Health and Medicine

Health news

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In the living room of her Olympia home, Crystal opens up a large file box that contains her son’s life history.

“As a mom you keep those shot records and those test scores in their little file even if they’re in their 20s,” said Crystal, whose last name we’re not using to protect her son's identity.

But this plastic box has something else: a detailed record of her son’s battle with addiction and mental illness beginning when he was 12.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Efforts to turnaround Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital are taking longer than expected. The federal government this week granted yet another extension to give the state’s largest mental hospital more time to fix systemic problems.

TaxRebate.org.uk

If you buy individual health insurance through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange get ready for sticker shock. Rates will go up by an average of 24 percent next year.

National Park Service

The first cases of West Nile virus in Washington State this year have been reported in Spokane County. 

TVW

People who buy individual health insurance in Washington state can expect another round of rate hikes next year.

“I’d say double-digit [increases] are almost a certainty,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in an interview Thursday on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Two small-town hospitals in the Palouse have announced they plan to offer gender confirmation surgeries. The same surgeon would offer the procedure at Pullman Regional Hospital and Gritman Medical Center in nearby Moscow, Idaho.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The top three nationally reported STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis and they are all on the rise in the Northwest and across the nation.

Jason Taellious / Flickr - tinyurl.com/y95mf85f

St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, the flagship hospital of CHI Franciscan Health, is coming under fire for allegedly shirking its legal duty to provide charity care to the uninsured poor. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a consumer protection lawsuit Tuesday.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed into law a bill to require health insurance policies to cover the cost of abortions.

Cool By Default / Facebook

Washington’s state Department of Health will remove a billboard deemed offensive after public backlash. The billboard in question was an initiative from the Department’s Marijuana Prevention & Education Program.

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