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health care

Marcie Sillman talks with freelance journalist Lisa Stiffler about infection rates and patient safety in Washington hospitals.

O.S.T. and L.H. – their initials in court documents – are minors diagnosed with autism. Their families sued Regence, the health insurance company, for not covering all therapies related to their condition.

Expanded coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act substantially raised inpatient hospital visits related to mental health, finds a study conducted by researchers at Indiana and Purdue universities.

That looks like good news: Better access to care for a population with higher-than-average levels of mental illness that too often endangers them and people nearby.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is reminding employers they may not discriminate against same-sex spouses when it comes to health coverage.

Danni Askini, the executive director of the Gender Justice League.
Courtesy of Danielle Askini

Marcie Sillman speaks with Danielle Askini, advocacy director for the Gender Justice League, about their efforts to remove health care exclusions affecting transgender people from Washington state employee plans.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

You may have heard of financial literacy or media literacy. But what about health literacy: Are you able to get and understand basic health information?

Answering the question of whether diet soda helps or hinders dieters' efforts to lose weight has been the focus of much research. And buzz.

Unfortunately, the answer is still murky.

More than 700,000 Texans have signed up for a health plan through the online insurance marketplace. For that group, the Affordable Care Act appears to be working.

But an even larger number of Texans — one million or more — still have no access to affordable coverage because Texas officials opted out of a federal plan to expand Medicaid for the poorest adults.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Feibel of KUHF explains.

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.

Employers May Start Paying You To Buy Health Insurance

May 13, 2014

What if employers started giving workers a chunk of cash to buy health insurance on their own instead of offering them a chance to buy into the company plan? Are workers ready to manage their own health insurance like they do a 401(k)?

The idea that employers might drop their health plans and replace them with a "defined contribution" for employees has been around for years. It's one way for employers to control their expenses in the face of the relentlessly rising costs of health care.

Photo Courtesy Jenni Clark

Not all health plans are the same, as Washington consumers have learned the hard way.

Walter Bianco has had hepatitis C for decades. He's known about it for 20 years. And now he's reaching the end of the road.

"The liver is at the stage next to becoming cirrhotic," the 65-year-old Arizona man says.

How To Make The Affordable Care Act Better

May 7, 2014
Ezekiel Emanuel's book "Reinventing American Health Care."

Steve Scher talks to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel about his book “Reinventing American Health Care.”  Dr. Emanuel was previously a health care adviser to the White House.

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

Marcie Sillman talks with Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter and producer Kristian Foden-Vencil about  Oregon's troubled health exchange website, Cover Oregon.

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler.

Marcie Sillman checks in with Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler about a new rule that will mandate increased transparency for plans offered on the Washington state health exchange.

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