Health

Fitness, well-being, disease, medical research and issues related to Seton and St. David's Healthcare, Austin Regional Clinic and other health care providers in Austin and Central Texas

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

As Healthy Texas Women closes in on a one-year milestone, the state says the program has been steadily increasing access to health care for women. Advocates, however, are skeptical.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Almost seven years ago, Donna Kreuzer was taking care of her newborn granddaughter in a hotel room in San Antonio. Her daughter, Kristi, was attending a law conference with her husband, and Kreuzer came along to help out.

During that trip, she says, her daughter revealed a secret she had been keeping for eight weeks.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Senate could be voting on a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, 25 health care advocacy groups in Texas sent a letter to Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz raising concerns about the plan.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Gina Caro, 12, drapes a protective arm around her 9-year-old brother, Joshua, as they sit on a curb waiting for a bus to take him to camp. This is Joshua’s first time going away to camp, and he’s a little nervous.

When asked if he’s excited, Joshua shyly replies, “I don’t know.”

But Camp Grey Dove is geared specifically toward children like him.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Texas is closer to testing out a Trump administration rule that allows states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions based on their religious beliefs may soon be protected from disciplinary action thanks to a bill passed this legislative session. 

Shutterstock

For patients visiting emergency rooms in Texas, surprise medical bills are common. In 2009, the Texas Legislature developed a mediation system for these hefty bills, but it was limited.

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a law aimed at improving the system and expanding consumer protection.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Health advocates were hoping lawmakers would seriously tackle the issue of maternal mortality during the legislative session that ended Monday. But legislative efforts fell short.

Matt Lankes Photography

Austin Mayor Steve Adler joined mayors across the country in drawing attention to mental health as part of the National Mayors' Mental Health Day of Action on Wednesday. He called on Congress to protect mental health services in the American Health Care Act, which, if passed in its current state, would leave many people without access to mental health care in Travis County.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers are close to passing yet another abortion bill, roughly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state's last major abortion legislation.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Despite uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act, there are still new parts of the law going into effect.

In fact, at the start of this year, a provision prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities formally kicked in. In Texas, that has translated into a new standard for language-access programs across the state.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This weekend, Brackenridge Hospital closed its doors after more than 130 years in Austin. Before that, though, they spent Sunday shuttling the hospital’s remaining patients to the brand new Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, which is located just across the street.

Angel Torres Carmona, a nurse, was among the 1,500 hospital staff members helping move the 100-plus patients. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The end of this year’s legislative session is a little more than a week away, and health advocates say lawmakers are missing an opportunity to deal with a public health crisis in the state.

Last year, researchers reported a sharp spike between 2010 and 2012 in the number of women in Texas who died while pregnant or soon after giving birth, but they don’t know why.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A month ago, President Donald Trump signed a measure that would allow state and local governments to deny federal funds to family planning clinics that also provide abortions. Texas may soon be the first state to test out that measure to defund clinics like Planned Parenthood. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Zika virus presents a lot of complications for public health officials, but according to a new study, one of the biggest problems is a knowledge gap.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Legislation making its way through the Texas Legislature could impose new regulations on freestanding emergency rooms in the state.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives took another stab at repealing and replacing Obamacare on Thursday, passing the American Health Care Act.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Abortions brought on by medications used to be almost completely inaccessible to women in Texas because of state abortion regulations. But in the year since the Food and Drug Administration changed the label for a widely used abortion pill last year, medication-induced abortions have been increasing in Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Mosquito season is upon us, and Texas still isn’t out of the woods when it comes to Zika.

The mosquito-borne illness can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it while pregnant. Last year, there were 312 cases of Zika reported in the state.

Sanofi Pasteur

A mumps outbreak in Texas has reached a 20-year high. Public health officials have identified 221 cases of the highly contagious disease so far this year, and it’s not because vaccination rates are dipping in Texas.

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