With a bit more than a month left for people to sign up for health insurance plans set up under the Affordable Care Act, the federal website known as HealthCare.gov finally seems to be working smoothly — in 36 states.
But what's happening in the 14 states that are running their own exchanges?
For someone with a serious injury, it's not just a matter of getting in the door at the <em>closest</em> hospital, but getting in the door at the <em>right</em> hospital, says Dr. Arthur Kellermann, an emergency medicine specialist.
When private hospitals transfer patients who don't have insurance to public hospitals, it's called "patient dumping." But a study from Stanford University published Wednesday suggests a twist: Hospitals, it seems, are less likely to transfer critically injured patients to trauma centers if the patients have health insurance.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:26 pm
The more you sit, the less physically active you are, which can lead to all sorts of health problems, including an early death.
But too much sitting increasingly looks like a health risk all its own. Researchers at Northwestern University say that for people 60 and older, each additional hour a day spent sitting increases the risk of becoming physically disabled by about 50 percent — no matter how much exercise they get.
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:48 pm
Parents love it when their babies are good eaters, whether it's polishing off a bottle or happily grabbing bits of pasta. But researchers think babies who chow down with gusto might be setting themselves up for obesity later on.
Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it's not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who've tried one say they've never smoked a "real" cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.
Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 10:40 am
We usually think of the flu as an illness that afflicts the elderly. But this season the virus seems to be hitting younger people hard.
This winter at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the median age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years. Many of the worst cases of flu occurred in young, otherwise healthy people.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:11 pm
Fifteen years ago an unwelcome viral visitor entered the U.S., and we've been paying for it ever since.
The U.S recorded its first case of West Nile virus back in 1999. Since then, the disease has spread across the lower 48 states and cost the country around $800 million, scientists reported this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
The Obama administration is, again, delaying implementation of a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance to their workers (or, potentially, face penalties). But this time it's not the entire "employer mandate" that's being delayed (as it was in 2013) — just part of it.