12:18 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

The State Of Things Issues Table: Healthcare

Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis shake hands after the debate at UNC-TV Wednesday night.
Credit Mike Oniffrey / UNC-TV

  Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to be a topic of discussion on the North Carolina campaign trails. 

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6:54 am
Tue October 14, 2014

NC Health Agencies Mobilize Against Ebola

String-like Ebola virus particles are shedding from an infected cell in this electron micrograph.
Credit NIH/NIAID via Flickr/Creative Commons

State government leaders say North Carolina is well on the way to being prepared if an Ebola case is diagnosed within our borders.  A state epidemiologist says steps to isolate a contagious and potentially deadly case can be put in place without an emergency order from the governor.   Those actions can include quarantines of people and buildings.  

State DHHS secretary Aldona Wos says the appearance of the disease in this country is prompting many states to respond.

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9:58 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Listen: What It's Like To Crave Heroin

Credit Thomas Martinsen / Flickr/Creative Commons

"A heroin high .. I ain't going to lie - it's amazing .. you feel like you're Superwoman." 

Wonder why it's hard for some to leave heroin behind? Listen to Jennifer Harris and Brandi Martinez. Both live in High Point, N.C. and both have been clean for two years. (Jennifer talks first.)

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6:54 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Is North Carolina Prepared For Ebola?

This sign is at the Emergency Room entrance at UNC Hospitals. It was borrowed from the New York City Health Department.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The first diagnosed Ebola case in the United States and the first death, has raised awareness of the deadly disease from California to the Carolinas.

Hospitals and health professionals are especially on alert.  The state Department of Health and Human Services has been working closely with health care providers since the summer, to prepare for the possibility of an Ebola patient being diagnosed here.

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7:51 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Two Area Hospitals Penalized For Re-Admitting Too Many Medicare Patients

Medicare reimbursements are being trimmed for hospitals that re-admit too many patients within 30 days of treatment.
Credit Tim Samoff / Flickr

Two Triangle hospitals will lose a portion of their Medicare reimbursements this year. They're being penalized for re-admitting too many patients within a month of hospitalization.

Under the Affordable Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reduce payments to hospitals which re-admit a higher number of patients than they're supposed to. They're looking at data between the summers of 2010 to 2013. Based on the number re-admissions, the CMS determines what percentage of Medicare reimbursement to withhold.

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12:05 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Heroin In NC: Scoring Methadone At Bible Study

One addict talked about scoring methadone regularly at a Bible study.
Credit Savio Sebastian / Flickr/Creative Commons

This is the third in a three-part series about the problem of heroin in North Carolina.  (Parts one and two are below.)

Heroin in NC Part Three: Bible Study

North Carolina is not immune to the nation's growing heroin problem. The number of overdose deaths in the state has quadrupled in just a few years. More people are seeking treatment.  In our final installment of the series, Jeff Tiberii reports on efforts to re-open a shuttered clinic in High Point.

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8:42 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Wake County Health Officials Declare Themselves Ready For Ebola

Wake County health officials say protocols and protections are ready if a case of Ebola is diagnosed in the county or the state.

Wake County commissioners heard from health officials today on the county's readiness should an Ebola case be diagnosed here.  The leaders cited several calls of concern they've received from residents after the disease was discovered in a hospital patient in Texas. 

Wake County health experts say they are working with hospitals, universities and airport authorities to ensure the earliest warnings are given should a case appear in North Carolina.  

Brent Myers is the medical director for Wake County EMS.  He says the county's efforts are being replicated across the state.

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6:35 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Heroin Deaths Rising In North Carolina, U.S.

First responders in Guilford County have administered hundreds of doses of Naloxone, or NARCAN, this year. Heroin overdoses and deaths are on the rise.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

A new government study says deaths from heroin overdose in the United States doubled between 2010 and 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 28 states. That upward trend is also taking place in North Carolina, where heroin deaths climbed from 38 to 183 between 2010 and 2013; representing an increase of 480%.  In response, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 20 last year.

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The State of Things
12:00 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Don’t Make Me Angry. You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

Dr. Jeffrey Brantley is an Author and Duke University psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor.

Everyone gets mad sometimes, but learning to control anger is a challenge for many people. 

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8:49 am
Wed October 1, 2014

North Carolina's Infant Mortality Rates Reach Record Lows

North Carolina Infant Mortality Rates 2009-2013

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that infant mortality is at its lowest level in state history.

For the past two years, infant mortality rates had risen -- going from 7.0 per 1000 live births in 2010 to 7.4 in 2012. But last year, the numbers shot back down, returning to 2010 levels, the lowest in history.

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