health care

Mental Health
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Assaults Are "Constant Disruption" At State Mental Hospitals

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
John Ryan KUOW

Violence is a “constant disruption” at the state’s two main psychiatric hospitals, according to a new report jointly commissioned by The Department of Social and Health Services and the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union that represents much of the front-line staff at the hospitals. 

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Washington Health Exchange
9:09 am
Mon October 7, 2013

King County Reaches Out To Uninsured

King County held an information fair for Seattle residents who have questions about getting health coverage.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Traffic to the Washington Health Exchange website has been busy since it launched last week. Although there have been fewer technical problems, the system has been slow at times.

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Faith-Based Health
8:56 am
Thu October 3, 2013

PeaceHealth And The Affordable Care Act

PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center, Longview, Wash.
From PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center's Facebook page.

The battle over the Affordable Care Act has brought the federal government to a partial shutdown, but changes to our health care system due to the law have already begun reshaping the industry.  This includes private hospitals and public ones, for-profit and nonprofit, secular and faith-based institutions

PeaceHealth is a Catholic-affiliated nonprofit that runs nine hospitals and 73 medical practices in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. The company has entered into partnerships with public hospitals in Skagit and Snohomoish counties and recently agreed to send patients with complex issues to UW Medical facilities.

The ACA and the relationship between hospitals that operate under sometimes contradictory directives are top of mind for Alan Yordy, PeaceHealth’s chief mission officer. He talks with Steve Scher about what he calls one of the greatest social experiments in the history of developed nations around the world.

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Affordable Care Act Implementation
9:26 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Washington Exchange Website Stumbles Out Of The Gates

Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:24 pm

It was a rocky start to Obamacare in Washington. The state’s new health insurance website is up now, but it was shut down for most of the day because of technical glitches.

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Health Exchange
8:18 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Washington Health Exchange's Early Enrollees

Gov. Jay Inslee shares a laugh with Charles Johnson as the two speak about having played high school football against each other decades earlier. Jackson is newly enrolled in Washington state's new health insurance exchange.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Washington’s health exchange got off to a bumpy start on its first day yesterday. The website was temporarily shut down all morning. People who tried to access the website experienced slowdowns and technical problems. But there were some people who managed avoid the glitches and sign up for health coverage.

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Affordable Care Act
4:04 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How To Get Health Insurance Through Washington's Marketplace

Flickr Photo/kindagetmego

The Affordable Care Act, colloquially called Obamacare, is here. Washington's health insurance marketplace, Healthplanfinder, is set to open Tuesday morning. In the marketplace, users can find, compare and sign up for health insurance. How does it work and what information will you need? David Hyde talks with Washington Health Benefit Exchange's director of communications, Michael Marchand.

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Affordable Care Act
4:30 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Washington Health Insurance Exchange Set To Open

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

Starting October 1, uninsured people will be able to shop online for private insurance in health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges. In Seattle, nonprofits and other organizations have been out educating people about how to sign up for insurance through the exchange.

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PacMed Building
8:37 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Former Amazon Building Lease Could Cost Washington $270M Over 30 Years

Joe Mabel Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 9:20 am

It could cost the state of Washington more than $250 million over 30 years.to lease and operate the former headquarters of Amazon.com.

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Affordable Care Act
4:33 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Inslee Says Health Care Act Rollout Is On Track In Washington

Jay Inslee's Facebook page.

Despite Republican efforts to block the health care reform plan known as Obamacare, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he’s confident the plan is moving forward.

Speaking today on KUOW’s The Record, Inslee said the state is ready to roll out a major component of the Affordable Care Act. Next week, the state’s online marketplace for health plans will open for enrollment. Inslee said that the state is ready to push the green button on October 1.

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Affordable Care Act
8:22 am
Fri September 20, 2013

House GOP Votes To Fund Government, Kill Obamacare

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) talks to reporters Thursday about the deadline to fund the government while simultaneously eliminating President Obama's health care law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 2:37 pm

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.

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Medical Mistakes
6:26 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Hospitals, Nurses Clash Over How To Keep Patients From Falling

Cancer survivor and fall victim Gene White of Des Moines, Wash.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Gene White of Des Moines, Wash., has had a litany of health problems in recent years: testicular cancer; cancer in his nervous system; pneumonia; the fungus Aspergillus infecting his lungs. The retired airline pilot says he got great care at Swedish Medical Center and the other Seattle hospitals that helped him survive those life-threatening diseases.

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News & Analysis
1:04 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Counting Votes On Syria, Tackling Transportation And Obamacare Explained

It’s Friday — time to talk over the week’s news with Joni Balter of the Seattle Times, The Stranger's Eli Sanders and Peter Jackson of the Everett Herald. This week President Obama said he'll ask Congress to approve a military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

 Governor Inslee floated the idea of another special legislative session to get a transportation package passed. Plus, Microsoft buys a $7.2 billion chunk of Nokia, Amazon's Jeff Bezos makes his first visit to the Washington Post as its newest owner and former president Bill Clinton tries to explain the Affordable Care Act to America. 

Citizen Lobbyist
11:42 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Determined Father Learns The Ropes In Olympia, Gets A Bill Passed

Austin Jenkins. Citizen lobbyist Jeff Schwartz with his wife Cathy and sons Jacob (on couch) and Sam at their home in Kirkland, Washington.

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:44 pm

There are nearly 900 registered lobbyists in Washington state. These are the paid professionals who try to influence the outcome of the legislative process. But this year, a determined dad proved even outsiders can play the legislative game – with a bit of help.

So how does a Microsoft test manager become a citizen lobbyist? For Jeff Schwartz it all started back in 2007 when his son Jacob was about four months old.

“It was right about December that he started excessively throwing up and vomiting,” Schwartz recalls.

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Health Care Exchange
10:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Certification Of Wash. Health Plans Delayed

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

It will be another week before Washington consumers will know how many new certified health plans will be be sold in the exchange. The exchange is a web-based market for health insurance that’s part of the Affordable Care Act. The nine-member board that governs the exchange voted Thursday to delay certification until next week.

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Rural Medicine
3:25 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Rural Residency Shortage Means Doctors-In-Training Move Away

Vaughn Bullfinch. Medical resident Vaughn Bullfinch considers himself lucky to have residency spot in a rural Northwest hospital in an area where he hopes to settle down.

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:14 pm

For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, Wash. went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas.

The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away.

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