Dr. Barron Lerner is a doctor and the son of a doctor. He grew up thinking his father was a wonderful, gifted and caring physician, which he was. But after Lerner started studying bioethics, he began questioning some of his father's practices — practices which were typical of many doctors in the '60s.

Idaho started licensing midwives in 2010 under the Midwifery Practice Act so midwives could deliver babies in homes and at birthing centers legally. 

Officials at Oregon's largest medical center want state lawmakers to help fund a massive expansion of their cancer research facility.

Dr. Kevin Fong works on "the edges" of medicine — researching how humans survive extremes of heat, cold, trauma, outer space and deep sea. "We're still exploring the human body and what medicine can do in the same way that the great explorers of the 20th century and every age before them explored the world," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his book Extreme Medicine, Fong describes how avant garde medicine is challenging our understanding of how our bodies work and the boundary between life and death.

Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing, instead of medical care, have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.

Health care eats up a lot of money. The aim of the Affordable Care Act is to help reduce the cost and increase access.

In Oregon, the state has embarked on an ambitious journey to improve health outcomes while trimming expenses. It’s being done through CCOs or Coordinated Care Organizations. One aspect is the use of community health workers, who visit patients in their homes to try and prevent costly trips to the emergency room.

KLCC’s Angela Kellner introduces us to one Springfield woman who now thinks of her community health worker as a son.

Little information is available yet to conclude whether the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut was diagnosed with or treated for mental illness. But last week’s incident has raised questions around the country about mental health--specifically, funding for mental health treatment and services. Ruby de Luna looks at how Washington’s mental health services have fared over the years.

Photo courtesy Dept. of Health and Human Services

About one out of five Medicare patients returns to the hospital within a month after being discharged. Those readmissions are often preventable. As Ruby de Luna reports, starting in October, Medicare will penalize hospitals with high readmission rates.

The new policy is part of the national health care law to reduce hospital readmissions. The goal is to reduce cost and improve patient care.

Dr. Nancy Fisher is Chief Medical Officer with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for Region 10. She says three-quarters of these readmissions are preventable.

It happens more than 200,000 times a year in doctor’s offices throughout Washington. An interpreter is called in to help bridge a language barrier between the physician and patient. Soon though, that interpreter may join the appointment by phone or even video. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins explains.

University of Oregon Student Dies of Meningitis

May 15, 2012

Health officials say it's unlikely those who had casual contact with a University of Oregon student who died Friday are at risk of contracting bacterial meningitis. The disease is believed to have caused the death of 21-year old Lillian Pagenstecher. KLCC's Rachael McDonald reports.