million Industry

Since Arlo was born three months ago his parents, Lindsay Barrick and Jerry Talkington, haven’t gotten much sleep. (Courtesy of Lindsay Barrick) Nationwide, the wholesale infant sleep industry is worth more than $325 million a year, according to figures reported by companies to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Jenny Gold’s story on the industry aired …

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