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

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

About a month ago, cuts to a state Medicaid program providing therapy to children with disabilities and developmental delays went into effect.

Child advocates have warned the cuts would put access to care in jeopardy and, as the cuts continue roll out, both lawyers and advocates are keeping an eye out for children who are experiencing gaps in care.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT News

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange ends Jan. 31. For many Texans who don’t get their insurance through an employer, this has been an affordable way to get a policy in the state for the past few years.

But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, this could be the last year it’s an option.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Federal lawmakers have set their sights on repealing the Affordable Care Act as quickly as possible. According to a new study, if they succeed, Texas could lose thousands of jobs in the coming years, but it could be more than just health care jobs.

Allison Shelley for Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: As he considers a final ruling on the state's fetal remains burial rule, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks is delaying the start date of the rule for at least another three weeks.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Texas abortion providers are facing off against state officials in court today.

In hearings today and Wednesday,  providers will ask a federal judge to strike down the state's fetal burial rule, which requires medical providers to bury or cremate fetal remains following a miscarriage or abortion, regardless of how long a woman has been pregnant.

flickr/jamesjordan

There could be Zika cases in Texas we missed this year, according to experts in the state. That became clearer after health officials closely monitored a small area in South Texas earlier this month and found several additional cases of locally-transmitted Zika.

A couple weeks ago, Cameron County reported the first-known locally-transmitted case of Zika in Texas.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Texas officials are trying again to take state funding away from Planned Parenthood in Texas. This time, they are kicking the chain of women’s health clinics out of the state’s Medicaid program, which could affect roughly 11,000 Medicaid recipients across the state.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

A federal judge has temporarily halted the Texas fetal burial rule from going into effect on Dec. 19.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Statewide funding cuts to therapies for young children with developmental delays go into effect today. Some state lawmakers have vowed to reverse cuts during the legislative session next year. But until that reversal happens, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) providers are going to have a hard time keeping their doors open.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Abortion providers are hoping to stop a new rule that would require health care facilities to cremate or bury fetal remains from miscarriages and abortions, regardless of the gestation time or a woman’s wishes.

Eric Schlegel for the Texas Tribune

The Center for Reproductive Rights announced it is filing a federal lawsuit today against the State of Texas over a rule set to go into effect Dec. 19. The rule requires abortion providers and hospitals to bury or cremate fetal remains from miscarriages and abortions – regardless of gestation time or a woman’s wishes.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A program that helped women in rural parts of Texas navigate the state’s complicated health care system is being phased-out next year.  That’s even though a new study out of UT Austin shows the program helped increase breast and cervical cancer screenings in those areas.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The State of Texas is moving forward with a rule requiring abortion providers and hospitals to bury or cremate fetal remains from miscarriages and abortions. Groups are already gearing up to possibly sue the state over this rule, but the state could have a tough time defending it.

While the HIV/AIDS epidemic no longer looks as menacing as it did in the 1980s and '90s, efforts to stop the spread of the disease have hit a brick wall.

James Gathany/CDC

Texas officials have announced the first in-state transmission of the Zika virus in Texas. In a statement released this afternoon, the Texas Department of State Health Services said there was a “very likely” chance a Zika case in the Rio Grande Valley originated from a mosquito in the area. The Cameron County woman, who was not named, is not pregnant and has not visited any places with active Zika transmission, the department said.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Texas Tribune: Faced with a rising death toll from opioid abuse, Texas public health officials in May decided to apply for a $1 million federal grant to purchase Naloxone, a drug that, if administered during an overdose, can save the life of a person addicted to heroin or pain pills. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The fourth open enrollment period for the federal health insurance program is in full swing. People who can’t get insurance through an employer, Medicaid or Medicare can now buy private insurance through the Affordable Care Act until Jan. 31.

But there’s some uncertainty about the program’s future this time around.

Some tiny clusters of brain cells grown in a lab dish are making big news at this week's Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.

Known as "minibrains," these rudimentary networks of cells are small enough to fit on the head of a pin, but already are providing researchers with insights into everything from early brain development to Down syndrome, Alzheimer's and Zika.

Women across the country are rushing to get IUDs. Or at least, they're tweeting about rushing to get long-term birth control, according to a surge of messages on social media.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

In 2011, Texas started cutting millions of dollars from the state Early Childhood Intervention program (ECI). At the time, they estimated it would lead to 9 percent reduction in the number of kids that could enter the program. That includes kids with speech delays, Down syndrome, autism and other challenges.

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