health

Cost Savings
7:53 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Washington Reports An 'Unprecedented' Drop In Medicaid ER Visits

Flickr Photo/Micheal J (CC BY-NC-ND)

A year after hospitals began discouraging Medicaid patients from making unnecessary emergency room visits, the results are promising. A new state report shows the number of unnecessary visits to ERs in Washington fell by 10 percent last year.  

“A 10 percent reduction is almost unprecedented,” said Dr. Nathan Schlicher, an ER physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma.

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Treatment Costs
10:04 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Screening Immigrants For TB Pays Dividends In U.S.

People who test positive for infection with bacteria that cause tuberculosis can be treated before they enter the U.S.
Janice Haney Carr CDC

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:39 am

Hundreds of people with tuberculosis wishing to come to the U.S. have been stopped before they reached U.S. borders, says a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Physicians overseas picked up more than 1,100 cases in prospective immigrants and refugees prior to their arrival in the U.S. The cases include 14 people with multidrug-resistant TB, the CDC says.

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Cocoa Flavanol
3:26 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Researchers Studying A 'Chocolate Pill' To Help Prevent Heart Disease

A new study is researching the health benefits in a cocoa flavanol pill - but will that take the fun out of eating chocolate?
Flickr Photo/Boz Bros

Marcie Sillman checks in with Garnet Andersen, director of Public Health Services at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, about a new project to encapsulate the cocoa flavanol from chocolate and study its benefits on post-menopausal women.

Science & Technology
2:44 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Tour Of The Intellectual Ventures Lab In Bellevue

Pablos Holman is an inventor and futurist at Intellectual Ventures. Behind him are boxes of mosquitoes destined to be targets for the laser mosquito zapper.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds goes on a tour of the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory in Bellevue with inventor and futurist Pablos Holman.

Holman's team projects include a laser that can quickly detect if a person has malaria, a cooler that can keep vaccines from going bad and the high tech kitchen — more like a science lab actually — used to produce Nathan Myrhvold's 51 pound, multi-volume "Modernist Cuisine" books.

Giving Back
12:45 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Fighting Discrimination Against Disabled Kids In Nepal

Photographer Robert Rose in Nepal.
Courtesy of Robert Rose

Steve Scher talks with Robert Rose, a Bellevue-area portrait photographer, about challenging Nepal's cultural bias against the disabled community. In 2005, he started the Rose International Fund for Children, a non-profit organization that seeks to assist children with disabilities in Nepal .

Nutritional Demons
4:25 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Don't Fear The Fat: Experts Question Saturated Fat Guidelines

Eating some foods high in saturated fat is not necessarily going to increase your risk of heart disease, a study shows, contrary to the dietary science of the past 40 years.
Cristian Baitg Schreiweis iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:22 pm

As a culture, we tend to suffer from the angel-or-devil mindset. Especially when it comes to food.

And for 40 years now, saturated fat — found in high amounts in meat, cheese and other full-fat dairy products — has been one of our top nutritional demons.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines urge us to limit consumption because of concerns that saturated fat raises the risk of heart disease. But after decades of research, a growing number of experts are questioning this link.

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Epidemiological Modeling
2:58 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Improving The Battle Against Infectious Diseases

Researcher Philip Eckhoff leads the epidemiological modeling project at Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Ross Reynolds speaks with researcher Philip Eckhoff about using computer modeling to foil infectious diseases like malaria, polio and HIV. Eckhoff is the principal investigator for the epidemiological modeling project at Intellectual Ventures' Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue.

Affordable Care Act
8:30 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Mixed News For Northwest Exchanges As Enrollment Deadline Approaches

Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:17 pm

You only have until the end of this month to sign up for coverage using one of the new health insurance exchanges.

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Affordable Care Act
8:24 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Health Exchange Open Enrollment Deadline Looms

Washington's health exchange has hosted outreach events throughout the open enrollment season, which is drawing quickly to a close.
Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

If you don’t have health coverage yet, you still have two weeks to sign up. But state officials are urging people not to wait until the last minute. They say there are reasons to enroll sooner — you’ll avoid the surge leading up to the deadline.

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Body Image
3:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Dancing With Grace, Strength And An Eating Disorder

Flickr Photo/Balletstar011 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with former New York City ballerina Jenifer Ringer about her new book, "Dancing Through It: My Journey In The Ballet."

Health Care
2:58 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

New Program At Harborview Works Toward Universal PTSD Screening

Harborview Medical Center
Flickr Photo/camknows (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Re-experiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal: these are the three categories of post-traumatic stress disorder as laid out by the National Institute of Mental Health. They commonly go by more common names: nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, social isolation, poor concentration, insomnia and startling.

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Open Enrollment Ending
12:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

You Might Pay A Lot More Than $95 For Skipping Health Insurance

The tax penalty is designed to encourage people to sign up for health insurance.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:08 pm

2014 is the first year most Americans will have to either have health insurance or face a tax penalty.

But most people who are aware of the penalty think it's pretty small, at least for this first year. And that could turn into an expensive mistake.

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Tracking Legal Marijuana
7:56 am
Mon March 10, 2014

To Experts' Dismay, Teens Embrace Marijuana As 'Healthy' And 'Non-Addictive'

Credit Flickr Photo/Kamera Kizi (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Recreational marijuana is legal – for adults. But it’s clear that the movement toward legalization is having repercussions for teenagers too.

Federal authorities have said they will be monitoring whether Washington’s legal marijuana supply makes its way to underage users. It’s one of the indicators that they say could lead them to intervene in the state’s experiment.

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Online Influence
11:57 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Of Cigs And Selfies: Teens Imitate Risky Behavior Shared Online

High school students whose friends posted photos of drinking and smoking were about 20 percent more likely to become drinkers or smokers themselves.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 6:59 am

Teenagers put a lot of stock in what their peers are doing, and parents are forever trying to push back against that influence. But with the advent of social media, hanging out with the wrong crowd can include not just classmates, but teenagers thousands of miles away on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

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Public Health
3:44 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

How Twitter Could Help Prevent HIV Infections

Flickr Photo/West McGowan (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with UCLA professor Sean Young about his new study that links language used in tweets with high rates of HIV infection.

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