UNC Health Care

gloved hands holding blood packet and needle
Fotos GOVBA / Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you about to have a medical procedure? Have you chosen a provider yet? Before you do, you might consider taking a look at what the procedure will cost. Blue Cross-Blue Shield of North Carolina now has an easy online tool  to help you do just that.

We used the tool to search for a variety of common procedures. The user can enter a town or zip code, and the number of miles s/he is willing to travel.

Jason deBruyn, Triangle Business Journal
Triangle Business Journal

  

The Affordable Care Act creates new policies to keep healthcare costs down. As revenue streams shift, healthcare systems look for new ways to make money.

And UNC Health care seeks to gain a share of the Medicare market in Wake County. Host Frank Stasio talks with Triangle Business Journal reporter Jason deBruyn about the changes and his latest reporting. 

Elderly senior citizen hand on cane
Meena Kadri, Flickr, Creative Commons

Researchers are raising questions about malnutrition among North Carolina's senior citizens. Doctors at UNC Hospitals report, over a two month period, more than half of patients ages 65 or older who came to the emergency department were either malnourished or a risk of malnutrition.

The study looked at about 140 older patients and saw no notable difference in the nutrition of rural versus urban seniors. There was also no noticeable difference between genders. The greater discrepancy came with access to proper food.

A picture of colorized Ebola particles.
Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine / Wikipedia

North Carolina health officials are following the spread of the Ebola virus in Western Africa. It was announced this week that two aid workers from North Carolina-based relief organizations have tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Kent Brantley of Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Writebol of Service in Mission were both working to combat the outbreak at a hospital in Liberia when they were infected.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt

UNC Healthcare has cut back the number of patients it's seeing at several of its facilities over the past two weeks. The hospital system is in the process of transitioning to a new electronic medical records system, and the cutbacks are part of anticipated roll-out period procedure.

The system, known as EPIC, is the same records software being implemented at Duke and Novant health systems. EPIC will allow patients to more seamlessly transition between the state's hospitals.

National Naval Medical Center physician, Capt. David Thompson performs an ear tube surgery on a young hospital patient. According to Thompson, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, ear tubes are very common among children and dramatically reduce ...
Seaman Erica Mater / U.S. Navy 040203-N-4182M-001

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and RTI International have found that children who have tubes implanted in their ears to remove fluid pressure fare just as well in the long run as kids who wait out the symptoms under a doctor's care.

The small tubes are surgically implanted in a child’s eardrums to relieve the condition, called otitis media with effusion. Nearly 670,000 kids undergo the procedure in America each year, making it one of the most common surgeries for children.

Bill Roper, UNC Health Care
UNC

Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than anywhere in the world, but the outcomes are far from the best. And when it comes to improving the system, the only thing experts agree on is that its complicated. The Affordable Care Act is an attempt at comprehensive reform.

Bill Roper is head of the UNC Health Care system. He has spoken out in favor of Obamacare. He acknowledges there are downsides, but he says there is one undeniable benefit.:

UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care / UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care announced a new partnership with Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount on Monday. The partnership allows Nash to access some of the resources of the larger UNC system, including medical supplies and management services.

The partnership gives UNC 0.2% of Nash's annual revenue, or an estimated $400,000-a-year to start.

UNC Health Care has opened a new mental hospital in Wake County after building repairs caused a two-month delay. 

Johnston Medical Center - Smithfield
Johnston Health

Johnston County's hospitals are partnering with UNC Health Care to expand their reach in the eastern Triangle.  Leaders with both systems say the move will keep costs down for patients as health care laws change at the state and federal levels. 

Johnston Health CEO Chuck Elliot says the Affordable Care Act and North Carolina's decision to opt out of Medicaid expansion makes the partnership necessary.

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