Health

Texas
8:08 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Texas Has Highest Percentage of People Without Health Insurance

CDC/ Debora Cartagena

Texas continues to lead the country in the percentage of uninsured people under 65. That has been a trend for at least the last five years.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show more than one in four people under 65 did not have health insurance – that was more than 5.7 million people in 2011.

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Austin
2:22 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Over 62,000 New STD Cases Estimated in Travis County

Condoms can drastically reduce the risk of several sexually transmitted diseases.
flickr.com/robertelyov

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services says sexually transmitted diseases are costing Travis County residents lots of money.

The department says more than 62,000 new cases of STDs were diagnosed in Travis County in 2011 alone. That’s estimated to cost over $83 million in lifetime medical costs.

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Health
8:33 am
Thu August 8, 2013

How Central Health, Seton & UT's Medical School Want to Change Health Care Forever

UT's medical school is one player in a community-wide effort to improve health and health care.
flickr.com/ejmc

Launching a new medical school is a major undertaking. But launching the University of Texas’ new medical school – in tandem with a new model of treating the sick and preventing illness – is even bigger.

When Austin voters approved Proposition 1 last year, increasing the property tax collected by Central Health, the measure was commonly referred to as the medical school initiative. But instead of financing the building of a medical school, taxpayer dollars are going toward a new medical program aiding the uninsured and under-insured. And yes, UT’s Dell Medical School is a part of that.

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Health
12:01 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Closing the Health Gap in East Austin

Community organizations are working to close the gap in public health disparities between ethnic groups in two Austin neighborhoods. They're trying to get sidewalks on streets to create more walkable neighborhoods.
Healthy People, Healthy Places Austin

This month marks the one-year anniversary of a project between the City of Austin and the UT's School of Public Health to reduce the gap in public health between ethnic groups in Austin.

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Texas
12:39 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

While Texas Restricts Abortions, Mexico Braces for a Boom

Women and girls cross the U.S. border into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico every day trying to put an end to their pregnancies. The one room clinic of Dr. Celia Gomez is one of the first clinics people find right across the border checkpoint.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks.

It also increases requirements for clinics and doctors that provide abortions. Clinics have a little over a year to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers. Several clinics are expected to close, leaving women in poor and rural areas the most affected.

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Health
11:02 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Austin 'Death Cafe' Breathes New Life Into Age Old Subject

Jo Jensen (L) and Brooks Kasson will host Austin's first Death Cafe later this month.
Roy Varney for KUT News

Death Cafe may sound like a new Tim Burton film or goth band. But instead, it’s a growing group of meetings where participants spend hours discussing their hopes and fears surrounding death and dying.

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Health
1:38 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Austin African-Americans Face Mental Health Care Barriers

Some mental health professionals have found difficulty among African American in Austin. The Hogg Foundation is looking to address concerns of both patients and caregivers.
ocw.jhsph.edu/

Yesterday was Juneteenth, a holiday that celebrates progress and societal advancement of African-Americans in Texas. While there is plenty to celebrate, some advocates in Austin are still trying to promote mental health and overcome treatment barriers for African-Americans in Austin.

And, although African-Americans are just as likely to encounter mental health problems as the rest of the population, there are fewer options when it comes to seeking help.  

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Health
11:28 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Lack of Revenue Limits Experimental Health Projects

Todd Wiseman/Blake Thompson

Texas received federal approval in May to begin more than 1,100 experimental projects that could transform the way health care is delivered to the state’s poor and uninsured.

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Health
2:41 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

That Employee Who Smokes Costs The Boss $5,800 A Year

A man smokes outside an office building in New York City in April. Smoking breaks cost employers almost $3,000 per year per smoking employees, a study says.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 7:42 am

Smoking is expensive, and not just for the person buying the cigs. Employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.

But figures on the cost of smoking have been rough estimates at best, with a very general estimate of $193 billion a year nationwide.

Researchers now say they're got much tighter focus on the number: $5,800 per smoker per year.

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Business
1:36 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

No Smoking Outside Starbucks Shops Starting Saturday

Don't sit down here and have a smoke with your coffee, Starbucks says.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 12:17 pm

Starbucks is moving its smoking ban outdoors.

Starting Saturday, according to signs posted in its more than 7,000 shops across the U.S. and Canada, "the no-smoking policy ... will include outdoor areas."

"Smoking will be restricted within 25 feet of the store and within outdoor seating areas," the notices read.

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Education
5:25 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Students Need to Be More Active, Report Says

A teachers advocate says prepping for standardized testing takes time away from physical activity.
Rune Mathisen, Texas Tribune

Students should be getting 60 minutes a day of physical activity, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine. That exercise could happen before, during or after school.

The study also recommends the U.S. Department of Education declare physical education a core subject.

Bill Kohl, who led the committee that wrote the report, says physical activity improves learning in the classroom.

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Health
10:52 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Fifteen Years After A Vaccine Scare, A Measles Epidemic

Luke Tanner, 7, gets vaccinated for measles at a clinic near Swansea, Wales, in April. Wales is at the center of a measles outbreak that has been linked to one death.
Geoff Caddick AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:39 pm

Great Britain is in the midst of a measles epidemic, one that public health officials say is the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children after a safety scare that was later proved to be fraudulent.

More than 1,200 people have come down with measles so far this year, following nearly 2,000 cases in 2012. Many of the cases have been in Wales.

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Health
11:01 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Angelina Jolie And The Rise Of Preventive Mastectomies

In sharing her decision to have a double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has given voice to a dilemma more women are facing.
Carlo Allegri AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 12:03 pm

Angelina Jolie just became part of a medical trend: More women are deciding to have their breasts removed to reduce the risk of cancer.

Over the past decade, doctors have noticed a big increase in the number of women choosing prophylactic, or preventive, mastectomies.

Some, like Jolie, have a genetic mutation that makes it much more likely that they will have breast cancer. Her mother died of the disease at age 56. Jolie is 37. She wrote about her decision in The New York Times.

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Health
8:01 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie Shares Story Of Her Double Mastectomy

Actress Angelina Jolie at a news conference with Secretary of State John Kerry (in background) and other foreign ministers in London last month. They held a forum on how to reduce sexual violence against women in conflict zones — an issue she has often spoken about.
Alastair Grant PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:48 am

Saying she is "writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience," actress Angelina Jolie reveals on the op-ed pages of The New York Times that she had a double mastectomy earlier this year to substantially reduce the chances she will develop breast cancer.

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Health
1:23 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Teens Who Text And Drive Often Take Other Risks

Dylan Young, then 18, posed for a photo as a vehicle cruised by North Arlington, N.J., in June 2012. Young was in a fender-bender accident caused by being distracted while texting and driving.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 10:21 am

Almost half of teenagers cop to texting while driving. And those texting teens are more likely to make other risky moves while in the car, too.

That includes not wearing seat belts, drinking and driving, and riding with a driver who's been drinking, a study just published in the journal Pediatrics finds.

Car crashes have long been the leading cause of death for teenagers, even before texting entered the scene.

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Texas
9:02 am
Mon May 13, 2013

From Austin to Boston: Artificial Limb Company to Help Marathon Bombing Victims Run Again

Courtesy of Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

It’s been a month since the Boston Marathon bombings that injured more than 250 people. At least fourteen lost limbs.

Experts say it takes healthy, strong people about six weeks to recover enough from an amputation to begin considering their prosthetic choices. Austin-based Hanger Orthopedics, one of the largest prosthetics and orthotics companies in the US, says it’s ready to help.

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Health Care
11:24 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Why A Slowdown In Health Spending Is Starting To Look Real

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:46 pm

So you know all that talk about how the boatload of money going to health care will bankrupt the nation if something isn't done soon?

Well, it turns out that while politicians were bickering, the problem started taking care of itself. Well, a little bit.

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2013 Legislature
3:41 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Texas Nursing Homes Seeking More From Medicaid

Nursing Home professionals and some of their elderly patients gathered today at the Capitol to ask state lawmakers to give more for Medicaid funding.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Nursing home professionals from all over Texas gathered today at the Capitol, asking lawmakers to expand Medicaid funding to care for more of the state’s seniors.

Paul Gerharter is director of nursing at Touchstone Communities, a provider of nursing home care in Central and South Texas. He says state budgets have lessened the number of nursing homes in the midst of a growing need for long-term care.

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Health
1:55 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

As New Flu Cases Rise In China, U.S. Steps Up Its Response

A child wears a mask near a closed section of a poultry market in Shanghai, where health workers detected the new bird flu, H7N9.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:23 pm

The toll from a new flu strain is mounting in China.

Forty-three people have been sickened and 11 have died from the virus, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The pace of infections has quickened over the past few days, with three to five cases reported daily.

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Business
2:22 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

What's Next for RunTex? Retail May Become Less of a Priority

RunTex owner Paul Carrozza says he's not sure if selling shoes will remain the focus of his business.
twitter.com/RunTex

RunTex is losing its prime store location on Riverside Drive and South First Street. The Austin-American Statesman reports the company is being evicted because they didn’t pay the $20,000/month rent. But there’s also the fact that the location is reportedly set to become a mixed-use development.

As far as criticism of his business decisions go, RunTex owner Paul Carrozza told KUT News he’s learned a “valuable lesson and an expensive lesson around expansion and what it takes to go from one store to five stores.”

Looking forward, Carrozza says RunTex will continue its commitment to fitness and creating a healthier Austin. He says that may mean that retail sales become less of a priority.

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