Health

10:33am

Wed September 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

Chronic Illnesses Outpace Infections As Big Killers Worldwide

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:41 pm

Percentage of deaths each year due to neonatal disorders around the globe.
Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

People around the world are getting healthier and living longer.

Infectious diseases are declining around the globe. But at the same time, chronic health problems are on the rise, particularly in developing nations.

These are some of the key findings in the latest reports released by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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1:43am

Wed September 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

For Hospital Patients, Observation Status Can Prove Costly

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:25 am

The next bed could cost you a lot if the hospital says you're there on observation.
iStockphoto.com

If you're on Medicare and you're in the hospital for a few days, you may think you're an inpatient. The hospital may have other ideas. Increasingly, hospitals are placing older patients on "observation status." They may be there for days, but technically they're still outpatients.

This is a big deal for someone on Medicare because follow-up treatment in a nursing home isn't covered unless someone has been an inpatient for at least three days. That's leaving some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.

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2:02pm

Tue September 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

CDC: One-Fourth Of Heart Attack And Stroke Deaths Preventable

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:26 am

There has been more progress in lowering deaths from heart attacks and strokes among people who qualify for Medicare than those who are younger.
CDC

Could health insurance be the remedy for 200,000 deaths a year from heart attacks and strokes? It might be a big part of the cure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one-quarter of the 800,000 deaths from those causes could be avoided, according to a report released Tuesday.

It's worth trying. "Nothing is more important than reducing heart disease and stroke," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a briefing for journalists.

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11:22am

Tue September 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Facebook Chats Prompt At-Risk Minority Men To Get HIV Tests

Latinos and African-Americans are more active on social media. Could that help promote HIV testing among minorities?
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

It didn't take long for people to figure out that Facebook could be a great place to connect with other people dealing with the same health problems. But public health officials have moved cautiously, lest their efforts backfire. Do you really want to "like" STDs?

But there is now evidence the social media approach can help, even when the health condition is sensitive. Facebook can play a role in persuading people at high risk of HIV/AIDS to use a home HIV test kit, a study finds.

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9:12am

Tue September 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

With Health Exchanges Opening Soon, Consumers Start To Focus

What about those health insurance exchanges?
iStockphoto.com

If the volume of reader email is any indication, people are finally thinking hard about how the health care overhaul will affect them.

Online health insurance marketplaces will open in less than a month. Some people who get insurance through employers want to know if it's OK to buy a plan on an exchange instead. The answer is yes, but the purchasers may not qualify for subsidies.

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