Health

Health
1:34 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Half of Texas Doctors Would Drop Medicare Patients If Cuts Come

Photo by Rosemary http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/

Medicare payments to doctors are scheduled to be slashed by almost 30 percent in January unless Congress does something to stop that from happening. A new poll of Texas doctors shows that half of them would stop taking Medicare patients if the cuts take effect.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to about 47 million people over the age of 65. It also costs taxpayers $452 billion a year.

“Our Medicare patients are like family to us, but most doctors in Texas run small businesses,” former Texas Medical Association (TMA) president Sue Bailey told KUT News. “We have employees to pay. We have rents and utilities to pay just like any small business.”

Read more
Health
12:19 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Chagas Disease on the Rise in South Texas

A triatomine bug, also known as a kissing bug, the main vector for spreading Chagas disease.
Photo by Linda Tanner http://www.flickr.com/photos/goingslo/

A disease transmitted by blood sucking parasites may be more common in Texas than scientists previously thought. New research released by the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin suggests suggest South Texas in particular is an area of high risk for Chagas infection.

The tropical parasite triatomine is known commonly as the "kissing bug" because it loves biting faces. Here’s a of one of the bugs to give a sense of scale. 

Read more
Health
5:12 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

US Supreme Court Could Rule On Health Law Before Election

The U.S. Supreme Court
Photo by Jarekt https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/wiki/User:Jarekt

Texas joined 25 other states today in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the the health care overhaul championed by President Obama is unconstitutional. The U.S. Department of Justice filed its own appeal of a lower court ruling, arguing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should stand as is. The showdown could provide an up-or-down vote on the law in the middle of the 2012 campaign season.

The filling from the 26 states targets three core provisions of the act:

Read more
Health
5:17 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Report: 41 Percent of Texas Child Cancer Patients Use Medicaid

Photo by Images of Money http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/

More than two out of five children with cancer in Texas rely on Medicaid for health care, according to an analysis of Medicaid in Texas by Families USA, a non-profit organization that advocates for affordable health care. The report comes as a showdown looms in Washington over how to manage costs of the chronically underfunded program.

Read more
Health
1:09 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Services For Sex Assault Victims Lacking, UT Study Finds

Photo by breahn http://www.flickr.com/photos/rueful/

Services for sexual assault victims are significantly lacking in Texas, according to a new survey out of the UT-Austin. 

The study said, for example, that emergency room wait times for sex assault victims are so long that they often leave before receiving treatment and reporting the assault.

"Sexual assault crimes persist as a social problem in Texas and the need to propel this issue to the public's attention is pressing," the study's lead investigator, Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz said in a press release.

Read more
Health
10:08 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Is the UT System Preparing for a New Medical School?

Speculation has gone on for year whether Austin will get its own teaching hospital. Photo By Daniel Reese.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

Lawmakers and local leaders are hopeful a plan unanimously adopted at Thursday's University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting means they could finally get what they've long been waiting for: a new medical school.

Read more
Health
4:26 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Study: Romantic Sexual Relationships Deter Teen Delinquency

Photo by Flickr user ElenahNeshcuet

A new study co-authored by a University of Texas at Austin psychologist finds sexually active teenagers in romantic relationships are less likely to exhibit anti-social behavior than their peers who have casual sex.

Read more
Health
12:26 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Time To Get Your Kids Vaccinated For School

Photo by Sanofi Pasteur http://www.flickr.com/photos/sanofi-pasteur/

It’s almost time for children to return to school, and students entering kindergarten or pre-K and the 7th grade are required to be vaccinated. Parents may also request an exemption from state vaccination requirements using this form.   

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services offers vaccinations at two locations in Austin: St. John Community Center on 7500 Blessing Ave and the Far South Health Clinic at 405 West Stassney.  Call 972-5520 to make an appointment. It costs $10, but they won’t turn away people who can’t pay. 

Read more
Health
12:42 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Texas and 25 States Win Ruling Against Health Care Law

Originally published on Fri August 12, 2011 12:37 pm

A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of 26 states that filed suit to challenge a requirement in President Barack Obama's healthcare law that forced individuals to own health insurance. The law's "individual mandate" portion was declared unconstitutional, according to Reuters.

The court has apparently ruled that the remainder of the law, without the individual mandate, can stand, Reuters reports.

Read more
Health
12:48 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Study: Nine Out of Ten Preschoolers' Lunches At Unsafe Temperatures

Lunches like this one should contain at least two ice packs according to a new UT study.
Photo by Kelsey Sheridan

A University of Texas study found that 90 percent of bag lunches brought to school by preschool students were kept at temperatures that could result in food-borne illnesses.

The researchers took the temperatures of 700 preschoolers lunch's at nine different Texas child care centers. Forty-five percent of the lunches had at least one ice pack and 39 percent had none.

Read more
Health
12:01 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Major Ground Turkey Recall Includes Brands Sold in Austin

This brand of Honeysuckle White ground turkey is sold in Austin stores and was included in the product recall.
Photo courtesy Cargill Meat Solutions

In one of the largest meat recalls in American history, Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that may have been contaminated with a drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.  Many of the products are sold at HEB, Randall’s, and other local grocery stores.

Read more
Health
1:09 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Nine Illnesses in Texas Linked to Ground Turkey

Ground turkey is often used as a replacement for beef in recipes for tacos, burgers, and meatballs.
Photo by m_morgavan http://www.flickr.com/photos/m_morgavan/

The federal government has issued a public health alert, warning people about eating ground turkey. The Food Safety and Inspection Service has not named specific brands, but says it is monitoring an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg that appears to be linked to consumption of the meat.

Seventy-seven illnesses, including one death, have been reported in 26 states. But no recall has been issued.

Read more
Health
6:03 pm
Sat July 30, 2011

Children's Mental Health Center Celebrates Anniversary

The Austin Child Guidance Center celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

The Austin Child Guidance Center celebrated its 60th anniversary this weekend with an open house at its 45th Street location. The Center has help treat 130,000 Austin children with mental health issues. This year may be one of the most challenging for the Center. Executive Director Russell Smith says 84 percent of the children that come to the Center live at 200 percent the federal poverty level or below. Most can qualify for some type of state health program such as CHIP or Medicaid.

Read more
Health
5:09 pm
Sat July 30, 2011

"Biggest Loser" Casting Call In Austin

The line forms at the Long Center where eager Austin residents audition for a contestant spot on the weight-loss reality show.
Photo by Hannah Jones for KUT News.

The reality weight loss TV show “The Biggest Loser” came to Austin Saturday in search of new contestants for its thirteenth season. The casting call drew a good crowd to the Long Center where the try-outs were held. Michael Goana waited in line with hundreds of others.

“Life's a game itself,” he said.

Read more
health
12:07 pm
Wed July 27, 2011

Texas Distributor Recalls Papayas Over Salmonella Risk

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 26, 2011 3:26 pm

Even papayas can spread salmonellla, it turns out.

There's a recall of papayas from Mexico after testing by the Food and Drug Administration found samples from Agromod Produce had the same strain of bacteria seen in outbreaks of salmonella affecting 97 people in 23 states.

McAllen, Texas-based Agromod Produce distributes four papaya brands: Blondie, Mananita, Tastylicious and Yaya.

Read more
Health
4:09 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Drought Could Be Causing Uptick In Rabies Cases

Skunks and bats are the most common animal to have rabies in Texas according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Photo by Clinton & Charles Robertson http://www.flickr.com/photos/dad_and_clint/116297459/

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting a high number of rabies cases, especially in Central and North Texas. The extreme heat and drought is causing wild animals to search for food and water for longer periods of time and closer to human habitat, causing clashes with people and their pets.

Read more
Health
1:07 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Violent News? Turn It Off

Photo by Maʝicdölphin http://www.flickr.com/photos/majicdolphin/

Mass killings dominated the media this weekend with a string of shootings in the United States following just hours after a murderous rampage in Oslo. Some of the violence since Friday included:

A local psychotherapist says the deluge of grim news can be a trigger for people already trying to cope with grief. For those with a history of trauma, mental illness or personal losses, it can actually be harmful, according to two local experts.

Read more
Health
4:50 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

1 in 4 Gay and Lesbian Teens are Homeless According to Study

Homelessness is a major problem for sexual minority teens according to a new study. Austin's non-profit organization, LifeWorks, deal with many cases like this.
Photo courtesy of jennfinley at http://flickr.com/people/jennfinley/

One in four gay, lesbian or transgender teens and 15 percent of bisexual teens are homeless, according to a study issued by the American Journal of Public Health. This is in contrast to three percent of heterosexual teens who are homeless. The study was made up of 6,300 Boston, Mass. public high school students.

Read more
Health
2:46 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

All Texas College Students Need Meningitis Vaccine

Meningococcal disease is an infection caused by a bacterium called neisseria. meningitidis or the meningococcus, pictured here under 1150x magnification.
Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection

A new state law passed by the 2011 Legislature requires any college student under 30 who attends classes on a Texas campus must be vaccinated against meningitis. Previously only students who lived on campus needed one.

Read more
Health
12:13 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Anti-Abortion Measure Targets Travis County

Photo by Jacob Villanueva, Texas Tribune

An amendment that conservative state lawmakers hoped would wipe out the only taxpayer-funded elective abortions in Texas ultimately might not do much at all.

One of many tacked onto an omnibus health care bill during the Legislature's special session in June, the amendment by Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, aims to remove state funding from any hospital district — a health care system financed by city or county tax dollars – that provides elective abortions.

Read more

Pages