Health

Updates on healthcare, nutrition, and medical research in Louisiana.

When patients show up in the hospital without health insurance, they often receive charity care — the hospital treats the person and then swallows some or all of the costs.

It's central to the mission of many nonprofit hospitals, particularly those serving low-income areas.

When patients brought to the ER have uncontrolled blood pressure, neglected asthma or diabetes that hasn't been dealt with, doctors often start treatment right then and there.

But what happens when the patient turns out to be addicted to opioids, such as oxycodone or heroin? In case of an overdose, the medical team can take action to rescue the patient. The underlying addiction is something else, though.

The Republican-controlled Florida legislature — at odds over the question of whether to expand Medicaid — abruptly ended its session three days early on Tuesday, leaving hundreds of bills that are unrelated to health care unfinished.

Andy Gardiner, president of Florida's state Senate, says he's disappointed with the House's decision to stop negotiating and leave town.

Court Hands Down Healthcare Sentences

Apr 27, 2015

Inside the 22nd Judicial District Court in Covington, 20 Behavioral Health Court clients await their turn in front of Judge Peter Garcia and his team. The one thing missing: lawyers. 

Once court is in session, a young man walks through the swinging doors, approaches the team. There’s the judge, two case managers, two probation officers, a mental health clinician and a peer support specialist.

We've all heard that an aspirin a day can keep heart disease at bay. But lots of Americans seem to be taking it as a preventive measure, when many probably shouldn't.

In a recent national survey, more than half the adults who were middle age or older reported taking an aspirin regularly to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Food and Drug Administration only recommends the drug for people wh have already experienced such an event or are at extremely high risk.

A study that asked a few dozen pairs of twins to brave a swarm of hungry mosquitoes has revealed another clue to the cluster of reasons the insects are more attracted to some people than others: Genes matter.

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

The Medicaid Waiver Waiting Game

Apr 20, 2015
Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council


Last year, groups advocating for Louisianians with developmental disabilities sought and won an expansion of supports through Medicaid waivers. But when mid-year cuts to the state budget were enacted, those waiver slots were frozen. Rhiannon Traigle is one of many parents asking the legislature to lift the freeze.

The State Of The Cancer Nation

Apr 17, 2015

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

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