health care

Open Enrollment Period
8:23 am
Wed February 19, 2014

How Do You Get A Young Adult To Buy Health Insurance?

Healthplanfinder's new series of ads features fictitious rap duo IV and D-Fibb.
Credit Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder has rolled out a new series of snappy ads aimed at getting young adults to sign up for health care. To date, the enrollment participation for this group is still just above 20 percent.

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Health Care
9:00 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Health Paradox: Why Does U.S. Rank So Low When We Spend So Much?

Credit Flickr Photo/Sara Westermark (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Why does the U.S. spend much more on health care than other nations, yet lag behind in key measures of wellness? KUOW's Ross Reynolds spoke with author and scholar Lauren Taylor about her research on this perennial question.

“We spend exorbitantly on health care in this country," she said. "We’re up above $8,000 per person per year, whereas the average industrialized country is able to spend less than $4,000 per year on health and attains many better outcomes in terms of maternal mortality, life expectancy and infant mortality."

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Health News
12:35 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care

Amanda Gerety, a staff nurse at Boston Medical Center, checks monitors that track patients' vital signs. Fewer beeps means crisis warnings are easier to hear, she says.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:46 am

Go into almost any hospital these days and you'll hear a constant stream of beeps and boops. To most people it sounds like medical Muzak.

But to doctors and nurses, it's not just sonic wallpaper. Those incessant beeps contain important coded messages.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington Hospital Mergers Subject To State Review

A growing number of hospitals are affiliating with faith-based organizations. New rules would put such mergers under review by the state.
Flickr Photo/Michael B.

Starting Thursday, hospitals that plan to merge or form partnerships will now undergo state review as part of a new rule that takes effect this week. And nobody’s happy with the new regulations, not even the critics who called for change.

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Health Exchange
4:22 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

State Health Exchange Amps Up Marketing To Reach Young Invincibles

Chris Walla, of the band Death Cab for Cutie, and his wife pose in one of Wahealthplanfinder's photo booths used for marketing to young people.
Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

You don’t often hear Justin Timberlake and health insurance in the same sentence. But this Friday, fans going to Key Arena to get their dose of Justin Timberlake will also get a chance to learn about health plans.

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Health
4:29 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Washington State Democrats: Health Plans Should Include Abortion Coverage

Rep. Laurie Jinkins
Washington State Legislature

Marcie Sillman interviews Washington state Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) about the Reproductive Parity Act

Health Care
7:47 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Thousands Of Medicaid Recipients Lose Health Coverage

Nelly Kinsella demonstrates the Washington Healthplanfinder website, where consumers will be able to shop for health insurance, following a news conference Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Washington residents who tried to buy health insurance through the health exchange weren’t the only ones to experience technical difficulties.

About 20,000 Medicaid recipients encountered similar problems when they went to the exchange in November, preventing them from renewing their coverage. That’s roughly a third of Medicaid patients for that month.

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Marijuana
7:45 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Tour A State Permitted-Medical Marijuana Grow

Workers at Solstice, a medical marijuana facility in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood, trim raw, dried buds.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds interviews Alex Cooley, vice president of Solstice, a medical marijuana grow.

Ross Reynolds tours Solstice, a medical marijuana grow in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood.

At Solstice, a nondescript warehouse in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, four people in white lab coats sit at tables in a brightly lit room.

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Health Care
3:35 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

ACA Coverage Starts Tomorrow: Are Insurance Companies Ready?

Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn

Steve Scher checks in with Premera Blue Cross spokesman Eric Earling on how Washington state insurance companies have prepared for the full rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Health Care
11:42 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Harborview Considers Closing Some Clinics For Poor

Harborview staff say they were told that several clinics could be closed later next year. Among Harborview's clinics for are the women's clinic, the pediatric clinic and the international clinic.
Credit uwmedicine.org

“Abruptly and brutally.”

That’s how Dr. Abe Bergman described the announcement by administrators to close some of the clinics at Harborview Medical Center. He said staff members were told that some of the primary care clinics housed at the hospital would close in July.

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Prisons
8:01 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Recruiting Prison Health Care Workers Could Get Harder Under Affordable Care Act

Eric Larsen is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Washington Department of Corrections.
Eric Hernandez Washington Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:21 am

It’s no easy task to find doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to take a job in a prison. The stigma alone is a major barrier. Not to mention concerns about personal safety.

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Health Exchange
3:06 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Monday Is Deadline To Sign Up For Health Insurance

Flickr Photo/cursedthing

Steve Scher talks with Richard Onizuka, CEO of Washington Health Benefit Exchange, ahead of the deadline to sign up for health insurance to receive coverage starting in the new year.

Health Exchange
3:34 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Health Care Sign-up Deadline Looms As Payment Deadline Extended

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

Marcie Sillman sits down with KUOW reporter Ruby de Luna to talk about the Monday health exchange deadline for coverage beginning on Jan. 1.

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Affordable Care Act
4:29 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Washington Small Businesses Can Tap Into Tax Credits For Health Plans

Plum Bistro chef and owner Makini Howell said that new tax breaks introduced on Tuesday will allow her to enroll more employees in health care plans.
From Plum Bistro's Facebook page.

Washington small businesses got some good news Tuesday.

Senator Patty Murray and the Treasury Department announced they found a solution that will let small businesses get tax credits when buying health plans for their employees. Washington was one of few states that was going to miss out on the federal subsidies until now.

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Health Insurance
2:54 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Washington Ranks Fifth For Health Exchange Enrollment (Oregon Ranks Last)

Washington state ranks fifth in terms of percentage of people signing up for health insurance through an exchange. (See below for the full graphic.)
Credit NPR Graphic/Matt Stiles

You wouldn’t know it given the technical problems that plagued Washington’s health exchange over the last several days, but the state is fifth in the country for enrollment based on population, according to the Department of Health and Human Services and the US Census Bureau.

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