Health

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Tasnim Shamma

President Barack Obama was in Charlotte today to introduce the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald and to announce that he will sign 19 new executive actions to help veterans. He spoke to a packed hall of veterans with the American Legion at the Charlotte Convention Center during their national conference.


Residents Express Approval For County Smoking Ban

Aug 12, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

About two dozen residents gathered at the Mecklenburg County Government Center on Monday night for a public forum on two regulations the county is considering. The first is a ban on smoking near government buildings. The second ordinance is a ban on all tobacco products – including e-cigarettes – on county parks and greenways.

For the most part, audience members were supportive. Dr. Sandra Burke is on the board of directors of the Charlotte chapter of the American Heart Association.

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.

Hyperspecialization In Youth Sports

Aug 7, 2014
pocketwiley / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Youth sports are definitely not the same as a generation or two ago. Gone are the days when kids could play whatever sport was in season, and could go from town sports all the way through high school, and sometimes college, without the benefit of private instructors, tournament teams and scouts. Today, kids are pushed to choose one sport at an early age and play that sport all year round if they have hope to play in high school (or even middle school). But that competitive strategy may physically damage kids, and may be more detrimental to kids' athletic prowess than helpful. Our panel talks about the pressure to specialize and why that may not be best for children. 

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.


AJC1 / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Experts in the medical field are hopeful that we are getting ever closer to the day when treatment for whatever ails you will be personalized.  Personalized medicine is a relatively new field of research, some of which is taking place in Charlotte.  If perfected, it would replace the one-size-fits-all approach and, based on a simple blood or urine test, provide treatment targeted just to you.  We talk about this pioneering approach with those on the cutting edge of research.

Jenn Durfey / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A new North Carolina law could allow two water contamination lawsuits to go forward, after they were stymied by a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this month.


TaxRebate.org.uk

North Carolina is poised to overhaul how it pays for doctor's visits and other physical health services under Medicaid. Governor Pat McCrory, state House and Senate leaders agree on that front, although they still need to work out differences in their broader plans for Medicaid.


Governor Pat McCrory, the state House and Senate have significant differences to work out before North Carolina adopts a budget. WFAE's Michael Tomsic looks at three examples of those differences: teacher pay, film incentives and Medicaid.

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.


healthcare.gov

In the Carolinas, the new health insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act didn't sign up nearly as many young people as the White House had targeted. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday released the final enrollment data for this year.


CMS already has mental health therapists in about thirty schools. Another 37 schools will soon be getting them. 


Ben Bradford / WFAE

As of today, the Mecklenburg County government no longer oversees mental health, substance abuse, or disability services for the county. MeckLINK—the organization it built to handle those services—closed today, as the larger, outside agency Cardinal Innovations takes over. MeckLINK operated for little over a year, but that tenure spurred fights with state lawmakers for control, cost the county millions of dollars, and contributed to the fall of two top county officials.


Mecklenburg County government will continue to supplement state and federal Medicaid dollars for mental health services with its own money. The county has provided those funds for years, but their fate has been in limbo, as officials prepare to hand over mental health oversight to an outside organization.


NC Overpaid Medicaid Providers In 2013

Mar 24, 2014

North Carolina paid Medicaid providers about $440,000 more than it should have last year. That's according to a report Friday from the state auditor's office, which found several problems in its annual review of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

About a third of the overpayment consisted of state money, as the federal government covers about two-thirds of Medicaid costs in North Carolina. Dave Richard is deputy secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, and he offered this perspective on the overpayment: 

N.C. DHHS

The McCrory administration wants doctors and hospitals to play a much larger role in managing the state's Medicaid program. The administration submitted its new Medicaid overhaul to the General Assembly Monday.


Obamacare May Not Be Signing Up Enough Young Adults

Mar 11, 2014
healthcare.gov

More than 250,000 people in the Carolinas have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace or exchange that's part of the Affordable Care Act. But there may not be enough young people signing up for the law to work as intended.


N.C. DHHS

Governor Pat McCrory's administration is changing course on its plan to overhaul North Carolina's most expensive health care program. Medicaid serves roughly 1.7 million low-income parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities. McCrory had rolled out a plan that some called a privatization scheme. Now, state leaders are finalizing details on a different approach that they'll present to the General Assembly by March 17.


In earlier versions of this story we mistakenly referred to Medicare expansion.  It should have been Medicaid expansion.

On Monday, lawmakers in Raleigh were given an assessment of the state’s ability to treat those with mental illness and those seeking treatment for addiction.  And that assessment was not good. 

They are on store shelves, advertised on television, and in the medicine cabinets of more than 50 percent of Americans. Some make dubious health claims and are largely unregulated by the FDA - tens of thousands of herbal and dietary supplements - from everyday vitamins and herbs to body-building and weight loss pills. A new study indicates that some of these supplements are linked to liver disease, liver failure and even an increased risk of death. They are not approved for safety and effectiveness by the FDA, and in fact, are only removed from the market after there has been a death or other evidence of injury from a product. It's been called the 'Wild West' and some people want that to change. We'll talk about what these supplements are, their potential health consequences and what you need to know to properly evaluate them - with a lead researcher of the study and a representative from the FDA.

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