Health

401(k) 2013 / Flickr

If you tried to sign up for health coverage before the Feb. 15 deadline, but couldn't because of computer glitches and hotline issues, now you’ve got an extra week.

The feds are giving Michiganders a grace period until Feb. 22 because there were so many problems with the Obamacare sign-up.

FLICKR USER PAHO/WHO / FLICKR

There are now 121 cases of measles in the U.S., with one confirmed case in Michigan. That’s according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control. Of those cases, 85% are linked to an outbreak at Disneyland.

User: Limbic / Flickr

Thousands of Michiganders will have something to smile about if Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal, which takes steps to improve access to dental care, passes through the Legislature.

Snyder wants to expand the state's Healthy Kids Dental program to the three most populous counties in the state - Oakland, Wayne and Kent - for children up to age 8.

Pediatric dentist Martin Makowski, president of the Michigan Dental Association, said children who can't see a dentist regularly stand to lose a lot more than just teeth.

A child at Mott Children's hospital is one of five Michigan newborns saved because of state-required heart screenings. 

Newborn Payton Morris was minutes away from being discharged from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital when her parents learned that she had failed a new state mandated heart test. 

Laura Sprague

Laura Sprague is a personal trainer in Kalamazoo with a unique take on physical wellness. Her clients are aged 13-84 and she has worked with people who are obese, able-bodied, recovering from illnesses, or who are in wheelchairs.

When Sprague initially meets a client, she asks them to describe their relationship with their body. She finds the answers can be deeply revealing.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Health experts hope a change in Michigan's vaccination waiver policy ensures more kids are immunized in a state with the country's fourth-highest percentage of kindergartners exempted from at least one vaccine.

The new rule was sought by Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and approved by lawmakers. It took effect Jan. 1 and comes amid a rise in whooping cough and measles cases.

Wikimedia Commons

February 7th marks the 130th birthday of the American writer Sinclair Lewis, whose 1925 Pulitzer-prize winning novel Arrowsmith was the first novel to focus on the life of a medical scientist.

University of Michigan physician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel says it's a wonderful historical analysis of everything that is great and problematic with American medicine.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for Michiganders who still need to sign up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. 

February 15th is the deadline to sign up or face a penalty.

The initial roll out of Obamacare was marked by numerous problems.  Computer glitches frustrated tens of thousands of Michiganders who tried to log on to the online marketplace. 

“If you want to make some kind of comparison, the glitches this year are almost non-existent,” says Dizzy Warren, with Enroll Michigan.

She says the second year of Obamacare has gone much smoother than the first.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new campaign to get people in greater Lansing to live healthier is underway.

During his State of the City address this week, Mayor Virg Bernero stepped on a scale.  

As people in the audience let out surprised giggles, a doctor from Lansing’s Sparrow hospital announced the mayor tipped the scales at 198 pounds. Then the doctor added, “That’s a BMI of 30. That makes you clinically obese.”

Flickr user Internet Archive Book Images / Flickr

This week marks the 117 year anniversary of the first radiation treatment for cancer. Emil Grubbe is credited for his work on the case when he was still in medical school.

University of Michigan physician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel says Grubbe was still a student when he discovered that huge doses of radiation may be able to kill cells. This discovery came after he severely burned his hand by using an early x-ray on it multiple times over a short duration. The technology had only been invented a few months prior and little was known about the consequences of the high doses of radiation involved.

Andrian Clark / Flickr

DETROIT - Federal health officials say about 300,000 Michigan residents have signed up for health care through the federal exchange, most with financial help.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters Tuesday that the 299,750 sign-ups as of Jan. 16 represent those who have selected a health plan or re-enrolled, not paid. Of those, 33% enrolled for the first time.

Andrew Pennebaker / Flickr

A small crowd of Flint residents came out to Monday night's city council meeting to protest what they say is discolored, odorous, unsafe water coming out of their taps. 

"It smells horribly," says Cindy Marshall. "I took a shower the other night and my eyes were blood red and burning. I broke out in a rash and was scratching like crazy just from taking a shower."

Vaccine informational sheets.
user DARWIN.WINS / Flickr

The measles outbreak has made it to Michigan.

After the mounting headlines about an outbreak that seems to have begun in California’s Disneyland, the first Michigan case was diagnosed late last week.

The diagnosed individual is an adult in Oakland country and according to Dr. Matthew Davis, the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health and a Professor at the University of Michigan, this case may well be connected to the Disneyland outbreak.

Rob Swatski / Flickr

It became a kind of overnight urban legend.

A couple of years ago, Detroit's "50,000 feral dogs" made national headlines, which in turn drew eye rolls from residents sick and tired of seeing their city depicted as an apocalyptic hellscape, especially when that 50,000 number was sketchy at best.

Stan Larkin, the first Michigan patient to receive an artificial heart.
University of Michigan

According to the American Heart Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with heart failure. These failures can advance to the point where medications, stents, pacemakers, and lifestyle changes are no longer effective options. If that happens, patients may wind up on a list for a new heart transplant.

University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

The cost of school sports is keeping many kids off the field, according to the latest poll by the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital. 

The poll asked parents of children 12-17 years old across the nation how they felt about participation fees for sports. 

There's money to be made around the passion for Michigan football at Michigan Stadium.
Anthony Gattine / Flickr

One in four young adults between the ages of 18-24 has a diagnosable mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. 

But student athletes are far less likely to seek help than non-athletes, says a 2014 study done by a group called the Healthy Minds Network, which is run by a University of Michigan professor. 

So with funding from the NCAA, the University of Michigan started a pilot program this fall to reduce the stigma around mental health for athletes.

Giulia Barbero / Flickr Creative Commons

That’s the surprisingly sudden, fierce debate that's popped up in Detroit, with the city's Black Mothers Breast Feeding Association publishing a list of concerns this week about a breast milk company’s early plans to recruit moms in the city.

First off, yes: you can sell breast milk.

Morguefile

The federal early education program Head Start could help children fight obesity, according to a new study published today in the online journal Pediatrics.

Julie Lumeng, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and the study's lead author, sampled almost 44,000 Michigan children.

"Over the course of their time in Head Start, if they started the year obese, they become slimmer," said Lumeng.  And the Head Start kids who were obese or overweight were more likely to slim down by the end of the school year than pre-schoolers in the two comparison groups.  

Grand Rapids' "medical mile"
John Eisenschenk / Creative Commons

Hospital expenses grew by 108% in Grand Rapids between 2002 and 2013, according to a study released today by Grand Valley State University. It compared the hospital market in Grand Rapids to Detroit and six other cities.

Patients are being admitted less often and have shorter stays.

3D model of a flu virus.
CDC

It seems like everyone is talking about the flu.

Dr. Matthew Davis is chief medical executive for the state Department of Community Health, and a professor at the University of Michigan.

Popular buzz has pegged this as a pretty miserable flu season. We ask whether the statistics back this up.

Listen to our conversation above.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city leaders are trying to quell concerns about the safety of the city’s water.

Concerns were raised last year by a string of water advisories, along with complaints of discolored, smelly water flowing from home faucets. 

This week, Flint residents received notices that their water system violated the Safe Drinking Water Act. Tests conducted last year revealed a higher an acceptable level of trihalomethane or THM.  THM is a byproduct of the chlorination process.  

Marianne Udow-Phillips is Director of the University of Michigan's Center for Healthcare Research.
user mudowp / Twitter

Marianne Udow-Phillips, Director of the UM Center for Healthcare Research, is not making any more predictions. 

At least, not about health insurance coverage rates in Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Some hospitals in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are implementing restrictions on visitors to help prevent patients and staff from catching the flu.

  The Mining Journal of Marquette reported Wednesday that each patient at UP Health System-Marquette is allowed only two visitors and those are limited to the patient's advocate, immediate family member or significant other.

moppet65535 / Creative Commons

There’s been a spike in the number of people going to the emergency room with flu like symptoms in Kent County.

Brian Hartl is an epidemiologist with the Kent County Health Department.

He says nearly 17% of people coming into the emergency room in the last week reported symptoms of flu-like illness.

Alex Proimos / flickr

Most Michigan patients should be able to access primary care doctors - even though the Affordable Care Act means more people are likely looking for appointments.

Nine out of ten Michigan primary care doctors say they have capacity for new patients. And almost two-thirds say they are accepting new Medicaid patients.  That's according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Changes in how doctors are paid for treating some injured employees covered by workers' compensation are expected to address the long-term use of pain relievers and help cut medical costs for Michigan job providers.

The Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency says the new rules prevent reimbursements for opioid treatment beyond 90 days for non-cancer related chronic pain unless physicians meet detailed reporting requirements.

MDCH

The Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital has a new director.

Jill Krause directed a division of a mental health organization in Kent County and has over 20 years of experience in the field.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s already proving to be an intense flu season at many Michigan hospitals.

“It’s been a very heavy season so far. We’ve had about four times the normal number of flu cases as we had at this time in previous years,” says Dr. Matthew Sims, director of infectious disease research at Beaumont hospitals.

Other hospitals in the region are reporting a similar spike.

JazzyJeff85 / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set new standards of nutrition for school meals, school vending machines, and snack bars. The agency wants to limit fat, sugar, sodium and calories.

A study by a team at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research shows how badly school menus and food offerings needed to be overhauled.

Yvonne Terry-McElrath is an author of the study.

*Listen to Terry-McElrath below

Pages