Health and Medicine

Health news

Online Hiccups Make Health Care Sign-Ups Go Old School

Oct 31, 2013
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

It's hard to find anyone who orders anything by phone or through the mail any more – unless, they're signing up for health insurance under the new Affordable Care Act.

Meet The Woman Who Tells Your Exes They May Have An STD

Oct 24, 2013
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Public health officials are trying to stop a series of gonorrhea outbreaks in the Northwest. And they’re offering a service to infected patients: anonymous notification of former sexual partners.

Health officials across the Northwest are trying to figure out why they’re seeing a big upswing in the number of people with gonorrhea this year.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

It was a rocky start to Obamacare in Washington. The state’s new health insurance website is up now, but it was shut down for most of the day because of technical glitches.

Colehour and Cohen

Telemedicine is rising to new levels of accessibility thanks to the increasing prevalence of smartphones, tablets and webcam equipped computers.

US Army Corps of Engineers

New advisories from health officials in Washington and Oregon warn that some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat.

Vaughn Bullfinch. Medical resident Vaughn Bullfinch considers himself lucky to have residency spot in a rural Northwest hospital in an area where he hopes to settle down.

For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, Wash. went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas.

The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away.

The state of Washington is just beginning the process of writing new rules to govern hospital mergers. But already there’s controversy over what role the state should play when religious health care providers propose to take over hospitals.

The pace of hospital mergers has picked up in recent years amid a climate of healthcare consolidation. Many of them involved Catholic-based providers. The ACLU of Washington and other organizations are concerned this trend could limit access to end-of-life and reproductive services.

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Call it a case of “lost in translation.” Washington and Oregon’s new health insurance exchanges are getting poor marks for their efforts to communicate with foreign language audiences.

On the Washington Health Benefit Exchange website you can find fact sheets in eight foreign languages – from Cambodian to Somali. These one and two page documents are supposed to help uninsured families navigate the new world of the Affordable Care Act.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Home canning is regaining popularity as part of the local food movement. If done right, families can enjoy home grown fruits, vegetables and even meat all through the winter. But if done wrong it can be devastating, if not deadly.

A lawyer for the state of Washington recently learned that lesson the hard way.

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