correction

Why Is It So Hard To Find The Price Of A Medical Procedure?

May 22, 2014
Flickr Photo/401(K) 2013

Steve Scher talks with Sean Sullivan, a professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, about the importance of transparency for health care costs and what individuals can do to find out the expense of their health services.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

About 3.2 million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C, a highly contagious virus that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Dr. Jody Rich, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Rhode Island, said prisons carry a heavy load of the disease, but they also have built in health care.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

The forester who clear-cut land above the Oso, Wash., landslide zone in 2004 says he followed standard procedures and state regulations when logging there.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

Seattle just wrapped up its wettest March on record, with 9.4 inches of rain reported at Sea-Tac International Airport. 

Geologists say near-record rain in the Cascade foothills was key in triggering the fatal landslide near the town of Oso, Wash., on March 22. But they say clear-cutting nearby could also have worsened the risk of the hillside collapsing.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

State officials say they didn't approve clear-cutting inside a no-logging zone directly above Saturday's deadly landslide that struck the town of Oso. But aerial photos show a clear-cut extending into the zone where a loss of trees would heighten the risk of landslides.

Courtesy of WSDOT / Bill McMillan

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

Saturday's deadly slide was the latest in a long string of landslides to hit the area known as the Hazel or Oso slide along the North Fork Stillaguamish River.

State and tribal officials have known about and tried to block landslides on that spot for half a century.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/David Patte

The Washington Board of Natural Resources voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the sale of 200 acres of the Olympic Peninsula. The money from the timber sale will go to the University of Washington.

The land is home to a rare seabird whose numbers have plummeted to the point that it’s listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Courtesy of Outdoor Research

Last Friday, mountaineer legend Chad Kellogg was killed climbing Mount Fitz Roy in Argentina.

His death has been a blow to the local climbing community.

Courtesy of Steven J Pickens

In 1948, at the height of discontent over a Puget Sound transportation controversy, a group of agitated locals, nicknamed the “Vashon vigilantes,” prevented the ferry Illahee from docking.

A local business man, two candidates for governor and a network of traversing boats came to a head over a seemingly simple issue: how much to charge to cross the waterways between cities and islands.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

Customers of Seattle City Light are likely to see an increase in their bills later this year.

The utility is facing lower than expected revenues, and that could mean an automatic 3 percent surcharge for customers.

Flickr Photo/Tariq Abdel-Monem (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Correction 2/5/2014: The text of this story has been edited to reflect that the court action is a motion (not a lawsuit).

The Seattle newspaper The Stranger is seeking more openness in the case of two witnesses who were detained for refusing to testify before a grand jury by filing a motion to unseal federal court records.

Flickr Photo/Scott Butner

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals’ mistaken assertion that Tesoro’s fines had been reduced to $858,500. The correct figure is $658,500.

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.  

The blast killed seven workers.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Correction 1/15/2013: This story has been changed to reflect that construction has  eliminated a center turn lane, not reduced the lanes from four to two as originally stated.

A previous version of this story also incorrectly said construction on all of the projects would take another three years. The current lane closures are scheduled to end in December, Sound Transit expects the Capitol Hill light rail station construction to be complete by spring 2015, and the First Hill streetcar is expected to be operating by the middle of 2014. Work on the First Hill streetcar started affecting Broadway in April of 2012. The story below has been corrected.

For many of us, years of light rail construction on Broadway has been a traffic headache. But some small business owners along Capitol Hill's main street worry that ongoing construction could force them to shut their doors.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Newly-elected Councilmember Kshama Sawant is already working on her campaign promise to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle.

B. Braun training video on YouTube.com

Editor’s note 2/7/2014: This story has been edited to remove references to VA officials’ incorrect claim that a Seattle VA nurse saw the Infusomat recall at the FDA website in March 2012. While manufacturer B. Braun sent the VA and other customers its recall notice in March, FDA did not post information about the manufacturer’s March 23, 2012, recall letter until August 1. The story has also been edited to attribute to medical records the statement that, the night Eddie Creed died, a doctor asked his sister if she wanted an autopsy to be done. Creed's sister claims the VA never asked her about an autopsy. The content in the edited story differs from the audio in the original broadcast.

When Eddie Creed, a Seattle jazz musician, died at the Veterans Affairs hospital on Beacon Hill last year, his death certificate said throat cancer had killed him.

But a KUOW investigation reveals what his doctors knew: A medical device called an Infusomat, which had been recalled the month before, ended his life. Still, nobody knows why.

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