Health

Health
10:25 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Not Enough Doctors? How The Medical Education System Is Contributing To The Shortage

U.S. Navy Ens. Frank Percy, right, a physician’s assistant, works alongside a medical student.
Credit Seaman S. C. Irwin, United States Navy

It is a great time to become a physician in the U.S. There is a growing need for doctors of all kinds, so if you invest in medical school, chances are, you will find a job. By the end of this decade, it’s projected that the country will be short 90,000 physicians.

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Health
9:39 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Food Pantries On NC College Campuses: Need Is Greater Than Expected

Credit Reema Khrais / WUNC

More universities in North Carolina are opening food pantries on campus to help hungry students and faculty. 

N.C. Central University started giving out food to its students earlier this week.  It's one of at least eight colleges and universities in the state that have opened food pantries in the last two years. 

Jason O'Briant is a dietetics professor at N.C. Central and helped start the school's pantry.  He says the need for food on college campuses is higher than expected, even for students who receive room and board.
 

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The State of Things
12:44 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Affordable Care Act Insurance Enrollment In North Carolina

Healthcare.Gov
Credit Healthcare.Gov

    

The deadline for signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is just around the corner. By Monday March 31st, the Obama administration hopes that 6 million Americans will have begun the process of enrollment. 

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Medicaid Reform
10:13 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

New Medicaid Plan Hopes To Save $330 Million

Credit Duke Medecine

The NC Department of Health and Human Services unveiled its plan on Monday to reform the state's Medicaid system. While it had already signaled a shift from Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) months ago, the new plan partially outlines how the state would like to achieve that shift.

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The State Of Things
12:19 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Farm Provides Therapy For People With Mental Illness And Developmental Disabilities

Working on a farm
Credit Wikipedia

The Farm at Penny Lane is a 40-acre plot of land tucked away in north Pittsboro, North Carolina. But this is no conventional farming operation; it is operated by volunteers and people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

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Health
4:23 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Proposal In The Works To Legalize Therapeutic Marijuana Oil

Credit Colleen Danger, via flickr, Creative Commons

A state lawmaker says she plans to introduce a bill to legalize a marijuana oil that could help treat childhood seizures.

Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret) says she's in the process of drafting the proposal.  It would allow physicians to get an oil that contains a substance called cannabidiol (CBD), which is extracted from marijuana.  Researchers say the substance, which is not psychoactive, could help children with Dravet Syndrome.  The disorder can cause several seizures a day in young children. 

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Health
7:58 am
Tue March 11, 2014

NC Dental Examiners Consider New Conscious Sedation Rules Following Deaths

Credit looneyhiker / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Board of Dental Examiners is considering changes to rules about conscious sedation procedures after two deaths were tied to the practice. 

Conscious sedation is frequently used during some surgeries to depress consciousness, but keep patients responsive and breathing on their own.  Two have died in the last year and a half during those procedures, which the board says are rare incidents. 

COO Bobby White says an investigation found that doctors did not properly monitor the patient's breathing in at least one of those cases.

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Health
4:00 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

UNC Is Considering Hour Cuts, Other Options To Pay For Health Coverage

Under Obamacare, UNC will have to offer health insurance to employees working 30 hours a week or more, including graduate teaching assistants and visiting faculty.
Credit Wikipedia

Individuals are enrolling in health care through the federal online marketplace, but thousands of North Carolinians might find themselves with employer-sponsored health plans next year.   

In January, the Affordable Care Act will require businesses to offer health insurance to full-time employees working 30 hours a week or more. This would now include graduate teaching assistants and visiting faculty at the University of North Carolina.

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Health
9:31 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Hospitals Weather Flu Season Despite An IV Drug Shortage

A national shortage of saline intravenous drip bags has stressed area medical facilities during the recent flu season.
Credit Harmid / Wikipedia

Medical facilities are facing a national shortage of intravenous drugs, especially saline IV drips. Saline is used to treat dehydrated patients.

Manufacturers are stepping up production to meet need, but the shortage has presented problems to hospitals since December, when flu season began.

Zack Moore is an infectious disease epidemiologist with he North Carolina Division of Public Health. He said this is an especially bad time of year to have a limited saline supply for two reasons.

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Health
8:27 am
Thu March 6, 2014

“Playbook” For Local Health Professionals To Lower Health Care Costs

Public heath advocates say doctors should work more closely with health departments to solve systemic health issues in their area and lower medical costs.
Credit jasleen_kaur / Flickr/Creative Commons

A new online guidebook aims to help connect doctors with public health agencies to fight chronic illnesses like diabetes.  Those illnesses make up 80-percent of health care costs today, compared to only 20-percent in 1900.

Duke's Department of Community and Family Medicine partnered with the de Beaumont Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch "Public Health and Primary Care Together: A Practical Playbook.” It suggests ways primary care and public health providers can better manage chronic disease and combat rising health care costs.

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