Health

Mental Illness
6:49 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Idaho Man Writes History Of The De-institutionalization Of The Mentally Ill

Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

In the 1960’s, America began to take the mentally ill out of institutions. This led to consequences, especially for those who weren't ready or able to be de-institutionalized. 

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Medicaid
3:42 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Lawmakers Discuss Whether To Expand Idaho’s Medicaid Program

nooccar Flickr

Who will be eligible for Medicaid if Idaho expands its program under the Affordable Care Act?  That’s the question lawmakers asked Monday of state Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong.  He’s part of a 15 member panel studying the option. 

Armstrong says the panel has gathered a lot of information so far.  But he says the federal government has not set some of the guidelines that will determine who would get to sign up for the expanded plan.  That means officials are left to guess how many residents would eligible.  

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Health Care
6:05 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

How An Idaho Hospital Wants To Rethink Healthcare

David Pate is CEO of St Luke's Health Systems
Adam Cotterell Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s largest hospital is teaming up with a Utah company to provide in-house insurance. St. Luke’s Health System and SelectHealth are forming what the companies call a strategic partnership. The hope is that by having the provider and insurer work together they can reduce costs and improve health outcomes.

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West Nile
5:09 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

West Nile Cases On The Rise In Idaho

jon.hayes Flickr

West Nile cases are on the rise in Idaho.  The state now has eight human cases of West Nile and five additional reports of the mosquito-borne illness are under investigation. 

Niki Forbing-Orr with Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department says the state is doing better than other states, like Texas. “So far the CDC is reporting 888 human cases there.  All 48 states of the mainland United States have reported west nile activity and nationally 87 people have died," she says.  "We’ve not had any deaths in Idaho yet, so we’re crossing our fingers that we don’t.”

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Affordable Care Act
3:58 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

NW Researcher: Partisanship Can Trump Education Level On Hot Button Issues

Your understanding of a hot-button issue could depend on which of these men you support.
Northwest News Network

As Democrats gather in North Carolina for their convention, there’s new research from the Northwest on the power of partisan rhetoric. Turns out, your core political beliefs can trump your education level when it comes to understanding the basic facts of a high contentious issue.

The Affordable Care Act. ObamaCare. Whatever you call it, it’s provided countless hours of fodder to the cable television networks.

From Glen Beck on Fox News: “You don’t play ball with them now. If you don’t get into their government health care there will be jail time.

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Whooping Cough
2:35 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Back To School Heightens Whooping Cough Concerns

Whooping cough vaccinations are available at many supermarket and drugstore pharmacies, including this one in Salem.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Most public school students in the Northwest head back to class next week. And that has public health officials on alert. They're afraid that classrooms could be fertile ground for the spread of whooping cough, an infectious disease that's already being called an epidemic in some states.

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Public Health
6:28 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Nine Treasure Valley Pools Linked To Crypto

This poster greets patrons to Boise's Ivywild Pool.
Adam Cotterell Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Central District Health Department reports 21 cases of cryptosporidiosis in southwest Idaho in the past month. That’s what you get when you take in the parasite cryptosporidium, known as crypto for short.

It’s found in feces and it's often picked up by swimming in contaminated water. A few weeks ago we reported that crypto had returned to the Treasure Valley. Central District Health wouldn't reveal the swimming pools that were connected to the outbreak.

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Health Insurance
11:11 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Seasonal Firefighters Receive Health Insurance, But Not All Are Satisfied

Emma Kaage modifies many of her exercises in CrossFit because of her broken tailbone. She still goes to the intense workout twice a day, as well as three physical therapy appointments a week.
Credit Jessica Murri / Boise State Public Radio

It’s the height of fire season in Idaho and hundreds of seasonal firefighters are busy.

For the first time, they’re eligible for federal health insurance. President Obama made the change in July.

Many of these firefighters have gone without insurance because of the cost. While the new benefits have been welcomed, one Boise-based firefighter finds that the new health insurance won’t help her.

Emma Kaage lifts a 95 pound barbell above her head, and lets it drop to the floor, before she picks it up again. The 25-year-old does CrossFit training twice a day.

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Health Care
12:57 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

More Adults Are Walking Nowadays

Jer Flickr

People are walking more -- especially in the West -- according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2005, 56 percent of adults reported walking for at least 10 minutes a week. Five years later, that percentage was up to 62 percent.

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Health Care
2:39 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Nasty Waterborne Parasite Returns To Treasure Valley

Cryptosporidium parvum
microbewiki.kenyon.edu

Just when you thought it was safe to stay in the water, cryptosporidiosis is back.

Idaho’s Central District Health Department reports there are 19 cases of the perennial parasite known as crypto for short. Crypto is transmitted by fecal matter through water. People who have it get sick with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and other digestive symptoms.

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Health Care
4:30 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Report Says Idaho Doing Comparatively Little To Prevent Cancer

A new report from the American Cancer Society shows Idaho is doing little to prevent cancer compared to other states. It comes from the organization's advocacy arm, the Cancer Action Network.

 The report titled "How Do you Measure Up" looks at actions state governments take to prevent cancer. Aaron Czyzewski with the Cancer Action Network, says Idaho fares poorly in most of the criteria measured.

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Health Care
6:30 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Task Force To Meet Today

Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

Earlier this week, we told you about the work of Idaho's legislative healthcare task force - 14 lawmakers who met Monday to talk about the Affordable Care Act.  Today a task force created by the governor will hold the first in a series of meetings that will help decide the future of health care in Idaho. 

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Health Care
4:44 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Legislators Question What Affordable Care Act Means For Idaho

Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

Some Idaho lawmakers met Monday to talk about the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Affordable Care Act.  Idaho was one of the state’s that brought a lawsuit to strike down the health care law.  The court upheld the law and now state legislators on the Health Care Task Force are discussing what's next.

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Safety
1:52 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Idaho's Motorcycle Fatalities Drop

Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings from the Idaho Transportation Department believes the state has lower motorcycle fatalities because of work done to educate and raise awareness on motorcycle safety.
Brent Jennings Idaho Transportation Department

Sunday’s motorcycle crash on Bogus Basin Road near Boise was the latest in a string of wrecks over the last few weeks. Police say the rider slid on a patch of sand. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Other motorcyclists this summer haven’t been so fortunate.

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Olympics
5:35 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Idaho Researcher Helps Olympian Race with Prosthetic Legs

Doctor Craig McGowan and his team monitored Oscar Pistorius' energy consumption while he ran, determining he works just as hard as anyone else.
Craig McGowan University of Idaho

Oscar Pistorius looks like a normal guy, from the knees up. He looks fit, well-dressed, and capable. But without the lower half of his calves and shins, his ability to sprint in the 2012 Olympics were called into question. That is, until a University of Idaho professor helped prove Pistorius can compete beside anyone in the world.

Pistorius was born without fully-developed lower legs. He has used two prosthetic legs all his life. That won’t stop him from racing in the Men’s 400 Meter August 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

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Health Care
9:28 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Seattle Group Rallies For Idaho Woman Charged With Illegal Abortion

Jennie McCormack, a single mother in Pocatello, Idaho, was arrested for having an illegal abortion in 2011.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

An Idaho woman challenging her state’s anti-abortion laws has not received much attention from groups on either side of the abortion debate. But for the first time, one group is holding a rally to support her in Seattle today. 

Jennie Linn McCormack of Pocatello, Idaho was arrested last year after local police learned she had terminated a 20-week pregnancy at home.

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Health Care
5:43 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Motorcycle Ride Benefits Idaho Suicide Hotline

Jeret "Speedy" Peterson competes in the 2010 Winter Olympics before ending his life last year.
Duncan Rawlinson Flickr Creative Commons

Men and women clad in leather, riding choppers probably doesn’t scream suicide prevention. But Saturday morning, the two will go hand in hand.

Starting at 11 A.M. at Victors Hogs n Horns in Caldwell, the Red Knights Idaho Chapter One motorcycle group will ride to benefit the Speedy Foundation and Idaho’s Suicide Hotline.

Organizer and Red Knight member Maressa McAllister says suicide and mental illness is everywhere.

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Health Care
3:53 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Otter Under Pressure Over Affordable Care Act Options

Governor Butch Otter
State of Idaho

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act, has Idaho's governor wanting more study on creating a state health exchange and expanding Medicaid. So Butch Otter has put together two groups to look at these issues including the costs.

The Governor  wants recommendations from his working groups on what to do about a health insurance exchange and Medicaid by this fall.

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Health Care
6:35 am
Fri June 29, 2012

One Idaho Doctor Weighs In On Affordable Care Court Decision

Dr. Ted Epperly
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

The U-S Supreme Court’s decision to uphold universal health care has triggered a lot of reaction from politicians and analysts.  Idaho was one of the first states to join the lawsuit to strike down the law.  

Ted Epperly has been involved in the debate over health care, testifying before Congress and speaking across the country about the need for reform measures.  The Boise-based family physician served as the President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and met with President Obama six times to offer his views about health care. 

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Health Care Ruling
4:25 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Idaho's Largest Insurer Reacts To Health Care Ruling

Blue Cross of Idaho

Health insurance companies are also among those reacting to today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a majority of the federal health care law. 

Blue Cross of Idaho is the largest private insurer in the state, covering 720,000 people in Idaho.  Karen Early is a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit company.  She says now that most of the Affordable Care Act has been upheld, it’s time for Idaho to create its own insurance exchange

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