health care

KUOW/John Ryan

A new report says violence is a “constant disruption” at Washington state’s two main psychiatric hospitals. But the CEO of the state’s biggest mental hospital isn't sold on some of the findings.

Portland's Multnomah County today released a plan for responding to the health impacts of climate change.

Early Numbers From WA Health Exchange

Oct 8, 2013
Credit Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Washington State’s Health Exchange is one week old. To date more than 9,400 people enrolled for health coverage.

After a rocky start, Washington’s health plan finder website is now running smoothly. That’s according to a spokesman for the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

Things are went a little more smoothly Wednesday for Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange website than the first day of operation.

Washington’s health exchange got off to a bumpy start on its first day Tuesday. The website was temporarily shut down all morning. People who tried to access the website experienced slowdowns and technical problems. But there were some people who managed avoid the glitches and sign up for health coverage.

Health care exchanges in Oregon and Washington are facing problems on their first day of operation. Applications at Cover Oregon won't be fully processed for a week or so. 

It was a rocky start to Obamacare in Washington. The state’s new health insurance website is up now, but it was shut down for most of the day because of technical glitches.

If you got sick, you probably wouldn't go to an evolutionary biologist to get treated. But Daniel Lieberman, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University, says that his field can help you understand why you got sick, and make you more aware of healthy and harmful behaviors.

It could cost the state of Washington more than $250 million over 30 years.to lease and operate the former headquarters of Amazon.com.

Thousands Curious About Cover Oregon

Sep 25, 2013

Thousands of Oregonians are beginning to check out the state's new health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon.

Inslee Says Healthcare Act Rollout Is On Track

Sep 25, 2013
Office Of The Governor

Despite Republican efforts to block the healthcare reform plan known as Obamacare, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee says he’s confident the plan is moving forward.

Franciscan Health System

Telemedicine has been around for a long time to connect rural health care providers to specialists in the big city. This month, Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System took telemedicine to a broader realm. It became one of the first hospital networks in the country to offer "virtual" urgent care. A video chat could replace a hectic trip to a medical clinic for a patient who prefers this convenience.

Health Exchange Call Center Opens In Spokane

Sep 3, 2013

Washington’s health exchange, the online market for health plans doesn’t open until October 1st. But people with questions can contact the exchange’s call center starting Tuesday. The Spokane based call center opened at 7:30 this morning.

In 2009, the state was sued by advocates representing children on Medicaid who have schizophrenia, depression and other mental illnesses. The advocates argued that the Department of Social and Health Services wasn’t providing sufficient home based services to help keep them stable.

We’ve all been there. You’re hungry, and you want something good to eat, but there’s no time. So you hit the vending machine for sugar or salt.

A recent Washington State University grad wants to change that. She’s started a Northwest business around a simple, better choice: an urban apple delivery service.

Vaughn Bullfinch

For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, WA went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas. The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away. 

After years of complaints, one Northwest man is suing an energy company that built a wind farm near his home. Residents have complained that noise from the turbines is affecting their health.

Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon

A photo snapped by a NASA Satellite this week captured huge plumes of wildfire smoke blanketing Southern Oregon. More than 50,000 acres of forest have burned there. In cities like Shady Cove and Grants Pass, the amount of particle pollution has reached unhealthy levels for more than a week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the height and weight of preschoolers measured at nutrition clinics between 2008 and 2011. Nearly half the states studied have cut obesity rates for youngsters from low-income families. But the rate in Oregon hasn't budged. It's 15 percent, slightly higher than the national average.

The state of Washington is just beginning the process of writing new rules to govern hospital mergers. But already there’s controversy over what role the state should play when religious health care providers propose to take over hospitals.

Home canning is regaining popularity as part of the local food movement. If done right, families can enjoy home grown fruits, vegetables and even meat all through the winter. But if done wrong it can be devastating, if not deadly.

A lawyer for the state of Washington recently learned that lesson the hard way.

Oregon lawmakers want to make parents think twice before deciding not to have their kids immunized. The Oregon Senate Thursday approved a measure that would add steps to the way parents can opt out of the requirement.

The Oregon Health Authority says more than six percent of children enter kindergarten without the required number of vaccinations. It has been the highest highest rate in the nation, and it's been climbing.

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one lawmaker for whom mental health care is a very personal issue.

Fluoride Measure Fails In Portland

May 22, 2013

Unofficial results show Portland's fluoridation measure going down by a resounding 60-to-40 margin. Oregon Public Broadcasting's April Baer reports opponents got the upper hand despite being outspent two-to-one.

High school students across Washington will be learning how to save a life, starting next fall. A new law requires schools to teach basic C-P-R in health classes. Governor Jay Inslee signed the measure into law. The main advocates were with the American Heart Association, including volunteer Eric Rothenberg who survived cardiac arrest because a bystander performed CPR on him. Rothenberg says the new mandate means more people will be willing to use chest compressions:

Judge's Order Questions DOMA, Oregon's Measure 36

Apr 26, 2013

A judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that a Portland lesbian couple has a right to federal health benefits. April Baer reports.

In 2010 the tempo of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were saddling the Army’s Medical Treatment Facilities with thousands of soldiers needing complex healthcare. That same year Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker chartered a task force to help improve trust. He believed trust was the foundation of Army Medicine.

Well, it looks like there really is such as thing as a dog person.

Humans who share their homes with canines also share the similar bacterial houseguests on their skin, ecologists reported Tuesday in the journal eLIFE.

In fact, two dog owners who don't even know each other have about as many of the skin bacteria in common as a married couple living together.

  OLYMPIA, Wash. – Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

Pages