Health

9:49am

Tue February 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

Hospital Observation Units Fill Gaps, But Patients May Foot The Bill

About a third of U.S. hospitals have an observation unit, and most hospitals will eventually have one, the industry predicts.
iStockphoto.com

If you find yourself in the emergency department and the doctor says he wants to keep you at the hospital for "observation," take heed. Depending on the hospital, observation can mean very different things for both your medical care and your wallet.

At its best, placing patients on observation allows hospital staff to closely monitor and intensively treat patients whose condition is unstable or unclear. They might have chest pain, for example, or need a little time to recover from a migraine or an asthma attack before being sent home.

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8:47am

Tue February 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

Attacks On Health Workers Put Fight To End Polio Under Fire

A Nigerian health commissioner Dr. Sani Malam vaccinates a child for polio during a national immunization drive in Bauchi, Nigeria, last week.
Deji Yake EPA /Landov

The global effort to eradicate polio has reached a bizarre stage: More people have been gunned down recently over the disease than actually infected with it.

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5:00am

Tue February 12, 2013
Health

Despite Strides, Dental Care Eludes Many Medicade-Eligible Youth

Torrie Smith, 3, left, holds an apple at their home in Denver on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Torrie's parents talked about their experience getting dental treatment through Medicaid for Torrie after she fell and broke four front teeth.
Joe Mahoney I-News

When she was 3, Torrie Smith tripped on an uneven sidewalk, fell face down onto some steps and broke four front teeth.

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2:56pm

Mon February 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Need A Price For A Hip Operation? Good Luck With That

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:44 am

If you bought this 1954 Buick when it was new, the price was just about as mysterious as it is today for hip replacement surgery.
Hugo90 Flickr

Let's say your 62-year-old granny is feeling creaky. One of her hips has been giving her trouble, and her doctor tells her it's time to get it replaced with an implant.

There's a catch. Grandma isn't old enough for Medicare and she doesn't have health insurance. She does, however, have a stack of cash in the bank and is willing to pay for surgery right away.

So how much will it cost her?

Who knows. Seriously.

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10:33am

Mon February 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

U.S. Fertility Rates Fall To All-Time Low

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 12:08 pm

NPR

Here we go again.

The rate at which American women are having babies fell by 1 percent in 2011, continuing a decline that's been under way for years.

There were 63.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2011 (the lowest on record), compared with 64.1 in 2010 and 66.2 in 2009.

A deeper look at the numbers reveals some other noteworthy trends.

Births to teenagers hit another low — 31.3 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19, down from 34.2 in 2010.

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