health care

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has scheduled a press conference Monday morning to give his take on the legislative session that just ended. At the top of the list of topics is whether the governor might take executive action to expand Medicaid under a provision of Obamacare.

The state of Washington spends about $1 billion per year on prescription drugs -- that’s state and federal funds. And the cost has been going up. Now some state lawmakers are wondering if there’s a way to drive a better bargain. Or at least shed some new light on how drugs are priced.

The process for getting a new drug approved in the U.S. takes years. If you’re very sick, it can be incredibly frustrating to learn a potential cure is out there, but may not reach the market in time to save your life.

State Health Care officials say they'll be notifying 91,000 Medicaid clients they've been affected by a data breach.

Officials with the Washington State Health Care Authority today said they discovered that the private information of 91,000 Apple Health clients was mishandled by two employees.

The information includes clients’ Social Security numbers, dates of birth, Apple Health client ID numbers and private health information.

The agency says the breach was discovered during a whistle blower investigation into misuse of state resources.

People from three Pacific island nations have the right to live and work in the United States, thanks to a unique 1986 treaty. But a separate Congressional action 20 years ago means that they are not eligible for Medicaid -- even those who become taxpayers.

Many have settled in Oregon, where lawmakers will consider a bill in February that would require the state to subsidize medical care for people from these nations.

The Marshall Islands are an independent nation made up of more than 1,000 small islands near the equator, about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.

MathTeacherGuy / flickr

With the start of a new year comes an increase in health care costs for many local employers and workers. The average increase for 2016 health plan premiums reviewed by the state insurance departments of Oregon, Washington and Idaho significantly exceeded the rate of inflation. So, what's driving health care costs in 2016?

Washington prison inmates who suffer from “serious and painful medical conditions” are often denied adequate healthcare. That’s the allegation contained in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle this week.

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.

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