Health

Health
10:08 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Industry Payments To Nurses Go Unreported In Federal Database

Following the money trail is pretty easy with doctors, but nurses are another story.
Adrianna Williams Getty Images

A nurse practitioner in Connecticut pleaded guilty in June to taking $83,000 in kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing its high-priced drug to treat cancer pain. In some cases, she delivered promotional talks attended only by herself and a company sales representative.

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Health
3:45 am
Mon July 6, 2015

People With Brain Injuries Heal Faster If They Get Up And Get Moving

Nurses Katherine Malinak and Amy Young lift Louis DeMattio, a stroke patient, out of his hospital bed using a ceiling-mounted lift at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dustin Franz for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 8:00 am

When Kate Klein began working as a nurse in the Cleveland Clinic's Neurointensive Care Unit, one of the first things she noticed was that her patients spent a lot of time in bed. She knew patients with other injuries benefitted from getting up and moving early on, and she wondered why not patients with brain injuries.

"I asked myself that question. I asked my colleagues that question," Klein says. "Why aren't these patients getting out of bed? Is there something unique about patients with neurologic injury?"

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Health
4:39 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

How Your Brain Remembers Where You Parked The Car

The experiment used a fake photo of actor Clint Eastwood and Pisa's leaning tower to test how the brain links person and place.
Courtesy of Matias Ison/Neuron

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 2:48 pm

If you run into an old friend at the train station, your brain will probably form a memory of the experience. And that memory will forever link the person you saw with the place where you saw him.

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Health
5:07 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Benefits Of Sports To A Child's Mind And Heart All Part Of The Game

Ten-year-old Jake Herrera and his Los Angeles team run around the diamond as a warmup for baseball practice.
Benjamin B. Morris for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:24 pm

Amy Roegler and her husband, Octavio Herrera, live with their young kids, Jake and Alyssa, in Los Angeles. When it comes to pro baseball, they're all Dodgers fans. And Jake loved balls even as a baby, Octavio says.

"We have a picture of him as a 3-month-old with a little Dodger jersey and a glove," Octavio says. "So he was definitely going to be introduced to sports early, and he took to it right away." Today 10-year-old Jake is on his baseball league's All-Star team.

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Health
11:31 am
Wed June 17, 2015

When It Comes To SPFs And Sunscreens, We're Still In The Dark

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:46 am

Do you know what broad spectrum means? What about SPF? No need to be ashamed if you can't answer those questions, because you're not alone.

In a survey of 114 people, a mere 7 percent knew that "broad spectrum" on a sunblock label means it defends against early aging.

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Health
5:03 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Documents Reveal Secret Legal Battle Over Medicare Overbilling

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:46 am

Federal officials have spent years locked in a secret legal battle with UnitedHealth Group, the nation's biggest Medicare Advantage insurer, after a government audit detected widespread overbilling at one of the company's health plans, newly released records show.

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Health
9:35 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Updated Training Of Birth Control Counselors Boosts Use Of IUDs

When health care providers have the latest information on various birth control methods, research suggests, more of their patients who use birth control choose a long-acting reversible method, like the IUD.
iStockphoto

Just over half of all pregnancies in America are unplanned.

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Health
1:10 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Defeat By Deductible: Millennials Aren't Hip To Health Insurance Lingo

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:07 am

Coinsurance? Premium tax credit? HMO and PPO?

Swimming through the health insurance word soup can be frustrating for anyone. Even though I cover health, I couldn't define "cost-sharing reduction plan" until I Googled it just now.

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Health
5:48 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Insurance Still Doesn't Cover Childbirth For Some Young Women

If you're getting insurance through a parent's plan, don't presume the hospital bill for childbirth will be covered.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 11:55 am

Although the federal government recently clarified that most insurance plans must cover prenatal care as a preventive service without charging women anything out of pocket, it didn't address a crucial and much pricier gap in some young women's coverage: labor and delivery costs.

Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise.

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Health
5:07 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Disagreeable Teens Fail To Understand Their Blind Spots, Research Reveals

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Health
5:00 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Having An Older Sister Can Change Siblings' Lives, Study Finds

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Health
5:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

Why MERS Is Likely To Crop Up Outside The Middle East Again

A dangerous nuzzle? A man in western Abu Dhabi hugs a camel brought in from Saudi Arabia for beauty contests. Middle East respiratory syndrome circulates in camels across the Arabian Peninsula.
Dave Yoder National Geographic

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 2:09 pm

Blame it on the camels.

When scientists first detected Middle East respiratory syndrome in 2012, the big question was: Where is this virus coming from?

For several years, scientists hunted the deadly virus across the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually they found at least one source — dromedary camels.

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Health
4:51 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Science Of Sadness And Joy: 'Inside Out' Gets Childhood Emotions Right

Joy (left, voiced by Amy Poehler) and Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith) catch a ride on the Train of Thought in Pixar's Inside Out. The movie opens in theaters nationwide June 19.
Disney/Pixar

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 2:26 pm

Hollywood's version of science often asks us to believe that dinosaurs can be cloned from ancient DNA (they can't), or that the next ice age could develop in just a few days (it couldn't).

But Pixar's film Inside Out is an animated fantasy that remains remarkably true to what scientists have learned about the mind, emotion and memory.

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Health
5:38 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

What Babies Understand About Adult Sadness

By the time they're 18 months old, kids know when you're sad, even if you're not bawling.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 11:54 pm

Babies tend to wear their hearts on their tiny little sleeves. They cry because you took away that thing they picked up off the floor and then put in their mouths. They cry because they're tired. Sometimes, they cry just because.

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Health
12:06 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Benefit Children Years Later

The World Health Organization has endorsed waiting to clamp the umbilical cord for at least one minute after a baby is born.
Sebastien Desarmaux/Godong Science Source

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 11:24 am

A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later, a study suggests.

Children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social skills and fine motor skills than those whose cords were cut within 10 seconds. The results showed no differences in IQ.

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Health
3:26 am
Tue May 26, 2015

A Special Focus On Caring For Vets At The End Of Their Lives

A wall of tributes, prayer cards and notes of appreciation from families whose loved ones have been cared for at Madigan Army Medical Center.
Patricia Murphy KUOW

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:47 pm

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Caring for the nation's veterans at the end of their lives can be a complex task. Service members — especially combat veterans — can struggle with guilt, abandonment and regret.

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Health
11:20 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Your Roommate In The Nursing Home Might Be A Bedbug

Hospitals seem to be doing a better job than nursing homes of keeping bedbugs at bay.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 8:32 am

If you're in the hospital or a nursing home, the last thing you want to be dealing with is bedbugs. But exterminators saying they're getting more and more calls for bedbug infestations in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor's offices.

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Health
10:46 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Covered California Votes To Cap What Patients Pay For Pricey Drugs

Retired California school teacher Mikkel Lawrence sits with his cat, Max. Lawrence has hepatitis C and has struggled to afford the medicine he needs to treat it.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 5:30 am

In recent years, expensive specialty medicines used to treat cancer and chronic illnesses have forced some very ill Americans to choose between getting proper treatment and paying their rent.

To ease the financial burden, the California agency that governs the state's Obamacare plans issued landmark rules Thursday that will put a lid on the amount anyone enrolled in one of those plans can be charged each month for high-end medicine.

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Health
3:52 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Deaf Jam: Experiencing Music Through A Cochlear Implant

Sam Swiller and his dog, Sully, in their home in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 12:16 pm

When Sam Swiller used hearing aids, his musical tastes ran to AC/DC and Nirvana — loud bands with lots of drums and bass. But after Swiller got a cochlear implant in 2005, he found that sort of music less appealing.

"I was getting pushed away from sounds I used to love," he says, "but also being more attracted to sounds that I never appreciated before." So he began listening to folk and alternative music, including the Icelandic singer Bjork.

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Health
11:54 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Despite Recent Measles Outbreak, Resistance To Vaccinations Persists

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 5:08 pm

A measles outbreak linked to Disneyland has exposed gaps in immunization against the highly infectious disease.

All told this year, 169 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia were reported sick with measles through May 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Childhood vaccination remains a potent public health weapon against the spread of many illnesses, including measles. But objections and worries about vaccination remain, too.

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