Health Care

Photo courtesy BYU

As the rate of children with autism continues to grow, a new study authored by a BYU professor shows that a typical pediatric exam may not be adequate to detect autism risk. It was published in the journal Pediatrics this week.

Vkem via Wikimedia Commons

A new study shows that children increase their fruit and vegetable intake if they eat school lunch after recess. The study was conducted by researchers at The Veggie Project, a Brigham Young University initiative.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah lawmakers unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would let terminally-ill patients obtain experimental drugs that have not been federally approved.

Taylor Hayes

The Salt Lake County Health Department released a study on Thursday showing that a majority of liquids sold locally for use in e-cigarettes have significantly different levels of nicotine than their labels claim. 

Two Utah County residents have tested positive for measles after a trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in mid-December.

The Utah Department of Health released a report on Tuesday identifying a growing trend of women giving birth outside of hospitals. 

The Office of the Utah Governor

Utah Governor Gary Herbert met with President Barack Obama Tuesday in Washington. After the meeting, Herbert said there may be room for further negotiation on his health plan.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A new counseling center has opened in Utah to provide mental health therapy for those who have served in the military. The center provides specialized care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

New Obamacare enrollment numbers are in. When Matthew Slonaker of Utah Health Policy Project looks at how many people in the state signed up for insurance in the first month of this enrollment period, he sees good news.

Utah State University Assistive Technology Program

  A program that recycles wheelchairs for people with disabilities has provided more than 150 chairs over the past 18 months.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Some influential Utah lawmakers delivered a blow Thursday to Governor Gary Herbert’s plan to expand health coverage to low-income Utahns. In a motion led by Republicans, the state Health Reform Task Force voted not to recommend the governor’s plan to the legislature. Instead, they recommended their own plan.

Image courtesy WebMD

New research out of the University of Utah shows that the use of methamphetamine increases the risk of developing a neurological disease later in life. The study published this month in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence also suggests that gender may influence that risk.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A Utah mother is alive today thanks to an unusual donation by her daughter. Betty Garcia was in desperate need of a liver transplant, but she wasn’t sick enough to qualify for a liver from a deceased donor.

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center have found a way to more accurately identify a patient’s risk for often-deadly blood clots in the lungs. The research was recently published in the medical journal CHEST.

Tim Slover

That’s Utah composer Kurt Bestor performing for patients at the William E. Christofferson Salt Lake Veterans Home. He helped kick off the official launch of Music & Memory.  The program helps put iPods, headphones, and other listening equipment in nursing homes where patients live with Alzheimer’s disease

and dementia.  It also certifies healthcare workers to provide musical therapy to patients.

Norman Foster directs the Center for Alzheimer’s Care at the University of Utah. He says music can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s re-access long-forgotten memories.

Flu Cases Increase in Salt Lake County

Dec 9, 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  The Salt Lake County Health Department says it’s seen a sharp increase in the number of influenza cases over the past two weeks.  And state officials say a flu shot is still the best way to prevent it. 

Doctor Dagmar Vitek with the Salt Lake County Health Department says 75 people have been hospitalized with influenza over the past two weeks.  Two people have died.  And she says elderly people and others at high risk need to see a doctor right away if they have symptoms of the flu.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert officially unveiled his plan Thursday to close the coverage gap and help low income Utahns get health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Courtesy photo

Around this time of year, many of us are thinking about how we can help those who are most in need. We usually think about getting somebody a turkey or some warm clothes. Joining us in the KUER studios is somebody who has an alternative idea about ways you can make an impact. Laura Michalski is the new CEO for The Fourth Street Clinic, which provides health care to homeless Utahns. Michalski comes to Salt Lake City from Chicago, where she worked at the largest free health clinic of its kind in the country.

A regional director for US Department of Health and Human Services is in Utah to raise awareness about the second open enrollment period for health insurance.

Kim Gillan is the HHS Regional Director for six states in the Rocky Mountain region, but for the moment, her role in Utah is to be a health insurance cheerleader. Gillan says healthcare.gov is much more user friendly than it was in the first rollout and it’s operating smoothly.

  The group working to stop Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah plan has been fighting similar battles in other states. The Foundation for Government Accountability is hoping to defeat the plan when it goes to the Utah legislature.

Some people might think of November as the beginning of the holiday season, but for those involved in the health insurance field – it’s the beginning of another open enrollment season. Jason Stevenson of Utah Health Policy Project joins us to answer questions about health insurance this enrollment season, which begins Saturday, November 15th.

More information about open enrollment is available at Take Care Utah.

Herbert Defends Healthy Utah Plan

Nov 13, 2014
KUED

  Utah’s governor says a conservative group working against his alternative to expanding Medicaid isn’t telling the truth.  The issue came up at the governor's monthly news conference this morning.

Monday is the kick-off for an initiative to address health problems among Utah’s Pacific Islanders. In response to some of Utah’s highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and infant mortality, the Utah Pacific Islander Coalition has coordinated a series of health promotion events across the state.  

File: Primary Children's Hospital

A new multi-hospital study for patient safety, that included Primary Children’s Hospital and the University of Utah School of Medicine, confirmed a 30 percent reduction in medical errors through basic communication between healthcare workers.

Photo courtesy Karen Mathot

The state Department of Health is monitoring a Utahn who has returned from Liberia, where Ebola continues to spread. Karen Mathot has no symptoms, however, and is not expected to contract the disease. She runs a nonprofit organization called Lifting Liberia that helps fund education there. But in an interview with KUER, Mathot said the growing Ebola epidemic has become her priority. She’s just returned from a trip aimed at helping children who have been orphaned by the virus.

While the cost of healthcare continues to go up around the country, a new delivery and payment model in Utah is saving money for patients.

BioFire courtesy photo

Salt Lake company Biofire Defense has delivered Ebola test kits to Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. The company announced over the weekend that the US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for the test.

The FilmArray BioThreat-E is the first commercial Ebola test to be authorized for use on patients with symptoms of the disease. Biofire’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wade Stevenson says the company is working fast to meet the demand. 

Courtesy of Hauenstein family

Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake recently diagnosed an infant with a rare and sometimes fatal condition. A new addition to Utah’s newborn screening protocol played a role in the discovery.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert has concluded negotiations with the Obama administration on his Healthy Utah Plan, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily take effect in Utah. The state legislature still has to weigh in, and lawmakers might be hatching a different plan.

KUED

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’s finally worked out a deal with the Obama administration on the details of his Healthy Utah plan, but he still has to get it through the Utah legislature. 

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