Study: E-Cigs, Hookah Popular Among Middle and High School Students

May 1, 2016

E-cigarettes and smoking hookah have gained popularity among middle and high school students in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014.

To Lower Suicide Rates, Connecting With Men Is Key

Apr 12, 2016

Dr. Rich Mahogany's therapy office would fit well in a hunting lodge: dark wood desk, dark-paneled walls with a moose head, a dartboard, old books, old lamps. He looks just like Ron Swanson on the TV series "Parks and Recreation."

This story was produced by WHYY's The Pulse

"Did you know that men have feelings too?" he asks on his YouTube channel. "Not just the hippies, all of us. Hello, I'm Dr. Rich Mahogany, welcome to Man Therapy."

The Obama administration is recruiting as many as 20,000 primary care doctors for an initiative it hopes will change the way physicians get paid and provide care.

The program, which was announced Monday, will be run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The aim is to stop paying doctors based on the number of billable services and visits provided to Medicare beneficiaries and instead to tie payments to overall patient health and outcomes.

A Medicare proposal to test new ways of paying for chemotherapy and other drugs given in a doctor's office has sparked a furious battle, and cancer doctors are demanding that the Obama administration scrap the experiment.

Four days a week, public health nurse Brittany Combs drives her SUV around the small town of Austin, Indiana, handing out clean needles to injection drug users and talking to people about going to rehab.

It’s a task that can be rewarding—when one of her customers finally wants help to get off drugs—and a bit agonizing, because there’s often not a rehab bed ready for them.

Encouraging doctors and nurses to wash their hands frequently has always been considered an effective way to curb the spread of infection in hospitals and other health facilities.

But a research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine points to another key group of people who aren't always keeping their hands so clean and probably should: patients.

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Medicare is going to test new ways to reimburse doctors for medications, in hopes they'll choose less expensive drugs.

The plan would alter Medicare Part B, which pays for medicines administered in doctors offices or outpatient hospital clinics — to eliminate incentives for doctors to use the most expensive drugs.

On a brisk morning in Denver recently, an ambulance pulled up in front of a downtown office tower. "I think the patient is going to make it," Dr. Irene Aguilar said as a team rolled out the gurney.


Medicare spending on breakthrough medications for hepatitis C will nearly double this year, passing $9 billion, according to new government figures. That’s raising insurance costs for all beneficiaries, whether or not they have the liver-wasting viral disease.

The price of drugs is the public’s top health care concern in opinion polls, and the 2016 presidential candidates are increasingly paying attention. The federal Department of Health and Human Services will hold a public forum this week to examine the high cost of new drugs for difficult diseases.

Over the dissent of two justices, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an anti-abortion group's attempt to get more information about a $1 million federal contract awarded to Planned Parenthood for family planning and related health services.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the contract to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in 2011 to provide family planning services for a large portion of New Hampshire.

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The Supreme Court is wading into its fourth dispute over President Barack Obama's 5-year-old health care overhaul.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a nasty disease.

"It's super, super scary," says F. Scott Dahlgren, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"If you don't treat for Rocky Mountain spotted fever by the fifth day of illness, there's a really good chance you're going to die," says Dahlgren. "And it's an ugly, ugly death, too," he adds. "It's a horrific thing to go through and to see a loved one go through."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now says all overweight and obese Americans between 40 and 70 years old should get their blood sugar levels tested.

The advisory group's previous recommendation, drafted in 2008, made no mention of weight, instead suggesting that doctors routinely test the blood sugar of patients who have high blood pressure, another risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Oviea Akpotaire and Jeffrey Okonye put in long days working with patients at the veterans' hospital in south Dallas as fourth-year medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern.

They're in a class of 237 people and they're two of only five black men in their class.

"I knew the ones above us, below us," Okonye says. "We all kind of know each other. It's comforting to see another person that looks like you."

A Milwaukee hospital is trying a new approach to get newly insured residents to stop using emergency rooms as their main source of medical care and develop relationships with doctors instead.

The pilot project at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, the only hospital left in a mostly poor, black area of downtown Milwaukee, is labor intensive. But it's showing promise in getting patients connected with primary care doctors and in cutting ER costs.

Kamala B.K. is tiny. She's barely 5 feet tall. A bright red ribbon sets off her dark hair.

As she walks past our guesthouse in the village of Thankot, we try to get her to come over and talk to us. But the 14-year-old won't come over to the porch.

"Because she's menstruating, she should not be entering another person's house. It's disrespectful," says Cecile Shrestha of Wateraid.

With the stroke of a pen, California Gov. Jerry Brown made it legal for physicians in the state to prescribe lethal doses of medications if their terminally ill patients wish to end their lives.

Brown signed the "End of Life Act" into law on Monday, and in doing so California joins four other states — Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana — where patients' right to choose doctor-assisted death is protected either by law or court order.

Everyone knows that caffeine can keep you awake, but a new study shows that the world's most popular drug can actually interfere with your body's internal sense of time.

"The circadian clock is way beyond 'sleep and wake,' " says Kenneth Wright, a sleep and circadian physiologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "The circadian clock is present in cells throughout our entire body. It's in your fat cells; it's in your muscle cells. It's in your liver, for example, as well as in your brain."

Are you not getting enough sleep, or are you getting too much? If your answer to either of these questions is "yes," you may be at risk of heart disease.

If things are a bit tense in your doctor's office come Oct. 1, some behind-the-scenes red tape could be to blame.

That's the day when the nation's physicians and hospitals must start using a massive new coding system to describe your visit on insurance claims so they get paid.

Today, U.S. health providers use a system of roughly 14,000 codes to designate a diagnosis, for reimbursement purposes and in medical databases. To get more precise, the updated system has about 68,000 codes, essentially an expanded dictionary to capture more of the details from a patient's chart.

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New research suggests parents are doing a better job of keeping household medicines out of the hands of young children.

Emergency room visits by children who swallowed medicine while unsupervised have declined substantially, reversing an earlier trend, the study found. By contrast, ER visits for bad reactions from medicines meant for kids and given by parents increased during the same time.

Here are five things to know about the study, published Monday in Pediatrics:

Doctors' practices are increasingly trying to reach their patients online. But don't expect your doctor to "friend" you on Facebook – at least, not just yet.

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  A manhunt was underway in Thonotosassa after a sheriff's deputy was shot in the thigh early Thursday while responding to a 911 call about shots being fired in the neighborhood.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski told local television stations that shots were fired in the direction of three arriving deputies around 12:30 a.m.

Deputy Scott Ranney was hit in the left thigh and was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He was released about 7 a.m. and will recover at home, the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Determining what treatment to pursue for former President Jimmy Carter's cancer will depend on its type, its origin and factors such as age and health, doctors said.

Carter, 90, announced Wednesday that recent liver surgery found cancer that has spread to other parts of his body.

"I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare," Carter said in the statement released by the Carter Center in Atlanta.

The National Football League held its annual hall of fame induction ceremony Saturday night, in Canton, Ohio. Eight players were given football's highest honor, including a posthumous induction for Junior Seau, the former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers who killed himself in 2012.

After his death, Seau's brain showed signs of chronic damage — the same kind of damage that has been found in dozens of other former NFL players.

Big Push: Hospitals Turn To ‘Laborists’ For Safer Deliveries

Aug 4, 2015

When the only hospital in this southern Delaware town saw two of its four obstetricians move away, it knew it had to do something to ensure women in labor could always get immediate medical help. But recruiting doctors to the land of chicken farms and corn fields proved difficult.

CVS Health Corp. deliberately overcharged some pharmacy customers for generic drugs by submitting claims to their insurance companies at inflated prices, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

The suit says those inflated prices led to higher co-pays for customers that exceeded what they would have paid for the drugs if they had no insurance and participated in a CVS discount program.

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