Health

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

Advocates for abortion rights are increasingly calling on women who've had the procedure to tell their stories publicly in an effort to combat the "shame and stigma" around it.

Frank Barnett, WRKF

Make cookies and cakes at home and you can sell them without a health inspection of your kitchen. Ahead of this season, cane syrup was added to the list of foods Louisiana deems “low-risk”.

For a few weeks last year, Michael Tranfaglia and Katie Clapp saw a remarkable change in their son, Andy, who'd been left autistic and intellectually disabled by fragile X syndrome. Andy, who is 25, became more social, more talkative and happier. "He was just doing incredibly well," his father says.

Medicare has begun punishing 721 hospitals with high rates of infections and other medical errors, cutting payments to half of the nation's major teaching hospitals and many institutions that are marquee names.

Ebola may have slid off the nation's worry list, but that doesn't mean the United States is ready to handle an outbreak of Ebola or another infectious disease, an analysis says. That includes naturally occurring outbreaks like dengue fever, tuberculosis and measles, as well as the use of bioterrorism agents like anthrax.

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Arizona law aimed at limiting use of the increasingly popular abortion pill. In 2012 nearly half of the abortions in the state were via the pill, known as RU-486.

The pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Since then, scientists have developed safer and smaller doses that allow the drug to be used through the ninth week.

Second Harvest Food Bank is the largest in Louisiana, serving over 200,000 people each year. Three quarters of clients at the pantries Second Harvest supplies say they regularly rely on the food they get there to make ends meet. In the same survey, over a third of pantry clients say they have a family member with diabetes. So Second Harvest is starting to pay closer attention to the nutrition of the food they distribute.
 


For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Subsidies under the health law for workers to buy their own coverage combined with years of rising costs in the company plan made dropping the plan an obvious — though not easy — choice.

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are heading into a do-or-die quarterfinal football game this week against the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

And whether they win or not, there's one thing you can say about the Wildcats: They are likely the only football team in America trying to reduce concussions by practicing without helmets.

Football has a concussion problem, from the National Football League down to Pee-Wee teams. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it.

A Shots post earlier this week by NPR's John Ydstie detailed the "family glitch" in the Affordable Care Act. That's where people who can't afford their insurance at work aren't eligible for help in the new insurance exchanges. Many of these Americans, most of whom make middling incomes, will remain uninsured.

That story got us wondering: Who else is getting left out by health law? And who is getting coverage?

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