health care

Northwest News Network Photo/Jessica Robinson

Washington’s health care exchange got off to a rocky start one month ago Friday: from the temporary shut down on its first day to the recent errors calculating tax credits. Even so, Washington state has fared well compared to the federal Website and even has some fans.

Marcie Sillman checks in with Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to find out the truth behind the “discontinuation and replacement notices” that health insurance companies are sending Washingtonians.  And she’ll get an explanation on the battle between Seattle Children’s Hospital and Premera Blue Cross that is playing out over the new health exchange.

Flickr Photo/Daniel Rehn

Congressional Republicans begin a series of hearings today on the problematic rollout of the federal government’s health exchange website. Since its launch earlier this month, healthcare.gov has been plagued by a number of technical issues and the Spanish language version hasn’t even launched yet.

Here in Washington, the health exchange rollout had a glitchy start, but overall, it’s fared much better than the federal website.

Bill Schrier is the former Chief Technology Officer for the city of Seattle. He currently serves as senior policy advisor to the chief information officer of Washington state. He talks with Marcie Sillman about what the other Washington did wrong, and what Washington state did right.

Online breast milk marketplaces can be a godsend for a mother who might not be producing enough for her baby but still wants her child to get the the health benefits of breast milk. But milk sold on one popular website had more bacterial contamination than that from a milk bank, a study finds.

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. 

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.

PeaceHealth And The Affordable Care Act

Oct 3, 2013
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.

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.

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.

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.

Washington Health Insurance Exchange Set To Open

Sep 27, 2013
Stethoscope
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.

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

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.

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.

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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