Black Health Matters

First Person By JENNA WORTHAM August 27, 2016 The first bloom appeared in the crease of my right elbow, an itchy cluster that I ignored. It was well into summer, so I wrote it off as heat rash, or something similarly seasonal. But then it started to spread. The topography of my body transformed into a foreign …

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Venus Williams Gave Me a Tennis Lesson

By KATHERINE ROSMAN August 27, 2016 “Katie, I am noting your split step isn’t happening.” Those words set into motion the best tennis lesson I’ve ever received. It was from Venus Williams. I had traveled from New York to West Palm Beach, Fla., to spend an afternoon with Ms. Williams, to report on her off-court endeavors. (She …

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Viewpoints: Repairing Marketplaces After Aetna Leaves; American Diet; Ky. Medicaid Changes

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. The Hill: Aetna’s Extortion Boosts Urgency For ObamaCare Public Option Here’s one figure to focus on when thinking about Aetna’s extortion of the federal government for the Justice Department (DOJ) decision to fight its merger with Humana: $1 billion. That’s the amount Aetna will owe …

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Debate On EpiPens: Health Care System At The Heart Of The Problem; Hollow Promises

Commentaries on the controversy about the high prices for the drug that helps people with severe allergies. The Wall Street Journal: The EpiPen Controversy Isn’t About MylanSoaring drug prices are again drawing the ire of the American public. The problem and any potential solution lies more in the U.S. health-care system rather than in the …

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Research Roundup: Drug Costs; Doctors’ Choices On Care; The 3 Rs; Zika Outbreak

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs. JAMA: The High Cost Of Prescription Drugs In The United StatesPer capita prescription drug spending in the United States exceeds that in all other countries, largely driven by brand-name drug prices …. prescription medications now comprise an estimated 17% of overall …

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State Highlights: Calif. Lawmakers Take On Rural Health Issues; Texas Task Force Investigates State’s High Rate Of Pregnancy Deaths

Outlets report on health news from California, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Iowa, New York, Montana, Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota. California Healthline: California Lawmakers Aim To Tackle Rural Health ChallengesTwo proposals meant to ease burdens faced by California’s rural patients and their health care providers are breezing through the state legislature as lawmakers finish up for the …

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Responding To The Opioid Epidemic, The Surgeon General Reaches Out To Prescribers

Dr. Vivek Murthy is mailing letters to the 2.3 million physician-prescribers in America, urging them to to do three things: sharpen their prescribing practices, connect people to treatment who need it, and help change how our country thinks about addiction. Meanwhile, other news outlets report on how street drugs continue to be a part of …

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Nearly 50 Percent Of Teen Boys Have Received The HPV Vaccine

Almost 63 percent of girls have been vaccinated for the human papillomavirus. The Boston Globe looks at why Rhode Island vaccination efforts have been so successul. In other children’s health news, a study links violence exposure to higher viral loads for HIV-positive kids. The Washington Post: Teen Boys’ HPV-Vaccination Rate Hits Almost 50 Percent, CDC …

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U.S. Labs Prepare For Zika Testing Needs That Could Outpace Current Capacity

An analysis identifies a significant gap between resources on hand and the potential need if CDC’s worst-case outbreak scenario comes to pass. Meanwhile, new transmission research finds that the virus can linger in vaginal tissue and an infant’s bloodstream for much longer than previously thought. The Wall Street Journal: Zika Virus’s Spread Pushes Testing Labs …

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Middle Class Feels Pinch Of Health Care Costs As Out-Of-Pocket Expenses Rise

The Wall Street Journal reports that the burden of health care costs is shifting in greater part to working middle-class families, in large part because of higher deductibles in insurance plans. The Wall Street Journal: Burden Of Health-Care Costs Moves To The Middle ClassGrowth in overall health-care spending is slowing, but middle-class families’ share of …

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1994 Failed Health Care Push Still Shapes Hillary Clinton’s Cautious Approach Today

In other election news, news outlets weigh the role that candidate health debates have played in past campaigns, Donald Trump’s transition team includes a pharmaceutical executive and Bernie Sanders supports the Colorado ballot initiative that would set up a universal health care system in the state. The Washington Post: After Health-Care Missteps, A Chastened Hillary …

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Everyone Remembers Their First Bike

Photo Credit Giselle Potter When I outgrew my tricycle, my mother never replaced my wheels. Enviously I watched as the other kids in my neighborhood mounted their shiny Schwinns, confident cowkids on imaginary mares. They wobbled side to side on training wheels, inserted cards into the spokes as noisemakers, and sailed by with colorful banners …

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Security in a Bright Yellow Suitcase

August 26, 2016 Modern Love By DEANNA CLEVESY On more than one occasion I have rolled my bright yellow carry-on suitcase into the office on a Monday morning to the confusion of my co-workers. “Where did you go this weekend?” they would ask. “The Hamptons?” “No,” I would reply. “95th and Broadway.” My suitcase contains …

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Report For State Insurance Commissioners Offers Options To Improve Drug Access

As prescription drug costs continue to rise, ensuring that consumers have access to the drugs they need is a growing concern. Insurers blame the drug companies for high prices while drug companies blame insurers for restrictive plans. Consumers are stuck in the middle picking up a higher tab. Now a new study highlights strategies for states to help …

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‘Mental Health First Aid’ — Chirlane McCray On How N.Y.C. Is Fixing The System

For Chirlane McCray, New York City’s first lady, mental illness is not an abstract concern. It’s deeply personal. Both of her parents suffered depression, something she describes openly; and, in 2013, McCray’s daughter Chiara went public about her own battle with depression and substance abuse. It’s a pressing health problem for many of her constituents, …

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In Boston’s ‘Safe Space,’ Surprising Insights Into Drug Highs

Some arrive on their own, worried about what was really in that bag of heroin. Some are carried in, slumped between two friends. Others are lifted off the sidewalk or asphalt of a nearby alley and rolled in a wheelchair to what’s known as SPOT, or the Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment, at the …

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Can We Talk About Your Weight?

Recently, when attending a medical talk about the connection of unhealthy diets to obesity, heart disease and cancer, I was caught by surprise. Photo Dr. Barron LernerCredit “When I want to discuss this issue with patients,” the speaker, a physician, said, “I ask permission.” Permission? I said to myself. Since when do doctors with proven …

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