Health

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

National Conference of State Legislatures

Three state senators filed a bill Thursday to make it tougher for parents to avoid vaccinating their children. The bill would eliminate North Carolina's religious exemption for vaccines.

Michael Tomsic

Advances in technology are changing some of the basic questions doctors ask when treating cancer.

“Does it matter if it's breast or lung or colon or leukemia - should we be treating tumors based on their mutations and not on their tissue of origin?” says Dr. Stan Lipkowitz of the National Cancer Institute.

Doctors in Charlotte and across the country are in the early stages of answering those questions. They’re focusing on the genetic mutations thought to be driving someone’s cancer, rather than the place it started.

For some patients in Charlotte, the results of this treatment have been remarkable.

Novant Health

This story is the result of a partnership between WFAE, Kaiser Health News and NPR. You can find another story from our partnership here.   

In Medical Park Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., Angela Koons is still a little loopy and uncomfortable after wrist surgery. Nurse Suzanne Cammer gently jokes with her. When Koons says she's itchy under her cast, Cammer warns, "Do not stick anything down there to scratch it!" Koons smiles and says, "I know."

Koons tells me Cammer's kind attention and enthusiasm for nursing has helped make the hospital stay more comfortable.

This story is the result of a partnership between WFAE, Kaiser Health News and NPR. You can find another story from our partnership here. 

SALISBURY, N.C. — Lillie Robinson came to Rowan Medical Center for surgery on her left foot. She expected to be in and out in a day, returning weeks later for her surgeon to operate on the other foot.

Novant Health Planning To Form Partnership With UVA

Mar 11, 2015

Winston-Salem based Novant Health is planning to form a partnership with the University of Virginia Health System. They would create a new company in northern Virginia that Novant would manage.

Provided by the NC Medical Society – Chip Baggett – Jennifer Gasperini – Dave Horne

Doctors across North Carolina will soon have to pay back a chunk of what they earned treating Medicaid patients over the past 14 months. The retroactive pay cut is part of a law passed in 2013 and tweaked last year. As you can imagine, doctors aren't too happy about giving back money the state has already paid them.

In the Charlotte area, roughly 80,000 United Healthcare customers may have to find a new doctor. The health insurance company says that's how many people are affected by its contract expiring with Carolinas HealthCare System.

healthcare.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that North Carolina's attorney general and many others say could lead to chaos in health insurance markets.

cdc.gov

Hospitals in the Charlotte region are taking extra precautions against a deadly superbug called CRE. That's after a recent outbreak at a UCLA hospital. The infection is difficult to treat, but it's extremely rare for healthy people to get it inside or outside of hospitals.

Dying. It's Tough To Discuss, But Doesn't Have To Be

Feb 10, 2015
Michael Tomsic

There is a particular conversation that almost no family can avoid and that doctors agree is incredibly important. Yet, most of us don’t have this conversation. It’s about the medical care we would want if we were dying.

To get the obvious out of the way: this can be an immensely difficult conversation. But it doesn't have to be. 

“In my experience, they tend to go pretty well; I actually enjoy having those conversations with patients,” Daniel Miles says. He’s assistant director of the chaplain department at Carolinas Medical Center's main campus.

nffcnnr / Flickr

Compared to the rest of the country, a much higher percentage of hospitals in North Carolina received a bonus from Medicare this year based on quality measures. That's according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal government data.

The Commonwealth Fund

 In North Carolina, what businesses pay in health care premiums has been growing at a much slower rate since the Affordable Care Act passed. But that's not resulting in cheaper costs for most families, according to a report Thursday from The Commonwealth Fund, a private research foundation.

Courtesy of the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention

On Tuesday, state health officials issued a warning - this year’s flu season is bad, and it will get worse.

Images_of_Money / Flickr

Some lawyers say the U.S. Attorney's office in Charlotte is building a reputation for being especially aggressive in prosecuting health care fraud. As an example, the office earlier this year won its largest settlement ever with a single doctor.

BlueCross Raises Rates On Obamacare Exchange In NC

Oct 22, 2014
BlueCross BlueShield

North Carolina's largest health insurance company is raising the cost of its plans on the insurance exchange that's part of the Affordable Care Act. But the hike by BlueCross BlueShield shouldn't affect the pocketbook of most customers.

North Carolina Dramatically Reduces Medicaid Shortfall

Sep 8, 2014
nffcnnr / Flickr

For the first time in five years, North Carolina will not end a fiscal year with hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid cost overruns. That's according to the General Assembly's fiscal research division. The improvement comes after the state hired a consulting firm to help with budgeting.

Charlotte Resident Who Survived Ebola Shares Story

Sep 3, 2014
Michael Tomsic

A Charlotte resident who survived Ebola prayed, cried and laughed with her husband Wednesday as they shared stories of what they've gone through the last six weeks. It was the first time Nancy Writebol spoke publicly about her battle with the virus that's killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa.

Missionaries, Children Quarantined In Charlotte

Aug 12, 2014
Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

Several American missionaries serving in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak are now in Charlotte. They're healthy, but they'll remain in quarantine as a precaution.

A chartered flight from Liberia touched down at Charlotte-Douglas airport late Sunday night. Three missionaries were on board who are part of SIM, a Christian organization based here in Charlotte.

nffcnnr / Flickr

North Carolina's Senate, House and governor are getting closer to an agreement on overhauling the state's Medicaid program. Senate leaders announced a new plan Wednesday that's similar to what House leaders and Governor McCrory want. But there are still two key differences to work out.


Obamacare Enrollment Was Too Old In NC, So Premiums Will Likely Rise

May 9, 2014
Michael Tomsic

North Carolina's largest health insurance company says enrollment through the new exchange that's part of the Affordable Care Act missed expectations, and that means premiums on the exchange will likely rise.


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