Many Health Co-Ops Fold, Others Survive Startup Struggles

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Thousands of Americans are again searching for health insurance after losing it for 2016. That's partly because some large, low-cost insurers — health cooperatives, set up under the Affordable Care Act — are folding in a dozen states.

Group Health colon cancer kit with directions.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Mention colonoscopy and most people will make a face. Prepping for it is unpleasant, so much so that some people would rather avoid it altogether.

But Group Health researchers have found an approach that removes the “ick" factor in screening.

Marny Lombard has this advice on preventing suicide: "Reach out. Connect. Encourage your children to connect. That is how we thrive. If you see loneliness, reach out to it. Wrap your arms around the lonely. Maybe figuratively, maybe actually.”
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Marny Lombard lost her only child to suicide. Samuel Henderson Lombard was 22.

Lombard told Bill Radke how that loss led her to become an advocate for suicide prevention. Lombard is an organizer with Zero Suicide: Inland Northwest and a volunteer with Forefront at the University of Washington.

A 15-year-old boy died of Ebola in Liberia on Monday night, the first person in the country to perish from the disease since July, health officials say.

For a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, meeting the daily expectations of home and school life can be a struggle that extends to bedtime. The stimulant medications commonly used to treat ADHD can cause difficulty falling and staying asleep, a study finds. And that can make the next day that much harder.

If egg freezing once sounded like science fiction, those days are over. Women now hear about it from their friends, their doctors and informational events like Wine and Freeze.

Shady Grove Fertility Center in the Washington, D.C., area hosts Wine and Freeze nights for prospective patients every few months. Fifteen or so women in their 30s gathered at one recently over wine, brownies and sticky buns. A doctor explained the procedure, the costs and the odds of frozen eggs resulting in a baby — which decline as a woman ages.

Thanksgiving dinnr food
Flickr Photo/Dan Tentler (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Ross Reynolds speaks with Kima Cargill, University of Washington Tacoma clinical psychology professor and author of “Psychology of Overeating: Food and the Culture of Consumerism."

Cargill sees overeating as related to consumerism: We want to consume less, yet we’re bombarded with messages to consume more.

As an example she points out the water bottle filling stations at SeaTac airport (a nudge to consume water) which have coffee shop ads that say “You deserve better than water” (a nudge to consume high-calorie coffee products).

‘The fear is real, yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to embrace it,’ says Bridgette Hempstead, who has worked with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to reach out to African Americans with cancer.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Bill Radke talks to Bridgette Hempstead, about why she started Cierra Sisters, a cancer support group for African American women in South Seattle.

If you've ever been vaccinated, you may have seen the nurse head out of the room to go to the refrigerator to retrieve your injection. That's because most vaccines must be refrigerated during travel and storage or they lose their effectiveness.

Vaccines typically need what's known as a "cold chain." From the point of manufacture to the place where they're used, they need to be kept within a narrow temperature range, typically between 35 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

The U.S. drug giant Pfizer and its smaller rival Allergan have agreed to merge, creating the world's biggest pharmaceutical company by sales.

The $160 billion deal is the largest example so far of a corporate inversion, in which a U.S. company merges with a foreign company and shifts its domicile overseas in order to lower its corporate taxes.

Remember the headlines a few weeks back, when the World Health Organization categorized red and processed meats as cancer-causing?

Turns out, the techniques you use to prepare your meat seem to play into this risk.

Bernie Sadowski at the Ballard Senior Center. He credits the senior center for giving him direction after the death of his wife of 50 years.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

When Bernie Sadowski first came to the Ballard Senior Center in 2009, he didn’t care about life. His wife of 50 years had died.

Stuart McLean on the 'Vinyl Cafe' Facebook page.
Vinyl Cafe/Facebook

"Vinyl Cafe" host Stuart McLean has canceled his public radio show's Christmas tour, including a Seattle stop, saying he's been diagnosed with melanoma and begins therapy next week.

Opioids have a stranglehold on parts of the U.S. And where addictive pain medicines are the drug of choice, clinics for addiction treatment often follow.

Sometime these are doctor's offices where patients can get painkiller-replacement drugs, such as Subutex and Suboxone.

After twice being declared Ebola-free, Liberia is reporting new cases of the disease.

The first case that was confirmed, according to the World Health Organization, was a 10-year-old boy in the capital, Monrovia. He fell ill on Nov. 14, was hospitalized a few days later and confirmed as having Ebola Thursday.

It's still unclear how the boy became infected, says WHO's special representative on Ebola, Bruce Aylward.