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KHN First Edition: November 7, 2016

KHN

First Edition

Monday, November 07, 2016
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations.

Kaiser Health News: Uninsured In Coal Country: Desperate Americans Still Turn To Volunteer Clinics
Sarah Varney reports: "Sandra Cook got in line midday on a recent Friday for dental care that she wouldn’t receive until the next morning. Hundreds more like her showed up at Riverview Elementary and Middle School here, many planning to spend the night, just as buses brought kids home and volunteers arrived by the hundreds to turn the school into a makeshift dental, eye and medical clinic run by Remote Area Medical, a nonprofit charity program. Many people in this southwestern corner of Virginia struggle to pay for everyday needs and that includes basic health care." (Varney, 11/7)

Kaiser Health News: Did Gender Bias Derail A Potential Birth Control Option For Men?
Shefali Luthra reports: "Who’s in charge of preventing pregnancy? For years, available contraception methods have generally made this a woman’s responsibility. But researchers report they may be getting closer to changing the calculation, according to findings published last week in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. They offered evidence that a new hormonal injection can stop men from producing sperm. The problem: Three years in, the researchers agreed to terminate the study early, citing potential side effects. That revelation is drawing some criticism." (Luthra, 11/7)

Kaiser Health News: Seniors Suffer Amid Widespread Fraud By Medicaid Caretakers
Melissa Bailey reports: "An Alaska man developed gangrenous toes. A Philadelphia woman froze to death on the street. An Illinois woman died emaciated, covered in excrement. These patients suffered as their government-paid caretakers neglected them, collecting paychecks under a Medicaid program that gives elderly and disabled people non-medical assistance at home. In some cases, the caretakers convicted of neglect were the victims’ own family members." (Bailey, 11/7)

Kaiser Health News: Deadly Superbug Linked To Four Deaths In The U.S.
A deadly new drug-resistant fungus has been linked to the deaths of four hospital patients in the U.S., according to a report released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fungus, called Candida auris, preys on the sickest patients and can spread in hospitals. Although doctors have been concerned about the spread of antibiotic-resistant bugs for many years, this fungus is relatively new on the world scene. (Szabo, 11/4)

The Wall Street Journal: Abortion Becomes Central Issue In New England Governors’ Races
Abortion isn’t normally a central issue in statewide elections in New England, home to some of the most pro-choice voters in the nation. But just days from the election, it is surfacing as an unlikely front-burner topic in gubernatorial races in New Hampshire and Vermont, where Democratic and abortion-rights groups launched an advertising blitz essentially questioning whether two candidates running as pro-choice Republicans are pro-choice enough. (Levitz, 11/6)

USA Today: Janet Reno, First Female U.S. Attorney General, Dies At 78
Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, has died at age 78.Her godddaugher, Gabrielle D’Alemberte, told The Associated Press that she died early Monday from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. Reno was sworn in as the first female attorney general on March 12, 1993, under the administration of Bill Clinton. She served in the role until 2001. (Onyanga-Omara, 11/7)

The Washington Post: 5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Health Plan
It’s open enrollment season, the time of year when we need to sort through confusing options and try to predict how often we’ll get sick next year. Some people, especially those shopping for plans on the Obamacare insurance exchanges are facing bigger price tags. Rolling over into the same plan may not be an option for people who learned that their plans are being eliminated or that their premiums are doubling. Workers who get insurance through their jobs may also find new options for next year, such as telemedicine services, and rising drug costs. (Marte, 11/4)

The New York Times: Going To The Emergency Room Without Leaving The Living Room
When Mrs. Vitale falls or seems lethargic or short of breath, her aides no longer call 911. They dial the House Calls service at Northwell Health, the system that includes Long Island Jewish Medical Center and that dispatches what it calls community paramedics. They often arrive in an S.U.V. instead of an ambulance. And with 40 hours of training in addition to the usual paramedic curriculum, they can treat most of Mrs. Vitale’s problems on the spot instead of bustling her away. (Span, 11/4)

The Washington Post: First-Year Doctors Would Be Allowed To Work 24-Hour Shifts Under New Rules
The organization that oversees the training of young doctors recommended Friday that first-year physicians in hospitals be allowed to work 24-hour shifts — eight hours longer than they are permitted now. If approved in February, the proposal by a task force of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education would go into effect in July, when the members of the next class of medical school graduates begin their residencies at teaching hospitals across the United States. (Bernstein, 11/4)

NPR: First-Year Residents Could Be Allowed To Work 28 Hours Straight
For years, medical interns have been limited to working no more than 16 hours without a break to minimize the chances they would make mistakes while fatigued. But that restriction could soon be eased. The group that sets the rules for medical residents proposed scrapping the 16-hour limit for interns, doctors in their first year of on-the-job training after finishing medical school. The new rule would let these new doctors work for as many as 28 hours at a stretch. (Stein, 11/4)

The Wall Street Journal: Nurses Are Again In Demand
After years of relative equilibrium, the job market for nurses is heating up in many markets, driving up wages and sign-on bonuses for the nation’s fifth-largest occupation. The last nursing shortage more than a decade ago ended when a surge of nursing graduates filled many positions, and the Great Recession led older nurses to delay retirement. But as the economy improves, nurses who held on to jobs through the uneven recovery are now retiring or cutting back hours, say recruiters. (Evans, 11/7)

The Wall Street Journal: Worst-Performing Stocks Of 2016: Health Care
Unexpected results in Tuesday’s U.S. elections could upend a stable stock market. For health-care stocks, though, any outcome might prove cathartic. Health-care stocks are the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 so far this year, with shares down 7.7% compared with the broader index’s 2% gain as investors fretted about everything from Obamacare to drug prices. (Kuriloff and Driebusch, 11/6)

The Associated Press: Opiate Declines In Md. Prisons After Cut From Medicaid List
Since Suboxone film strips were removed from the Medicaid Preferred Drug List in July, the amount of the drug recovered in Maryland correctional facilities as contraband has decreased by 41 percent, according to Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Suboxone — a drug used to treat opiate addiction — has a high risk of addiction and dependence, and can even lead to death when paired with other drugs or alcohol, according to the Food and Drug Administration. (Lang, 11/4)

The Washington Post: He Beat His Wife’s Heroin Dealer With A Baseball Bat. Here’s Why He Wasn’t Imprisoned.
Edwin Sobony II had had enough. It was December 2015 and Sobony’s wife was on heroin, which she got from her cousin, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Sobony had asked the cousin, Larry Jewell, to stay away from their home. But that day in December, Jewell came by, and Sobony picked up an aluminum baseball bat and began to beat him. ... Now, Sobony has received his sentence for the conviction: Two years of probation. ... “I’m not supporting what Mr. Sobony did,” Judge Charles Schneider said. “Vigilante justice is not supported by the court. But the people in this community have just had it.” (Larimer, 11/5)

The Associated Press: Deadly Police Response To Medical Alert Focus Of Trial
When Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s medical alert pendant accidentally went off five years ago, the 68-year-old told police who showed up that he was fine, barred them from entering his apartment and repeatedly asked them to go away. They didn’t. That set off a tense, 90-minute standoff that ended with the mentally ill, former Marine, shot dead. (Hays, 11/6)

The Washington Post: Roald Dahl Was Fascinated By Medicine And ‘The BFG’ Is Proof
This kind of behavior was no mere one-off for the future author of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” While Dahl is known around the world for his exuberant children’s books ... he also held a quieter, parallel fascination with medicine that spanned his entire adult life. That passion not only crept into Dahl’s fiction over the years, but even led to the writer’s making some legitimately groundbreaking contributions to the field. He led vaccination awareness campaigns and invented a medical device that was implanted in thousands of children. And when his first wife suffered a stroke, Dahl, who would have turned 100 in September, came up with a treatment whose legacy he couldn’t have foreseen. (Hingston, 11/6)

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent operating program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (c) 2016 Kaiser Health News. All rights reserved.

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