News and information about health, health care, health care policy from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Before getting the flu shot this year, I did some research about where I thought I could get the best value in gift cards. Since the Affordable Care Act required insurers to cover the cost of the shot it’s pure profit for many customers. 

Rape Kit
Sarah Delia / WFAE

North Carolina got a federal grant to outsource DNA testing for a portion of the close to 15,000 untested rape kits that sit on evidence shelves in local law enforcement agencies. But the attorney general said more state funding is needed to test the rest of these kits.  

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety is now reimbursing hospitals for rape kits as required. That’s the conclusion of an inquiry by the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women that came after WFAE reported nurses at hospitals said they weren’t being reimbursed for sexual assault exams.


North Carolina counties got nearly $2.5 million dollars in federal grants for drug courts and treatment. These are part of the $320 million the Department of Justice awarded across the country.

Sexual Assault Kits
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The North Carolina sexual assault tracking system launches Monday. It allows victims of sexual assaults who get a forensic exam to track where their evidence is and if it’s been tested. Idaho, Arkansas and a few other states have similar systems.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

The Red Cross is asking for people to donate blood after the organization had to cancel hundreds of blood drives in the southeast because of Hurricane Florence. The organization needs constant donations to keep its supply of blood strong.  

Alex Olgin/ WFAE

Charlotte area dialysis centers are preparing to take on patients evacuating the coasts. People who have kidney disease need to have this life sustaining treatment, which cleans a patient’s blood every few days.  

National Hurricane Service

As Hurricane Florence nears the Carolinas, health officials are encouraging people to make sure they have all of their medicines.

An example of a sexual assault kit.
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Two weeks ago, WFAE reported hospitals weren’t being reimbursed for sexual assault exams, according to the nurses at those hospitals. Now, the federal government is reviewing whether North Carolina is correctly following the Violence Against Women Act.  


There is one plastic surgery procedure that has more deaths than any other — a butt lift surgery that has become increasingly popular in recent years. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is so concerned about the rising deaths from botched procedures that the group put out a rare and urgent warning.