Health and Medicine

Health news

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

After Oregon voters approved recreational marijuana use for adults in 2014, there was no place to legally buy it until October of the following year. That's when a law kicked in that allowed dispensaries to sell to people without medical marijuana cards.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants to make sweeping changes to the state’s mental health system. The Democrat Wednesday proposed a six-year plan to downsize the state’s two mental hospitals.

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A new law this year in Oregon requires insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply of prescription birth control. The law took effect earlier this year, but its backers say some insurers haven't gotten the message.

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In 2014, Washington’s Medicaid program resumed covering dental care for adults. That was celebrated by advocates for the poor. But on Thursday, a panel of lawmakers will hear about ongoing challenges to that program.

Wayne Clifford / Washington Department of Health

In the last six years, about 10 confirmed cases of valley fever have popped up in Eastern Washington. And the state of Washington estimates there are even more exposures that haven’t been diagnosed.

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Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital has been plagued by ineffective management, staff reductions and turnover. That’s according to a “root cause analysis” report released Thursday.

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According to a new report from a state task force, the ratio of students to school nurses has more than doubled in the past five years in Oregon.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Oregon Health Authority has a lot on its plate. It arranges medical care for low income people, operates the state's mental hospitals, and even oversees the medical marijuana programs.

Chris Lehman / NW News Network

Some drinking fountains have been turned off at the Oregon capitol building after tests showed an unsafe level of lead in the water. Officials have ordered more tests to determine the source of the lead.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital won’t lose nearly $50 million in federal funding -- for now. On Friday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a 13-month turnaround agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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