health care

  The fourth annual Art and Soul reception will take place tomorrow at the Vassar College Alumnae House will feature beautiful, vibrant Haitian art, live entertainment from Vassar student musicians, and fabulous cuisine from Twisted Soul. The program runs from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, and is open to the public.

The Art and Soul reception funds the staffing, supply, and operation of a medical center in northwest Haiti that serves thousands of local residents. For many residents, this is the first accessible medical care in their lifetime.

The Vassar Haiti Project, founded in 2001, promotes Haitian art, fosters sustainable development in Haiti, and provides students and volunteers a life changing experiential education in global citizenship. VHP’s contributions are guided by five initiatives: education, medical access, reforestation, clean water access, and women’s health.

This morning we welcome the co-founders of the project: Andrew and Lila Meade, board member Caryn Halle, and Dr. Joassainvil Gueslin.

  This morning we begin a new bi-weekly series entitled Falling into Place. This series will spotlight the important work of -and foster collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This week, we’ll learn about Hixny. Hixny empowers modern healthcare by improving the way in which the healthcare community and patients access, analyze and collaboratively act upon patient-specific information. Hixny is a not-for-profit based in Albany, NY, is a recognized national leader in population health management support. Hixny supports care coordination of more than 1.6 million patients in the Capital District, Northern New York and the Mohawk Valley.

Scott Momrow, Vice President of Hixny joins us now to tell us more about the organization and their patient portal.

The Republican debate on Thursday, February 25, had Mr. Trump, and to a lesser extent Senators Rubio and Cruz, presenting what only can be characterized as a silly idea for health care reform.  In contrast, a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Companies Form New Alliance to Target Health-Care Costs” presented a sensible proposal. 

Photo depicting health care costs
401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

Following up on an initiative he outlined in his budget address last week, Governor Peter Shumlin on Monday issued an outline to move Vermont to an All Payer health care system.

  Of the ten million bits of information our brains process each second, only fifty bits are devoted to conscious thought. Because our brains are wired to be inattentive, we often choose without thinking, acting against our own interests—what we truly want.

 As the former Chief Scientist of Express Scripts, a Fortune 25 healthcare company dedicated to making the use of prescription medications safer and more affordable, Bob Nease is an expert on applying behavioral sciences to health care. Now, he applies his knowledge to the wider world, providing important practical solutions marketers, human resources professionals, teachers, and even parents can use to improve the behavior of others around them, and get the positive results they want.

His new book is The Power of Fifty Bits: The New Science of Turning Good Intentions into Positive Results.

  

  Raymond Francis, a chemist and a graduate of MIT, once found himself in a hospital, battling for his life. The diagnosis: acute chemical hepatitis, chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivities, and several autoimmune syndromes, causing him to suffer fatigue, dizziness, impaired memory, heart palpitations, diarrhea, numbness, seizures and numerous other ailments.

Knowing death was imminent unless he took action, Francis decided to research solutions for his disease himself. His findings and eventual recovery led him to conclude that almost all disease can be both prevented and reversed.

He writes about his journey in the new book: The Great American Health Hoax.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

With public and media attention squarely focused on the New York state budget agreement, the Department of Health on Tuesday quietly filed regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program.

New York posted final regulations for the state medical marijuana program, sticking to the original script: not varying far from the much-criticized draft regulations that first appeared months ago.

Elizabeth Anderson

A new report by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that young African-American men have better survival chances in prison than on the street because they have better access to health care. Meanwhile,  a group based in Albany is rolling out a new program to address the intersection of race, crime, criminal justice policy, and health.

Phillip Jeffrey, CC

If you receive health care in the Northeast, you may be more likely to undergo medical tests that you don't need. That's according to a new study out of New York University.

Researchers surveyed patients with low-risk breast and prostate cancer and found that on average more than 40 percent of them received imaging tests that were expensive and unnecessary. And the figure was higher in the Northeast than elsewhere. Dr. Danil Makarov, the study's lead investigator, says imaging rarely proved useful for patients with those types of cancer.            

        People with chronic health conditions often turn to others with the same diagnosis for insights and support. Thousands of people are now using social health networks to find answers about their medical conditions. More than 3,000 people in Massachusetts currently subscribe to a specific network set up by MyHealthTeams.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the Eric Peacock, the CEO and co-founder of the San Francisco-based company.

HCC

Under a reorganization that started two years ago, the community colleges in Massachusetts are becoming regional workforce development centers.  Holyoke Community College is building a new facility to help meet the demand for skilled workers in the health care industry.


The first cases of Ebola in the United States have raised legitimate concerns about the nation’s ability to protect the public’s health.  And while the virus is incredibly toxic, the threat posed to Americans is – as yet – quite small.

  Health care remains a political flashpoint.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut representative Joe Courtney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock his bill on skilled nursing deserves a vote.

7/1/14 Panel

Jul 1, 2014

    

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
Hobby Lobby
Union Fees Decision
GM Recall
Immigration enforcement

6/17/14 Panel

Jun 17, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, political consultant Libby Post and Times Union Assistant Managing Editor, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Iraq Update
SCOTUS on Online Threats
Baquet Cancer
Health Care Questions
Starbucks College

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Northern Berkshire Healthcare has announced it will close North Adams Regional Hospital. The Board of Trustees cites a worsening financial status following Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011, financial restructuring and the closing of its psychiatric facility in January.

Saratoga County, home to one of the fastest growing populations in New York, is also seeing an expansion of healthcare services.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, between the year 2000 and 2010, the Saratoga County population rose 9.5 percent, from 200,635 to 219,607, outpacing many of New York’s largest cities and population centers.

With that growth has also come an increased demand for healthcare services.

In late February, Saratoga Hospital cut the ribbon at its new Milton Health Center, located on Geyser Road in Ballston Spa.

Blair Horner: A Budget Issue Worth Fighting For

Mar 3, 2014

There is a lot in New York State’s budget that is important. Children need schooling, the poor and the sick need to be taken care of, the roads and bridges need repair, the public needs to be protected, and the courts need to administer justice.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is accusing President Barack Obama of being "dishonest" about his health care law.

Romney says Obama knew people would lose their private insurance coverage under the law. He criticizes Obama for promising that people could keep their existing plans if they wished.

In an interview on CBS This Morning  Friday, Romney said several times that Obama had been "dishonest." He says, quote, "What starts twisted, stays twisted."

Paul Hopkins / Northern Berkshire Healthcare

For some, having to get an MRI can be a terrifying experience, but a hospital in North Adams, Massachusetts is trying to ease the process.

Coates: Political Divisions Harm Health

Oct 11, 2013

The government shutdown and the disconnect on health care By Andrew D. Coates, M.D., F.A.C.P.

I’d like to offer some thoughts this week about the discussion over health care in Washington. We’re heading into the second week of the federal government shutdown, in which the right wing of Congress has demanded that President Obama step back from his health reform.

This reveals to me the shocking disconnect between the center-stage discussion in Washington and the everyday discussion we have at our kitchen tables, at our jobs, and with our friends.

WAMC

The state agency that administers the health insurance market in Massachusetts has launched an outreach effort to make people aware of changes that will be coming under the federal Affordable Care Act. 

   The approximately 250,000 people who have obtained health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector will need to sign up for new plans because of federally mandated changes in benefits and subsidies that take effect January 1,2014.   Health Connector Executive Director Jean Yang said the outreach is targeting a six-month open enrollment that begins October 1st.

  We welcome physician and a behavioral scientist, Dr. Peter Ubel, to the show and speak with him about his book, Critical Decisions: How You and Your Doctor Can Make the Right Medical Choices Together.

Early last month a report graded each of the 50 states’ policies on how well they controlled patients’ pain.  The report showed that much progress had been made over the last decade in implementing balanced policies that increase access to effective pain medications and establish a system to mitigate drug abuse.  However, much more needs to be done.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing about the accomplishments of the 2013 legislative session, which ended last week.  And lawmakers did approve some legislation, but one key consumer issue was left unaddressed.

Andrew Coates: Scribbling In The Chart

May 24, 2013

William Faulkner, the great American writer who was born in New Albany, Mississippi, wrote screenplays to support his family, although he didn't really like the job, and referred to it as "mere scribbling."

In The Philadelphia Chromosome, journalist Jessica Wapner tells the story of the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec, which has saved the lives of thousands of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and other cancers since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2001.

  America’s health care system is in line for some major changes.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that primary care needs to be addressed right away.

Andrew Coates: A Near Miss

Apr 26, 2013

Many years back during my residency training, on my first overnight as the senior admitting resident, I got a call from an emergency physician at a tiny rural hospital. Her patient had pulmonary emboli -- blood clots to arteries of the lungs. She proposed to transfer the patient to our hospital, where closer monitoring would be available.

Andrew Coates: The Human Consequences of Austerity

Apr 22, 2013

I live in upstate New York. If you're hearing this, chances are you do too.

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