Good Luck Trying To Find Out How Much A Medical Procedure Will Cost

Good Luck Trying To Find Out How Much A Medical Procedure Will Cost

A new report from the folks at the Government Accountability Office has confirmed what anyone who has ever tried to get a clear estimate on what a medical procedure already knows: There’s a good chance you can’t. [More]

Walmart Won't Add Many Future Part-Timers To Health Insurance Rolls

Walmart Won't Add Many Future Part-Timers To Health Insurance Rolls

In health insurance-aimed cost-cutting maneuvers, Walmart won’t subsidize health insurance for future employees who work fewer than 24 hours a week. Also, new part-timers who work fewer than 33 weekly hours won’t be able to add spouses to their plans. And like workers at most any other company, full-timers with complete health benefits will have more deducted from their paychecks. [More]

Vaccine Could Stifle Malaria Menace

Vaccine Could Stifle Malaria Menace

Researchers may be about to take a bite out of malaria. The mosquito-borne disease, which infects 225 million people each year and kills 781,000 victims, but a new vaccine has cut the number of infections of test subjects in half in the year following vaccination. [More]

Study: Binge Boozing Costs Society $2 Per Drink

Study: Binge Boozing Costs Society $2 Per Drink

After heavy drinkers get to the point that they’ve had too many, each drink ends up costing society $2 in extra medical expenses and other costs, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. The “other” costs result mainly from drunk driving — in funds spent to lock up drunk drivers and damage from accidents. [More]

Senate Bill Would Streamline Medical Device Approval

Senate Bill Would Streamline Medical Device Approval

When it comes to approving medical devices for patients to use, the Food and Drug Administration is handcuffed by conflict of interest rules that it says slow the process. A bipartisan trio of senators have introduced a bill that would ease the rules in favor of getting devices approved quicker, possibly at the expense of medical ethics. [More]

Businesses Try To Cut Insurance Costs By Coaxing Workers To Get Healthy

Businesses Try To Cut Insurance Costs By Coaxing Workers To Get Healthy

With health insurance premiums rising fast, businesses are looking to keep expenses down by encouraging employees to improve their health, thus cutting down on the cost of care they’ll use. More companies are offering on-site gym access and check-ups, discounts on healthy cafeteria food and incentives to get workers to quit smoking. [More]

4 People Get Pot From Government In Old Federal Program

4 People Get Pot From Government In Old Federal Program

At one point, 14 people in the United States received medical marijuana regularly from the government. Started in a 1976 court ruling, the program that facilitated the unorthodox treatments stopped accepting applicants in 1992, but four surviving patients still count Uncle Sam as their drug dealer. [More]

Rite Aid Sells Video Chats With Doctors

Rite Aid Sells Video Chats With Doctors

Drugstores are fast becoming outlets for quick, relatively cheap medical care. Many CVS stores have MinuteClinics inside, and now Rite Aid has started offering video chats with doctors in a service called NowClinic Online Care. For $45, customers get 10 minutes of virtual face time with medical pros. Patients can also opt for voice chats or instant messages. [More]

For At-Risk Women, MRIs May Be Better Than Mammograms

For At-Risk Women, MRIs May Be Better Than Mammograms

Mammograms have long been standard breast cancer detection tools, but researchers say magnetic resonance imaging may be more effective at finding tumors in women who are more at risk of contracting cancer and are medically underserved. [More]

Kids' Flu Shots Cut Emergency Room Visits

Kids' Flu Shots Cut Emergency Room Visits

Parents who get their kids flu shots cut down on their chances of having to haul them in to the emergency room. According to the results of a study by American and Canadian researchers, recommendations that preschoolers receive the vaccinations have caused ER visits to drop by more than a third. [More]

Study: Diabetes Sufferers More Likely To Get Dementia

Study: Diabetes Sufferers More Likely To Get Dementia

Those who are afflicted with diabetes are apparently more at risk of suffering dementia than others. A study confirmed the link between the conditions that researchers had long thought to be true. [More]

Nearly 50 Million Americans Lacked Health Insurance In 2010

Nearly 50 Million Americans Lacked Health Insurance In 2010

Unemployment and an erosion in employer-provided benefits are some of the major reasons the amount of uninsured American rose to 49.9 million last year. That’s 900,000 more than in 2009, according to Census data. Gone are the days that it was a given that your workplace handed you an insurance plan. In 2000, 64.1 percent of the population were covered by employer-provided insurance, but those ranks slipped to 55.3 percent last year. [More]

Nasal Spray Gives Hope To Alzheimer's Patients

Nasal Spray Gives Hope To Alzheimer's Patients

Researchers have found the daily dose of an insulin nasal spray may hinder the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients. A four-month study in Seattle found that the treatment improved memory and protected cognition and functional abilities of patients. [More]

COBRA Subsidies Expire, Leaving Unemployed To Scramble For Healthcare

COBRA Subsidies Expire, Leaving Unemployed To Scramble For Healthcare

Laid-off workers who relied on COBRA subsidies to help pay for health insurance saw the benefits end Wednesday. Under the program, the government paid 65 percent of COBRA costs with federal stimulus dollars. Wednesday saw the end of 15 months of extended subsidies for those who lost their jobs between September 2008 and May 2010. [More]

Late-Stage Melanoma Sufferers Have More Treatment Options
Thanks To Drug Approval

Late-Stage Melanoma Sufferers Have More Treatment Options Thanks To Drug Approval

The Food and Drug Administration is bringing in reinforcements for those who suffer inoperable forms of melanoma. Zelboraf, which was recently approved by the government, joins Yervoy — approved in March — as new drugs that doctors believe will help patients live longer after treatment. [More]

Justice Department Says North Carolina Fails At Caring For Mentally Ill

Justice Department Says North Carolina Fails At Caring For Mentally Ill

According to gripes from the U.S. Department of Justice, the state of North Carolina is mishandling mental health patients, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate housing. The DOJ may sue the state and force 1,200 mental health patients out of adult care homes — inadequate facilities which it says are operating as mental health care facilities. [More]

Medicare Drugs Should Cost A Little Less Next Year

Medicare Drugs Should Cost A Little Less Next Year

Good news for Medicare enrollees who are on fixed incomes and counting pennies as well as pills: The price of prescription drug premiums in the program are expected to slightly dip next year. [More]

Ads On Widely-Used Medical App May Wield Dangerous Influence On Doctors

Ads On Widely-Used Medical App May Wield Dangerous Influence On Doctors

Nearly half of American doctors rely on virtual assistants that fit inside their pockets. They’re smartphone apps made by Epocrates, and they help guide healthcare professionals through drug dosing and insurance information, but they also pimp out suggestions for sponsored medications. Some worry the apps may hinder doctors’ work by urging them to place sponsor dollars over patients’ needs. [More]