Health Care | Texas Public Radio

Health Care

Source: NAMI

AUSTIN — The Texas House has preliminarily approved a proposal offering to help repay student loans for psychiatrists who provide care in underserved parts of the state.

Passed Thursday 89-52, the bill provides help repaying student loans for medical personnel who work in “designated mental health professional shortage areas.”

Those qualifying would also have to treat Medicaid patients, low-income children or people confined to some state-run correctional facilities. The Senate passed the bill last month. It now needs only a final House vote to be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

According to a recent state report, fewer than 2,000 licensed psychiatrists were offering direct care in Texas as of September 2013.

Nearly 3,000 delegates from around the world are gathering this week in one of the most expensive cities in Europe to debate the fate of the World Health Organization.

There's one main question on the table: Will the WHO be given the power and money it needs to be the world's leading health agency, or will it plod forward in its current state — as a weak, bureaucratic agency of the U.N. known more for providing advice than taking action.

Almost half the states now require doctors to tell women if they have dense breasts because they're at higher risk of breast cancer, and those cancers are harder to find. But not all women with dense breasts have the same risks, a study says.

Those differences need to be taken into account when figuring out each woman's risk of breast cancer, the study says, and also weighed against other factors, including family history, age and ethnicity.

Sometimes I look at my husband and think, "I really don't remember what you just said." Is that because of his charming European accent, or because hey, we're married?

Don't leap to blame the accent, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis say. They are trying to figure out how the brain deals with foreign accents, hearing loss and other speed bumps on the road to understanding.

AUSTIN — The University of Texas says three students have tested positive for mumps, and officials are trying to notify classmates and guests at a fraternity party one of them attended last weekend.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says mumps rarely occurs across the country, after decades of vaccinations — but still shows up in a few hundred cases annually.

Mumps is caused by a virus. Symptoms include a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite and swelling of salivary glands.

The White House

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Governors in Kansas and Texas say they will join Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s lawsuit against the Obama Administration, alleging that federal officials are coercing the state to expand Medicaid in order to get $1 billion in federal hospital funds.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday he plans to file an amicus brief in a fight to protect states’ right to make their own decisions. Scott said Monday that he’d talked with Gov. Greg Abbott, who also pledged support.

Source: http://www.craneisd.com/

CRANE, Texas — An outbreak of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, has been reported at a small West Texas high school.

KOSA-TV of Odessa and Midland reports the Crane Independent School District sent a letter last week to parents of Crane High School students informing them that 20 cases of chlamydia had been confirmed at the school. Crane High School has an enrollment of about 300 students.

State health officials had notified the district of a significant number of chlamydia cases reported in Crane County and adjacent Upton County. District officials plan meet with the school’s advisory committee of teachers, parents and school officials to discuss the situation Monday.

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OSCEOLA, Mo. — When 18-month-old Edith Gonzalez choked on a grape in August 2013, her parents rushed to Shelby Regional Medical Center in their hometown of Center, Texas, unaware that the hospital had closed several weeks earlier. Their daughter was dead by the time an ambulance had taken her to the next nearest hospital, more than 45 minutes later.

After 45 years of providing health care in rural western Missouri, the Sac-Osage Hospital is being sold piece by piece. Ceiling tiles are going for 25 cents, the room doors for an average of less than $4 each, the patient beds for $250 apiece. Soon, the remnants of the hospital that long symbolized the lifeblood of Osceola, population 923, will be torn to the ground.

Sac-Osage is one of a growing number of rural U.S. hospitals closing their doors, citing a complex combination of changing demographics, medical practices, management decisions and federal policies that have put more financial pressure on facilities that sometimes average only a few in-patients a day.

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA

-- It’s been more than four years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. More than 11 million people have signed up for health insurance, but there are still Latinos in Texas who are uninsured.

-- In New Mexico, another healthcare dilemma — a behavioral health provider will end its programs just two years after opening, leaving many criminal offenders without services.

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