Experts have long believed that when the risk of a disease is high, people are more likely to accept a vaccine to prevent that disease. But recent research suggests that might not be uniformly true. Dr. Elizabeth Wolf, an investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, led a study that determined Washington’s recent pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic did not influence the number of infants who were vaccinated against the disease.
Group Health has signed an agreement with Swedish Health Services to provide Group Health’s Seattle-based hospital services, a decision that will end a 15-year-long acute-care relationship with Virginia Mason.
By Michelle Andrews
How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they’ll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut?
Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn’t stopped some from trying.
Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they’re waging to get the birth control coverage they’re entitled to.
“We’ve seen this happen, plenty.”
This small plastic device, which is inserted into the vagina, works for three weeks at a time by releasing hormones similar to those used by birth control pills. Continue reading
How does Washington’s online exchange marketplace compare with those in other states?
As part of an ongoing study, the nonprofit Urban Institute assessed how well state exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act provide the sort of information consumers want to know about insurance plans they’re considering buying.
Most Americans recognize the difference between “empty-stomach” hunger and urges caused by the smell of popcorn at the movies or the sight of candy in the checkout line. Nonetheless, it’s hard to resist. America is a food swamp, says Deborah A. Cohen, where cheap, convenient food is everywhere, and marketing exploits human tendencies.
A decade ago almost all doctors kept paper charts on every patient. That is changing quickly as laptops become as common as stethoscopes in exam rooms. Recent hacking attacks have raised questions about how safe that data may be.
Here are some frequently asked questions about this evolution underway in American medicine and the government programs sparking the change.
Are my medical records stored electronically? Continue reading
Photo: Michal Zacharzewski
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is making the rounds in her home state, meeting with local healthcare leaders to promote legislation that would help train 1,500 primary care doctors to help treat people in underserved communities in the U.S.
Mental health therapists most often leave issues of faith outside their office doors, even for patients who are religious. But one class of counselors believes a nonsectarian model doesn’t serve everyone equally well.
“On a feeling level, people want a safe, respectful place, to ponder the tons of questions that come begging in hard times,” said Glenn Williams, a pastoral counselor in Kentucky and chair of the Kentucky Association of Pastoral Counselors. “Where is God? Why did this happen? Is it karma, sowing-reaping, happenstance? What purpose does this suffering serve?”
Six states allow these counselors – who include faith and spirituality in their work – to be licensed mental health counselors, which can make it easier for them to get health insurance reimbursements.
Kentucky recently became the sixth state (joining Arkansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Tennessee) to allow pastoral counselors to become licensed mental health counselors. Continue reading
UW was ranked No. 3 in clinical medicine and pharmacy in 2014, behind Harvard and the University of California, San Francisco, and ahead of Johns Hopkins University. UW was ranked No. 6 in life sciences in 2014.