health care

Health Exchange
10:36 am
Thu August 15, 2013

How Do You Say "Coverage Is Here" In 34 Languages?

Jennifer DeYoung, health reform policy analyst, and Penny Lara, project manager, at Seattle-King County Public Health with Michael Marchand, communications director at Washington Health Benefit Exchange, at a recent media briefing for ethnic media.
KUOW Photo/Madeline Ewbank

This week state and county officials met with local ethnic media. They hope the media will help them get the word out to non-English speakers about health care changes coming this fall.

The briefing was part of a statewide campaign to let consumers know that beginning in October, there will be 31 new health plans available for purchase at the state’s online marketplace. But the challenge for organizers will be more than just language barriers.

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Health Care
10:20 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Cutting Through Obamacare Rollout Confusion

 The pace of implementation for the Affordable Care Act, known by critics and the president himself as Obamacare, is picking up this fall. Starting October 1 you can start shopping for a health plan in Washington state's new insurance exchange called Healthplanfinder. Obamacare is supposed to be fully in place by early next year. But there’s still a lot of confusion. Ross Reynolds tries to cut through some of that confusion by talking with Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and taking listener calls.

Medical Mistakes
6:17 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Caution: Patients Falling At Washington Hospitals

Lester Reed of MultiCare models one of the wrist bands given to hospital patients at high risk of falling.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Medical mistakes are a leading cause of death and injury in America. One of the most frequent mishaps in Washington hospitals: patients who fall. A fall in a hospital can lead to serious complications, even death. Medical experts say that kind of fall should never happen.

One Small Step, One Big Fall

Helen Funston lies on her back in a darkened room. She pushes her shoulder down into physical therapist Stella In’s hand until she gasps with pain.

Funston tells In the pain is an eight out of 10.

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Medical Mistakes
6:09 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Sponges, Tools And More Left Inside Washington Hospital Patients

Sponges and tools about to be used in a hernia surgery at University of Washington Medical Center.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

About 30 times a year, a hospital in Washington state leaves a sponge or surgical instrument inside one of its patients. The accident known as a “retained foreign object” is one of the state’s most commonly reported medical mistakes.

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Seattle Opera
9:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Providing Equal Health Care, Art Of Our City, And The Interfaith Amigos

Seattle Opera's audience seated in McCaw Hall are certainly awed by the "Ring" production, but probably can't imagine all the backstage work it requires.
Credit Flickr Photo/Felipe Fortes

Providing Equal Health Care
The Human Rights Campaign released its 2013 Healthcare Equality Index. The HEI is a survey of how health care facilities treat patients from the LGBT community. Both UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance were recognized for being  a “leader in LGBT health care equality." What does it mean to provide LGBT patient-centered care? Nicki McCraw, the assistant vice president of human resources for UW Medicine explains.  

Art Of Our City
This year could be the last time audiences see Seattle Opera’s current production of the Ring Cycle.  The four-part opera marathon is the story of Norse gods and goddesses, love and greed. The final opera, “Twilight of the Gods," ends with the destruction of the world as the gods and goddesses know it. What does it take to end the world?  Seattle Opera technical director Robert Schaub knows. He’s the man who helped turn the artistic vision into stage reality. Schaub took Marcie Sillman behind the scenes and then sat down to talk about theater magic.

The Interfaith Amigos On The Role Of Ritual
All of us have rituals we engage in.  Maybe you eat lunch at the same restaurant every day.  Maybe you celebrate the holidays each year in a similar manner.  How important is ritual to the human experience? The Interfaith Amigos muse on this subject.

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Rising Premiums
11:59 am
Mon July 8, 2013

What You Need To Know About Long Term Care Insurance

  Long term health care insurance is becoming harder to come by. The number of providers is shrinking and premium costs are soaring. Obama’s Affordable Care Act doesn’t provide a solution either. The administration abandoned efforts to include affordable long-term care after concluding it was too expensive. So as baby boomers age, many are left with few options for long term care.  What to do?  Aaron Katz, a professor at University of Washington's Department of Health Services, spoke about it with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.

Health Provider Shortage
1:23 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Study: Idaho, Oregon Among Top 10 States Facing Dentist Shortage

Gelmini Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 5:19 pm

Oregon and Idaho need more dentists. That's according to a new study out Tuesday from the Pew Charitable Trusts. It puts Oregon and Idaho among the top 10 states with the worst shortages.

Unless you live in a rural area, you probably haven't felt the dearth of dentists found in the Pew study. As Portland dentist Jill Price puts it, the problem isn't so much a shortage as poor distribution. She says, “We need to find ways to move people into the outlying areas.”

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Hospital Debate
11:51 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Debate Over Catholic Health Care Expansion In Washington State

Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill campus.
Flickr Photo/Michael Holden

 Last year the secular Swedish Medical Center stopped performing elective abortions after affiliating with a Catholic health care provider, Providence Health & Services. Now some organizations in Washington state are calling for a moratorium on similar contracts between secular, publicly funded hospitals and religious providers. They fear patients in the state could see a reduction in access to services.

What happens when faith and health care mix? Should the state do anything about it? Ross Reynolds talks with Peter Adler, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Catholic provider Peacehealth, and Kathleen Turner, head of the ACLU of Washington.

Shooting Anniversary
9:01 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Legislative Session Yields New Mental Health Bills, Advocates Say More Needs to Be Done

Flowers and notes in front of Cafe Racer in Seattle. The cafe closed in remembrance of victims of last year's shooting.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Seattle’s Café Racer is closed today in remembrance. 

It's been a year since a gunman shot five people inside the eclectic coffee shop and bar. Drew Keriakedes, Joe Albanese , Kimberly Layfield, and Don Largen were killed. The cafe's cook, Leonard Meuse, was the lone survivor.

After the gunman fled the scene, police say he made his way downtown where he  killed  Gloria Leonidas and stole her car before shooting himself in West Seattle. 

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Medical Mistakes
10:40 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Little Sign Of Washington Hospitals Becoming Less Error-Prone

Swedish Medical Center trumpets its safety record. Swedish's First Hill and Ballard locations received safety scores of "A" from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group in May. Swedish's Cherry Hill and Edmonds locations received "C" scores. The Leapfrog Group says hospitals pay it up to $12,500 for the right to advertise their safety designations.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

US hospitals harm one out of every seven patients they aim to help. So-called “adverse events” inside hospitals are one of the leading causes of death in America.

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Affordable Care Act
10:48 am
Tue May 21, 2013

What You Still Don’t Know About Obamacare

Flickr Photo/401(K) 2013

 Over 40 percent of Americans don’t know Obamacare is the law according to a non-partisan study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even more Americans don’t know what’s in the law or how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. To clear up the confusion, Ross Reynolds speaks with Mike Kreidler, the Washington state insurance commissioner about what the Affordable Care Act means for you.

History
1:29 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Liberia: America's Original Self-Deportation Scheme

A man peers through a door in Liberia.
Credit Flickr photo/ kennethharper

In the decades leading up to the civil war, white Americans uncomfortable with the rising numbers of free blacks came up with a plan. Get rid of them. Specifically, convince them to resettle in Liberia. It was America's original "self-deportation" scheme. But things didn't go exactly according to plan.

List of stories from KUOW Presents,  May 15:

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Health
9:00 am
Wed May 15, 2013

The NBA Meets, The SIFF Festival Opens And The Cost Of Health Care

Flickr photo/Jose Goulao

The End Of The Seattle/Sacramento Kings Saga?
Months of speculation about the NBA’s return to Seattle could end today. League owners are in Dallas to vote on Chris Hansen’s deal to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the team to Seattle. Meanwhile, a rival group of NBA-backed Sacramento investors is waiting in the wings to keep the team in town. Seattle Times reporter Bob Condotta joins us from Dallas.

Seattle International Film Festival Opens
It’s mid-May, which means summer is around the corner. But before you frolic outdoors, you’ll probably head into a movie theater for the annual Seattle International Film Festival. Organizers bill it as the biggest film festival in North America. Get a sneak preview with the minds behind the madness.

The Cost Of Health Care
Last week the government released costs for 100 common procedures at hospitals around the country.  The numbers varied wildly between geographic regions, but also between hospitals in the same city. University of Washington professor Aaron Katz explains what that means for consumers.

Young Adult Cancer Clinic
4:25 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Seattle Children’s Hospital Opens Nation’s First Cancer Clinic For Young Adults

Anna Stephens with her pet snake Evra. Anna's life has been on hold for the past four years since her tumor came back. She hopes to return to school again to study reptiles and amphibians.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Every four weeks, Anna Stephens comes to Seattle Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy. But she’s not a child. Stephens is 23 years old, and she’s one of thousands of young people with cancer who wind up being treated in facilities that typically deal with much younger or much older patients.

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Specialized Cancer Care
4:38 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Seattle Children's New Cancer Treatment Program For Teens, Young Adults

One of the rooms in the new cancer unit for adolescents and young adults at Seattle Children's Hospital. This is the first unit in the US dedicated to teen and young adult patients
Credit Courtesy/Seattle Children's Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital is opening a new cancer unit Sunday specifically designed for teens and young adults. 

When young cancer patient age 15 to 29 goes in for treatment, they end up either in a pediatric or adult facility. A designated place for this age group could play a crucial role in their survival, according to Dr. Becky Johnson.

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