Health http://kut.org en Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions http://kut.org/post/report-new-law-led-statewide-drop-abortions <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">The number&nbsp;of abortions in Texas decreased by about&nbsp;13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley following the passage of strict abortion regulations that went into effect last November, according to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001078241400568X" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">report</a>&nbsp;that academic researchers released Wednesday.& Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:38:41 +0000 Gilad Edelman, Texas Tribune 10847 at http://kut.org Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies http://kut.org/post/us-appeals-courts-issue-conflicting-decisions-obamacare-subsidies A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dealt a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act, when it threw out an IRS regulation that governs subsidies. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:44:55 +0000 10831 at http://kut.org Dogs Carry Kissing Bug Disease In Texas And Latin America http://kut.org/post/dogs-carry-kissing-bug-disease-texas-and-latin-america We often think about people spreading diseases around the world. This spring,<strong> </strong>vacationers brought <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/03/327760854/chikun-what-a-new-mosquito-borne-virus-lands-in-the-u-s">chikungunya</a> from the Caribbean to the United States. Businessmen have likely spread Ebola across international borders in West Africa. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:33:38 +0000 10802 at http://kut.org Dogs Carry Kissing Bug Disease In Texas And Latin America Most Employers See A Benefit In Covering Contraceptives http://kut.org/post/most-employers-see-benefit-covering-contraceptives Despite questions raised by the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses.<p>The court ruling did not change the health law's requirement that preventive care services, including <a href="http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/">all Food and Drug Administration-approved forms of contraception</a> for women, be provided by most health plans to customers without cost. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:45:49 +0000 10789 at http://kut.org Leprosy Persists in Texas, But the Disease Is No Longer a Death Sentence http://kut.org/post/leprosy-persists-texas-disease-no-longer-death-sentence <p>For thousands of years, people have had an image of what life with leprosy is like.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">You might think it's been eradicated, but leprosy — now referred to as Hansen's disease — still affects hundreds of people in the U.S. every year. Many of those victims are in Texas but, with treatment, a life with leprosy is no longer a death sentence.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157583778&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:49:07 +0000 Joy Diaz 10739 at http://kut.org Leprosy Persists in Texas, But the Disease Is No Longer a Death Sentence Study: The Hottest and Coldest U.S. Places are Also the Fattest http://kut.org/post/study-hottest-and-coldest-us-places-are-also-fattest <p>Rising summer temperatures could lead to expanded waistlines, according to a study announced today by University of Texas researchers.</p><p>Research from Paul von Hippel, an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, has shown that adults living in counties with the highest and lowest temperatures are the least active and by extension, the most obese. This especially holds true for areas with humid summers and dark winters.</p><p>Hippel and co-author Rebecca Benson, a UT doctoral student, studied each of the 3,000 counties in the United States, assessing different variables that could predict why some counties were more obese than others. Many of the counties in the Southeast account for areas with the highest rates of obesity. The mountain West, with cool, dry summers, represents the lowest proportion of obese adults.</p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:40:58 +0000 Joseph Baucum 10678 at http://kut.org Study: The Hottest and Coldest U.S. Places are Also the Fattest How Your State Rates In Terms Of Long-Term Care http://kut.org/post/how-your-state-rates-terms-long-term-care In just 12 years, the oldest members of the huge baby-boom generation will turn 80. Many will need some kind of long-term care. A new study from <a href="http://www.aarp.org/">AARP</a> says that care could vary dramatically in cost and quality depending on where they live.<p>The <a href="http://www.longtermscorecard.org/2014-scorecard#.U6I7qHamU1I">study </a>was motivated by a simple fact: The number of available <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/01/08/168890934/workshops-help-families-grappling-with-alzheimers-home-care">family caregivers</a> is declining. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:17:33 +0000 Ina Jaffe, NPR & Ina Jaffe, NPR 10634 at http://kut.org How Your State Rates In Terms Of Long-Term Care A Chinese Chemical Company And A 'Bath Salts' Epidemic http://kut.org/post/chinese-chemical-company-and-bath-salts-epidemic There were times a few years back when the emergency room at SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse looked like a scene from a zombie movie. Dr. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:26:50 +0000 Frank Langfitt 10612 at http://kut.org A Chinese Chemical Company And A 'Bath Salts' Epidemic How Central Texas Cities Regulate (or Don't Regulate) E-Cigarettes http://kut.org/post/how-central-texas-cities-regulate-or-dont-regulate-e-cigarettes <p><strong>Update: </strong>The City of Kyle has banned the possession of e-cigarettes by minors.</p><p>The Kyle City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance – making it illegal for minors to use e-cigarettes and for businesses or individuals to sell or distribute them to anyone under 18.</p><p>The ordinance was researched and development by the Kyle Youth Advisory Council – made up of local high schoolers – who say they were concerned about the trend.</p><p>Those who break the rule could face a fine of up to $500 and be required to perform community service or attend a tobacco-awareness program. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:29:36 +0000 Maria Roque & Laura Rice 10207 at http://kut.org How Central Texas Cities Regulate (or Don't Regulate) E-Cigarettes What Pill Was I Supposed to Take? A New App Remembers For You http://kut.org/post/what-pill-was-i-supposed-take-new-app-remembers-you <p>Eat this, not that. Exercise daily –&nbsp;but don’t overdo it. Go easy on the salt. Limit your caffeine. Take the white pills in the morning with food and the yellow ones in the evening with water.</p><p>Wait –&nbsp;what?</p><p>Following the doctor’s orders isn’t always so easy –&nbsp;especially for people with chronic conditions, who often have multiple medical providers. Sometimes it's just plain confusing. Bur now a new app's come along to help with all that – and it could be a lifesaver.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Patient IO is being developed by Texas-based Filament Labs, a healthcare technology company headquartered in Austin. The new app promises to bridge the gap between patients and doctors.&nbsp;</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/153001284&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:02:06 +0000 David Brown & KUT Staff 10549 at http://kut.org What Pill Was I Supposed to Take? A New App Remembers For You More Places For Low Income Texas Children to Get Free Meals During Summer http://kut.org/post/more-places-low-income-texas-children-get-free-meals-during-summer <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More low-income Texas children have access to free and reduced price lunch over the summer than they did in 2012, according to </span><a href="http://frac.org/pdf/2014_summer_nutrition_report.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">a new report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> by the Food Research and Action Center (</span>FRAC<span style="line-height: 1.5;">), based in Washington D.C.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">FRAC says Texas added 297 "summer meal sites" across the state in 2013. Those are places at schools or non-profit organizations where children whose families make less than 185 percent of the<a href="http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm"> federal poverty level</a> can get reduced-price meals through the federal&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program-sfsp">Summer Food Service Program</a> or the <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program">National School Lunch Program</a>. Children from families earning less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level get free meals.</span></p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 01:01:13 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10528 at http://kut.org More Places For Low Income Texas Children to Get Free Meals During Summer Texas Pilot Program Combines Medicare, Medicaid Into One Plan http://kut.org/post/texas-pilot-program-combines-medicare-medicaid-one-plan <p>In Texas, about 400,000 people are on both Medicare and Medicaid. Right now, they’re on separate health plans: the state handles Medicaid, while the federal government oversees Medicare.&nbsp;</p><p>But a pilot effort is underway to shed some redundancy and unnecessary cost –&nbsp;by folding the plans into one. &nbsp;</p><p>Combining services under one plan would help people get the care they need in an appropriate facility – a nursing home instead of a hospital, for example, according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/index.shtml">Texas Health and Human Services Commission</a>. Spokesperson Stephanie Goodman says it increases cost-saving incentives if one plan is not making decisions that are paid for by the other plan. "By combining it, you can get people better care in the right setting, lower costs generally, and the savings can be shared by both the state and federal government," Goodman says.</p><p> Wed, 28 May 2014 21:10:41 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10510 at http://kut.org Texas Pilot Program Combines Medicare, Medicaid Into One Plan Report Finds Evidence Of Secret Wait Lists At VA Hospital http://kut.org/post/report-finds-evidence-secret-wait-lists-va-hospital The inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs has affirmed that some 1,700 patients at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on unofficial wait lists and subjected to treatment delays of up to 115 days.<p>In an interim report released Wednesday, the inspector general's office reported it had "substantiated that significant delays in access to care negatively impacted the quality of care" at Phoenix HCS.<p>"To date, our work has substantiated serious conditions at the Phoenix HCS. Wed, 28 May 2014 18:51:02 +0000 Scott Neuman 10507 at http://kut.org Report Finds Evidence Of Secret Wait Lists At VA Hospital Cost of Hepatitis Drug Raises Questions About Access http://kut.org/post/cost-hepatitis-drug-raises-questions-about-access <p class="body" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">A new treatment for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/hepatitis-c/overview.html?action=click&amp;module=Search&amp;region=searchResults&amp;mabReward=relbias&amp;%2337;3Ar&amp;url=http&amp;%2337;3A&amp;%2337;2F&amp;%2337;2Fquery.nytimes.com&amp;%2337;2Fsearch&amp;%2337;2Fsitesearch&amp;%2337;2F&amp;%2337;3Faction&amp;%2337;3Dclick&amp;%2337;26region&amp;%2337;3DMasthead&amp;%2337;26pgtype&amp;%2337;3DHomepage&amp;%2337;26module&amp;%2337;3DSearchSubmit&amp;%2337;26contentCollection&amp;%2337;3DHomepage&amp;%2337;26t&amp;%2337;3Dqry126&amp;%2337;23&amp;%2337;2Fhepatitis&amp;%2337;2520C" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="Times Health Guide page.">hepatitis C</a>&nbsp;is considered a breakthrough for people with the liver disease. But the high cost of the drug — about $1,000 a pill — has complicated efforts to get the medication to Texans who receive government-subsidized health care.</p><p class="body" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">The state’s prison system and the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program, which covers poor children and people with disabilities, are trying to determine who qualifies for the drug, which is 80 to 90 percent effective but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/business/treatment-cost-could-influence-doctors-advice.html?hpw&amp;rref=health" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="Times analysis.">can cost $84,000</a>&nbsp;for a 12-week regimen.</p><p class="body" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">In Texas, where roughly 300,000 people have chronic hepatitis C and many more may carry the virus, the treatment has raised ethical questions about who gets the drug.</p><p> Mon, 26 May 2014 18:42:38 +0000 Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune 10495 at http://kut.org Cost of Hepatitis Drug Raises Questions About Access Mexico City's Campaign To Encourage Breast-Feeding Backfires http://kut.org/post/mexico-citys-campaign-encourage-breast-feeding-backfires Mexico City health official launched a new campaign this month to boost the image of nursing mothers. But posters of topless toned actresses weren't exactly the message women's groups and health advocates had hoped for.<p>"We were very surprised once the campaign was launched," says Regina Tames, of the reproductive rights group GIRE.<p>She was taken aback by pictures of topless actresses and one of the female boxer known as "La Barbie." She was shirtless, too — although she did have on her boxing gloves.<p>The stars aren't totally bare: a strategically placed banner crosses their chests. Mon, 26 May 2014 14:36:56 +0000 Carrie Kahn, NPR 10493 at http://kut.org Mexico City's Campaign To Encourage Breast-Feeding Backfires GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags http://kut.org/post/gop-strategy-run-against-health-law-hits-snags Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare.<p>But now that the 2014 races are starting to take shape, that strategy isn't looking quite so simple. Democrats are fighting back. Thu, 22 May 2014 15:53:07 +0000 Julie Rovner, NPR 10476 at http://kut.org GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags Beezin' May Be Bogus, But Other Dopey Teen Fads Can Bite Back http://kut.org/post/beezin-may-be-bogus-other-dopey-teen-fads-can-bite-back Another month, another apocalyptic news report of some weird substance that kids are abusing in pursuit of a high.<p>The most recent example is "beezin'," which supposedly involves smearing Burt's Bee's lip balm on one's eyelids. Tue, 20 May 2014 13:52:02 +0000 10453 at http://kut.org Beezin' May Be Bogus, But Other Dopey Teen Fads Can Bite Back MERS 101: What We Do (And Don't) Know About The Virus http://kut.org/post/mers-101-what-we-do-and-dont-know-about-virus The virus with the mysterious name has been making headlines this spring, with a mysterious increase in cases. Here's an update on what we know about MERS.<p><strong>What is it? </strong>Middle East respiratory syndrome, a new and potentially fatally virus from the same family as the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS).<p><strong>Symptoms:</strong> Affects the lower and upper respiratory tracts, leading to coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pneumonia. Wed, 14 May 2014 17:22:40 +0000 10416 at http://kut.org MERS 101: What We Do (And Don't) Know About The Virus Too Young To Smoke, But Not To Pick Tobacco http://kut.org/post/too-young-smoke-not-pick-tobacco Kids under 18 can't buy cigarettes in the U.S., but they can legally work in tobacco fields when they're as young as 12.<p>One of those kids is Eddie Ramirez, 15, who works the fields in the summer.<p>"It just sticks to my hand," he says of the plant. "It's really sticky, you know, and really yellow." It's nearly impossible to wash off, he says.<p>A <a href="http://www.hrw.org/node/125316" target="_blank">new report from Human Rights Watch</a> says the practice of children farming tobacco is hazardous and should be stopped. Wed, 14 May 2014 13:29:07 +0000 Debbie Elliott 10414 at http://kut.org Too Young To Smoke, But Not To Pick Tobacco Why a Conservative Christian Group Joined Austin Marijuana Marchers http://kut.org/post/why-conservative-christian-group-joined-austin-marijuana-marchers <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Marijuana advocates will march on the Texas Capitol Saturday as part of the annual </span><a href="http://mychronicrelief.com/worldwide-marijuana-march-texas-capitol/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Worldwide Marijuana March</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. In Austin, the marchers will include members of </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/TexasMammas" style="line-height: 1.5;">Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;(MAMMA), a newly-founded organization which describes itself as a conservative Christian group calling for the legalization of medicinal marijuana use in Texas.</span></p><p>“We are working now with <a href="http://www.rampgop.org/">Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition</a>. They’re a group out of Harris County. They are drafting a bill,"&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says MAMMA co-founder and executive director&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thalia</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Michelle. "W</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">e believe that </span><a href="http://www.mpp.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Marijuana Policy Project</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> will also be introducing a medicinal cannabis bill."</span></p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 23:23:01 +0000 Trey Shaar 10350 at http://kut.org Why a Conservative Christian Group Joined Austin Marijuana Marchers