health care

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

Faced with a shortage of primary care doctors, more and more clinics are relying on nurse practitioners to fill the gap. But that creates another gap, in the level of training providers bring to the job. Residency programs--once reserved for physicians--are popping up for nurse practitioners as well.

By 2018, the state of Washington should have a treasure trove of data on the cost and quality of health care.

Carline Jean MCT / Landov

The nonprofit community health centers of Washington are concerned about the latest action by lawmakers dealing with money from marijuana sales in the state.

Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana, mandated that 5 percent of tax revenues from pot sales go to nonprofit community health centers.

But the public policy director for Community Health Network, Molly Belozer Firth, said the House and Senate have both proposed budgets that divert that money elsewhere, rather than to what they see as a priority, serving the uninsured.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers will introduce a bill Wednesday that will allow people to use some oils extracted from cannabis plants. Idaho currently does not allow any form of medical marijuana. But other states without medical pot have passed exemptions similar to this new bill.

AndreyPopov / Flickr

The ACLU of Washington is launching an effort to ensure that hospitals are following the state’s abortion rights laws.

Thursday the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to have Skagit Regional Health comply with Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act, or RPA.

The ACLU’s Doug Hoening says the public hospital has a policy of not providing abortion services, in violation of state law.

Hoening says The ACLU also has sent letters to three other public hospital districts in Mason County, Jefferson County, and Whidbey Island that have the same policy:

Centers for Disease Control

Some Northwest lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

There's a small but growing trend in healthcare--a trend where doctors are paid differently, so they can focus on a relationship with their patients, and where patients are able to see doctors without worrying  about the cost.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A hospital in North Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists -- medical tourists, that is.

Most of the patients who come into Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho, are from the local area -- plus a few from Washington and Montana.

North Idaho College /

A community college in Idaho today received a major grant to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry. The $6.4 million dollar grant is the largest in the school’s history. It’s part of a job training program set up in the 2009 stimulus package.

Lita Burns is the vice president of instruction at North Idaho College (NIC) in Coeur d’Alene, the school that got the grant. She says hospitals have told them it’s hard to get people trained as technicians and assistants to relocate from another state. This includes EMTs and dental assistants.

Wash. Must Find 200 Beds For Psychiatric Patients

Aug 14, 2014
Fotos GOVBA / Flickr

The state of Washington is scrambling to find beds by Aug. 27 for an estimated 200 mental health patients by Aug. 27. That's when the state must comply with a Washington Supreme Court ruling that said detaining psychiatric patients in emergency room beds is unlawful.