In the corporate world of American health care, psychologists and other mental health therapists are still mostly mom-and-pop shops. They build their own solo practices, not unlike Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip gang who hung her own shingle: "Psychiatric Help, 5 [Cents] โ The Doctor Is In."
Nearly a third of all Mexicans are obese, putting Mexico at the top of the list of overweight nations โ ahead of the United States.
In the battle against the bulge, lawmakers are taking aim at consumer's pocketbooks. They're proposing a series of new taxes on high calorie food and sodas. Health advocates say the higher prices will get Mexicans to change bad habits, but the beverage industry and small businesses are fighting back.
President Obama is putting former CEO Jeff Zients in charge of the "tech surge" โ the administration's emergency effort to fix the Web portal at the heart of the federal government's new health care market. But what about the contractors that built the system? What's their responsibility?
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:31 pm
A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.
New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.
President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The state of Oregon is trying some experiments to bring different kinds of medical professionals under the same roof. Patients can see different kinds of doctors in one visit, and the hope is it will provide better patient care, eventually at less cost to the state.
This can make sense in a primary-care setting, where doctors often have to deal with stomachaches and migraines that stem from mental rather than physical problems.
Consumers aren't the only ones frustrated by problems with the online health insurance exchanges being run by the feds.
Private companies that sell health insurance on the Internet are also in a bind. Websites like eHealthInsurance.com that were planning to start selling new, subsidized health care policies on Oct. 1 still can't offer them to customers.
We're used to relying on antibiotics to cure bacterial infections. But there are now strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, and are causing deadly infections. According to the CDC, "more than 2 million people in the United States every year get infected with a resistant bacteria, and about 23,000 people die from it," journalist David Hoffman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:22 am
The health insurance marketplaces are finally open, though technical problems have hindered sign-ups.
With the deadlines for having health insurance looming, people want details about the available plans and access to health savings accounts. Some also want to know about penalties if they don't buy insurance. Here are some recent questions and answers.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 11:22 am
Girls who were more physically active at age 11 did better at school as teenagers, a study finds. And the most active girls really aced science.
It's become pretty much a given that children do better academically when they get regular exercise, even though schools continue to cut or even eliminate recess time. But there's surprisingly little hard evidence to back that up.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:31 pm
America's relationship with meat is an indulgent one. At 270 pounds of meat per person per year, Americans consume more than almost anyone else in the world. (Mostly, we have our livestock producers' successes to thank for making meat cheap and abundant for us.)
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 7:06 pm
They've got a few weeks.
But if federal officials can't get the new online insurance marketplace running smoothly by mid-November, the problems plaguing the three-week-old website could become a far bigger threat to the success of the health law, hampering enrollment and fueling opponents' calls to delay implementation, analysts say.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 6:12 pm
The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.
With a tiny clump of cells from a man's scalp, scientists have grown new human hair in the laboratory.
But don't get too excited. A magic cure for baldness isn't around the corner. The experimental approach is quite limited and years from reaching the clinic โ for many reasons.
The scientists have grown the hair only on a tiny patch of human skin grafted onto the back of a mouse. And as wispy locks go, the strands are pretty pathetic. Some hairs were white, and some didn't even make their way out of the skin.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour trying to understand the soaring popularity of electronic cigarettes. Anecdotally, you'll hear ex-smokers say e-cigarettes are a godsend that helped them quit tobacco.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I found these and I was like, wow, that'll get me there. I'll be OK.
Online breast milk marketplaces can be a godsend for a mother who might not be producing enough for her baby but still wants her child to get the the health benefits of breast milk. But milk sold on one popular website had more bacterial contamination than that from a milk bank, a study finds.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:37 pm
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with an acknowledgement of trouble by President Obama.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: OK, the president is speaking right now to reporters and others in the White House Rose Garden. Our White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been listening in. He's in our studios. Hi, Scott.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Steve.
INSKEEP: OK, the president's talking about Obamacare. What's he saying?
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:05 pm
The website that's meant to allow Americans to shop and sign up for new medical plans under the Affordable Care Act isn't working as well as it should, President Obama says. But he promised that the problems will be fixed โ and he said the Affordable Care Act is bringing many benefits that aren't tied to those problems.
"Nobody is madder than me that the website isn't working as it should โ which means that it's going to get fixed," Obama told a crowd at an outdoor address at the White House.
The World Health Organization is investigating a cluster of possible polio cases in an eastern province of Syria.
If the cases are confirmed, they'd be the first ones in the war-torn nation in more than a decade. The country eliminated polio in 1999.
Syria used to have one of the highest polio vaccination rates in the region. If the virus has returned, it would be a high-profile example of the ramifications of the collapse of Syria's once-vaunted public health system.