Health

Health Care
6:35 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Idaho AG Watches Healthcare Arguments at Supreme Court

U-S Supreme Court
DBKing Flickr

Idaho's Attorney General is in Washington D-C today and tomorrow to watch oral arguments at the U-S Supreme Court on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Idaho was one of the first states to challenge the federal health care law.  Brian Kane is the Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General and has been Lawrence Wasden’s “point man” in the legal process.  Kane told Samantha Wright that Idaho's decision to get involved happened two years ago, before President Obama signed healthcare reform into law...

 

 

Health
5:31 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Study: Health Insurers Charge Idaho Women Hundreds More Than Men

National Women's Law Center

A new nationwide study says Idaho has one of the widest gaps between how much money insurers charge men and women. The survey by the National Women’s Law Center found women pay around $700 more each year. The practice, known as “gender rating,” is banned under the health care overhaul now before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Read more
Health Care
10:38 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Northwestern Lawmakers Weigh In On Health Care Case

Mike Simpson
House.gov

Idaho and 25 other states challenge the country's health care law in the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The justices will hear challenges on three parts of the law but the biggest question facing the justices is whether the government can force people to purchase private health insurance.

Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson says a ruling in favor of the individual mandate would greatly expand federal power. He questioned, “If they can do that, what can’t they do under the commerce clause?”
 

Read more
Health Care
2:38 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Idaho Lawmakers Reject New Contraception Policy

Idaho Rep. Carlos Bilbao (R-Emmett)

Religious beliefs and contraception collided Friday in the Idaho House of Representatives, where a majority of lawmakers voted to send a message to the President and U.S. Congress to reject a new birth control policy. 

The Obama Administration has been walking a tightrope on contraception these past few weeks.  It started with a requirement that religious non-profits offer workers birth control free of charge.  After a backlash, the Administration offered to exempt these groups and place the cost on their insurers. 

Read more
Health Care
4:37 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

HHS Calls Insurance Rate Hike Requests in Idaho "Excessive"

Ramberg Media Images Flickr

Health and Human Services says nine states, including Idaho, have companies asking for excessive health insurance rate hikes. 

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal department says some rate hikes of more than ten percent are “unreasonable.” 

In Idaho, John Alden Life Insurance Company and Time Insurance Company asked for double-digit increases this year.  

Health and Human Services says the companies involved should rescind the rate hikes, issue refunds, or explain why they won’t.

Health Care
3:45 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

UPDATE: Live Ultrasound Demonstration At Statehouse Brings Hecklers, Bill Now In Limbo

Brandi Swindell (right) Looks At An Ultrasound Image
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

UPDATE:  The bill to require women to have an abdominal ultrasound or a trans-vaginal ultrasound has already passed the Senate.  Lawmakers on the House State Affairs Committee were supposed to hear the bill Thursday morning, but in a surprise move late this afternoon, that meeting was canceled.  That leaves the bill's future in limbo.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Protesters at odds over a plan to require women to get an ultrasound ahead of an abortion staged separate demonstrations Wednesday at the statehouse.

Read more
Health Care
4:30 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Demand For Volunteer Medical Flights Doubles In Down Economy

Bob Shaper flew 165 Angel Flights in 2011, the most of any Angel Flight Pilot
Courtesy Bob Shaper Northwest News Network

Angel Flight is a group of volunteer pilots. They fly people with medical needs from small towns to big cities where major hospitals are.

During the down economy the last few years, requests for these missions have nearly doubled. So far the group has managed to keep up, but the growing number of patients needing a ride doesn’t seem to to be slowing down.

Read more
Health
12:15 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Unsealed Report Calls Idaho Prison ‘Indifferent’ To Inmate Health

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 1:00 am

A new report says Idaho’s largest prison provides such substandard health care to inmates that in some cases it may have resulted in death. A federal judge unsealed an expert’s opinion in a decades-long case Monday. In it, Dr. Marc Stern details a range of problems at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Boise.

He says patients there face cruel and unusual treatment. One inmate wasn’t told he had cancer for months. Another bed-ridden inmate wasn’t fed. And Stern said an emergency ventilator that should be used often was caked in dust.

Read more
Health Care
3:01 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Ultrasound Before Abortion Mandate Moves Forward

Idaho Senate
Samantha Wright BSPR

The Idaho Senate passed a bill today that requires an ultrasound before a woman can get an abortion.  Senators spoke passionately for and against the measure. The bill requires a woman to get either an abdominal or trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion.  Several senators said their vote would be a personal decision, a vote from the heart. 

Read more
Health Care
2:46 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Idaho Senate To Take Up Ultrasound Before Abortion Bill

Idaho Statehouse
Samantha Wright/BSPR

BOISE, Id – Eight states already require women considering an abortion to have an ultrasound. Idaho is one of the state's wanting to have that same requirement on the books.  State lawmakers Wednesday took another step forward to do just that.

The legislation would require a woman to get either an abdominal or trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion.  It would be up to the woman to decide whether to see any images from that ultrasound. But Susan Young argues those images would help a woman make an informed choice.   

Read more
Health Care
12:06 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Some Idaho Lawmakers Weigh In On National Contraception Policy

Idaho Statehouse Dome
Samantha Wright/BSPR

BOISE, Id – Some Idaho lawmakers are weighing in on a national debate over whether religious institutions should be required to provide birth control coverage to employees.

Read more
Health Care
9:33 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Cigarette Tax Fails to Gain Traction

BOISE, Id – An attempt to raise Idaho’s cigarette tax was snuffed out today in the Idaho Legislature.  Despite pleas to save lives and money, lawmakers objected to higher taxes and the effects on local businesses. 

Heidi Low of the American Cancer Society led the charge.  Speaking before the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, she proposed raising the cigarette tax by 1.25 per pack.  Supported by a coalition of 24 other groups, Low said the goal would be to keep kids from smoking. 

Read more
Health Care
10:58 am
Fri February 17, 2012

New Health Care Committee Proposed

 

BOISE, Id – An Idaho lawmaker wants to form a new committee to oversee Idaho’s compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Republican Representative Janice McGeachin introduced the bill Thursday, calling it a Health Care Reform Oversight Committee.

Janice McGeachin “This is a committee that would provide oversight and make recommendations to the legislature as a whole on whether we wish to specifically authorize or prohibit the state’s compliance with or participation in federal health care reform.”

Read more
Health Care
2:46 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Lawmakers Get Ready to Look at an Idaho Health Insurance Exchange

BOISE, Id – Idaho lawmakers will tackle some major issues this session including whether the state should create a health insurance exchange. Under the Affordable Care Act, such an exchange will have to be in place by 2014. The question is whether Idaho would be better off going with a national system or creating a state one. The Idaho Department of Insurance will help craft legislation on a state-based exchange.

Read more
Health Care
4:48 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Pertussis Outbreak

BOISE, Id – Nine children in Idaho’s Panhandle have Whooping Cough.  The highly contagious illness has been spreading in Kootenai County.  Most of the sick children were not vaccinated.

Since January, 39 cases have been confirmed in the five northern counties.  But in Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley, the counties covered by Central District Health, the familiar whoop of whooping cough is not being heard.

Read more
Health Care
10:27 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Processing Idaho Medicaid Claims

BOISE, Id – Idaho’s new Medicaid processing system is getting better.  That’s the word Tuesday from the Department of Health and Welfare to a group of lawmakers.  The company that handles the system has worked to improve its track record, after a bumpy start last year.

Read more
Health Care
1:14 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Medical Center Received a Top Honor

BOISE, Id – The Boise VA Medical Center received a top national honor Friday.  The award comes from the Joint Commission, a non-profit group that accredits and certifies more than 19-thousand health care organizations in the U-S.  The Boise VA was one of only twenty VA Medical Centers that received the award.  Grant Ragsdale is the Associate Medical Center Director.

Read more

Pages