Health

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Dental care for low-income adults.  Help for physical and mental disabilities.  Expanding Idaho’s Medicaid.  Those were some of the issues that came up during a public hearing Friday during a joint meeting of the Legislature’s Health and Welfare Committees.   

A new report finds Latinos in Idaho are struggling with many of the same health problems as the rest of the state’s population - but to an even worse extent. The wide-ranging demographic study is intended to guide policymakers on issues that affect Hispanics.

Overall, the findings paint a picture of a Hispanic population that's young and mostly born in the U.S. About half speak English at home and Latinos in Idaho are more likely to own their home than Latinos in other states.

Idaho Public Television Screen Shot

The debate among Idaho lawmakers started in earnest Tuesday over whether the state should create its own health insurance exchange

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

When you order that special filet at a restaurant or store, you're often going on trust that the fish actually is what the menu or label says it is. In Washington, two state agencies are asking for tougher penalties to deter seafood fraud.


OLYMPIA, Wash. - When you order that special filet at a restaurant or store, you're often going on trust that the fish actually is what the menu or label says it is. In Washington, two state agencies are asking for tougher penalties to deter seafood fraud.


Investigators for Consumer Reports recently found more than one-fifth of the fish they submitted for DNA identification was mislabeled at the point of sale.


Washington Fish and Wildlife police deputy chief Mike Cenci says the penalties for false labeling need to be stronger.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is now widespread in 47 states, including Idaho.  Doctor Leslie Tengelsen is Idaho’s deputy state epidemiologist.  She says the flu season has arrived early this year.  

Whether or not Idaho expands Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, the state needs to pour more money into the program.

prashant_zi / Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today said the flu is now widespread in 47 states. That's up from 41 states the week before. 

Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Idaho’s deputy state epidemiologist, says the Gem state is no exception.  “We’ve seen a steady rise in hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, so flu is here.”

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a plan by St. Luke's Health System to buy Saltzer Medical Group can move forward for now.

The Idaho Statesman reports that U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill on Thursday denied a request for a preliminary injunction by Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital.

The two entities filed a federal lawsuit in November seeking to halt the deal, contending it would allow St. Luke's to dominate the market in Nampa and block referrals to St. Alphonsus.

Mike Crapo

Idaho's governor announced yesterday the state should build its own health insurance exchange rather than go with a federally- run model. Exchanges are online marketplaces that allow consumers to assess health insurance plans.  Under the Affordable Care Act, every state must have one by 2014.

Idaho has until the end of the week to decide whether or not to build its own health insurance exchange.  But some northwest states are already well on their way toward creating such an online marketplace. 

How Obamacare Creates An Insurance Industry Ad Blitz

Nov 30, 2012
Blue Cross of Idaho Ad
Sawyer Miller for Blue Cross of Idaho

One of Blue Cross of Idaho’s new television commercials opens with a chirpy jingle.  “You’re protected in the sun, you’re protected when it rains,” the song begins.  The pitch is clear: this is the insurer for you, no matter your lifestyle.

Lord Mariser / Flickr

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day.  In response, Southwest District Health will offer free HIV tests today in Caldwell.

The seven Idaho Health districts report more than 1,300 people in Idaho are currently living with HIV or AIDS.  Those are the people who know they have the infection.  Health officials want to reach people who haven’t been tested, and may be infected. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline began taking calls this week. The hotline is the first of its kind in Idaho since 2006, when state funding for the previous hotline ran out.

Up until Monday’s launch, Idahoans in crisis were routed to a call center in other western states. But executive director John Reusser says it’s important for people who are contemplating suicide to have an empathetic ear on the other end – someone who understands Idaho’s unique rural culture.

CDC Recommends Pertussis Vaccine For Expectant Moms

Oct 26, 2012
Health Vaccine
Ruby De Luna / KUOW

Public health experts are now recommending that pregnant women get the vaccine for whooping cough during pregnancy. The recommendation is in response to the growing outbreak of the infection in the U.S. So far, there are more than 32,000 reported cases of whooping cough across the country. If the trend holds, it’s on track to be the highest number of cases since 1959.

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