Health

www.idoc.idaho.gov

 The Idaho Department of Correction has reached an agreement over a lawsuit filed by prisoners more than 30 years ago. The agreement requires upgrades to medical facilities at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Boise. The agreement reached in U.S. District Court Tuesday gives a six month deadline for initial improvements…followed by a 2 year monitoring period. Department of Corrections director Brent Reinke says the initial cost of the changes will be more than $1.5 million.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

An Idaho woman arrested for inducing her own abortion is taking her case to federal court. Jennie Linn McCormack was charged last year under an obscure Idaho law for ending her pregnancy with RU-486. She joins an increasing number of women who get the so-called abortion pill off the internet. McCormack’s attorney says he’s willing to take the challenge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, neither pro-choice nor pro-life groups are paying attention to the case.

Idaho's Teen Birth Rate Is Average

Apr 10, 2012
Neal Gillis / Flickr

A new federal study says Idaho’s rate of teens having babies has fallen to record lows along with most states. But Idaho is only average.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the teen birth rate in the United States has been dropping steadily for several years and now it’s down to the lowest point since it started keeping track in the 1940s.  The authors of the study largely credit sex education initiatives. Sex ed can be a sensitive subject in a socially conservative state like Idaho and programs vary widely from place to place.

The state of Oregon wants to reshape the way it provides medical services to low income people in rural parts of the state. And it’s getting a robust response from health care providers. Before a deadline this week, state health administrators received more than 50 proposals to create regional collaborations. The strategy is part of what Oregon’s Governor is calling a health-care transformation. 

DBKing / Flickr

This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard three days of arguments over landmark healthcare legislation.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act generated a large crowd at the Court, all wanting a front row seat.  Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden was among them. 

Coal Train Traffic Increase Could Be Bad News For Health

Mar 29, 2012
Courtney Flatt

There are now six new export terminals proposed to be built along the Northwest coast. The goal? To bring American coal to Asia, via train and ship.

If these terminals are approved that could mean more than 100 million tons of coal traveling by rail across Idaho, Washington and Oregon every year.

The potential for more train traffic has public health experts concerned. 

National Women’s Law Center

A nationwide study says Idaho has one of the widest gaps between how much money insurers charge women and men. The survey by the National Women’s Law Center found Idaho women pay around $700 more each year.

The National Women’s Law Center reviewed the rates of the best-selling insurers in states that allow a practice known as “gender rating.” The Center found that in Idaho a 40-year-old non-smoking woman is typically offered a rate 40 percent higher than any man her age. That’s even when comparing plans that don’t cover maternity care.

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.

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.

Scott Ki / BSPR

A federal judge released a doctor’s report today on health care at Idaho’s oldest and largest prison.  Dr. Marc Stern wrote the study.  Stern “found serious problems with the delivery of medical and mental health care” at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.  Stern believes that  “authorities are deliberately indifferent to the serious health care needs” of the inmates. 

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. with just a few dozen doctors to help everyone. But in the country of South Sudan that is the reality. There are 50 licensed doctors to help more than eight million people. Thomas Burke knows this situation well. He’s the chief of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights. That’s part of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He’s helped create a medical program for 400 students.

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