Health

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan officials hope to know by Christmas whether the Obama administration has accepted the state’s plan for extending Medicaid coverage to thousands of working poor people.

The state formally submitted its proposal to the federal government today.

The state wants waivers from the usual Medicaid rules so it can charge co-pays, set up health care savings accounts, and use financial incentives to encourage patients to adopt healthy behaviors.

Center for Disease Contorl / http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-facilities-map.html

The FBI wants victims of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak to report their case by Nov. 30. This call for information is part of an ongoing investigation into a contaminated set of steroid injections distributed by the New England Compounding Center that caused 264 infections in Michigan, resulting in 19 deaths. There were also three deaths of Michigan residents who were treated in Indiana.

kakisky / Morgue File

Michigan is getting $14.4 million for a program that does home visits for pregnant women and new mothers. A key goal is to reduce infant mortality. 

The Michigan Department of Community Health will use the money for prevention-focused home visits in at-risk communities. 

Michigan's infant mortality rate is above the national average.  Fourteen out of every 1,000 African American babies in Michigan die before they reach their first birthday. That is three times more than white babies.

Miki Yoshihito / Flickr

We can talk all we want about safety regulations, about child safety seats, which designs work best and why we should have children safely restrained in a traveling vehicle.

But all of that talk is trumped by the sometimes harsh realities of what doctors see in an emergency room. It's the physicians who see what happens when parents are careless about following safety laws, or when the laws themselves are not enough to protect children.

In 2012, more than 2,500 children under age 11 were hurt, and 16 youngsters died in car crashes. And that toll hasn't changed since 2005, despite advances in automotive design and child safety seats.

Why is this happening?

Dr. Michelle Macy, with the University of Michigan CS Mott Children's Hospital, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

NRDC

Michigan may not have a big problem with wild fires, but a new report claims Michigan does have a major problem with wildfire smoke.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is out with a report ranking Michigan seventh on a list of states with the most days with wildfire smoke in the air.

Photobucket

Nineteen occupations in Michigan may no longer be regulated under a recommendation from the state's Office of Regulatory Reinvention, which is part of the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

In the health field, the occupations include respiratory therapists, dieticians and nutritionists, acupuncturists, ocularists (someone who makes and fits prosthetic eyes) and speech pathologists.

Sono Tamaki / Flickr

Michigan has a high infant mortality rate -- especially among African American babies. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has launched a website that will provide resources and information about infant mortality.

Seven out of every 1000 babies born in Michigan won't see their first birthday. The African American infant mortality rate is twice as high. 

Foster Farms website

Michigan is among 18 states affected by an outbreak of salmonella.

Two of the nearly 300 confirmed cases of salmonella are in Michigan.

The outbreak has been traced to a California chicken producer, Foster Farms.

photo by Anna Strumillo Phuket - Thailand / www.fotopedia.com

The state and federal healthcare exchanges are, of course, a big chapter in the overhaul of the American healthcare model - a model that's very different from many other countries around the world.

The BBC's Alice Castle has lived in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. She's had the experience of being pregnant in both countries.

Click the audio above to listen to her unique perspective on the American healthcare system.

Morgue File

The number of Michigan deaths from drug overdose has tripled since 1999. The majority of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs.

Michigan has the 18th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the country, according to a national report on Prescription Drug Abuse by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) in Washington, D.C. 

nasirkhan / MorgueFile

Beginning next April, all babies born in Michigan will be screened for Critical Congenital Heart Disease -- or CCHD.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says Michigan will join 31 other states that include pulse oximetry screening to their newborn screening tests.

The painless test measures the amount of oxygen in a newborn's blood.

MDCH spokeswoman Angela Minicuci says congenital heart disease is one of the most common birth defects and impacts about nine out of every 1,000 newborns.

Michigan State University

It's called "Kinship Care."

It means relatives stepping in to raise a child, and it happens for many reasons.

Whether it's parents being deployed to combat in the Middle East, physical or mental illness, or incarceration, all over the country, grandparents or other relatives are being called on to raise a child. Today, more than 4.9 million children are living in grandparent-headed households.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s new online healthcare exchange went live today, meaning Michiganders would now have the opportunity to check out healthcare plans and subsidies available to them under the Affordable Care Act.

But the launch didn’t go without a couple of hiccups.

As the exchanges went live on the web, consumers encountered error messages, saying the high traffic to the exchanges would mean delays with actually looking at the plans.

healthcare.gov / YouTube

Today is the first day people can shop for health care plans at healthcare.gov

There are 73 health plans available on the exchange. These plans were approved by the federal and state governments.

Over the next six months, residents can enroll in the program. More from the Associated Press:

People earning between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty line will qualify for tax credits to offset monthly premiums. Besides the uninsured, small businesses and those who buy their own insurance may shop on the exchange. 

Flickr user Erik Eti Smit

Children whose families qualify for Medicaid are now eligible to receive free dental care in Washtenaw, Ingham and Ottawa counties through the Healthy Kids Dental program. Beginning today, 64,000 kids are added to the program which provides dental coverage to about half a million children in Michigan.

The Michigan budget was expanded to include this coverage. Angela Minicuci with the Michigan Department of Community Health says the program will hopefully expand to the five remaining counties that aren't yet covered under the program -- Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent and Kalamazoo.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of Michiganders can start signing up for new health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

But some may find they fall victim to what’s being called the ‘Family Glitch’.

The Affordable Care Act provides subsidies for families to get health insurance if an employer doesn’t provide adequate health insurance coverage.

Stethoscope
Adrian Clark / Flickr

As Medicaid expansion is coming, we’re starting to get a better picture of who will be covered. Much of Medicaid now is spent on people in nursing homes. But the expansion will include a lot of younger people, low-income workers.

A new study from the University of Michigan Medical School looks at the likely demographics and Tammy Chang, the lead author of that study, joined us in the studio to discuss the new faces of Medicaid. 

Listen to the interview above. 

Courtesy of Children First

Michigan's new healthcare exchange goes live next Tuesday (October 1), and the White House put out a sneek peak of sorts.

It’s a snapshot of prices Michiganders could pay for what are expected to be some of the most popular plans.

In terms of cost, Michigan is projected to be below the national average.

http://dept.stat.lsa.umich.edu/

The MacArthur Foundation has announced its “genius grants.” Twenty-four people who the Foundation want to recognize as exceptionally creative individuals who already have a track record of achievement and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.

One of those 24 is Susan Murphy, a Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan.

She joined us today to talk about her work and how she plans on using the money.

Listen to the full interview above.

user Tyrone Warner / Flickr

A new study finds young, gay black men in Michigan are often victims of physical, social and emotional abuse.

The Michigan State University study finds that abuse started early for many of these young men. About 70 percent of 180 black gay or bisexual men reported they were assaulted when they were 12 or younger.

"There are high rates of these kinds of exposures to traumas, and it is associated with things like having a substance abuse problem, depression, things like that," says MSU Professor of Ecological Community Psychology Robin Lin Miller.

CDC

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials say two infants have had measles this year, putting the state among 16 states with confirmed cases of the viral disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were 159 cases reported nationally as of Aug. 24. That's well above the average of 60 cases a year reported in 2001-2012.

Measles is a once common childhood disease now preventable through vaccination. The CDC says at least 82 percent of those infected this year weren't vaccinated.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Monday that the two Michigan cases involved children under 12 months old. It says both infants caught measles outside the U.S. and have recovered.

The agency says it's working to confirm a third infection.

Attorney General's office

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants the state to regulate and inspect drug compounding centers like the one that produced the medication that caused a nationwide meningitis outbreak a year ago.

At least 264 people were infected by an adulterated pain medication, and 19 died. Michigan suffered more casualties from the outbreak than any other state.

prweb.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation is being proposed to more closely regulate 470 compounding pharmacies in Michigan after a deadly outbreak of meningitis a year ago.

The infection of 264 Michigan residents, 17 who died, is blamed on contaminated steroids produced by a company in Massachusetts. But Michigan's attorney general, a top licensing official and a state senator say oversight of Michigan pharmacies should be strengthened to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/

A brand-new report card has been released from the bipartisan Commonwealth Fund.

The report examines just how well the health care systems in each of the 50 states are working. The conclusion: if you live in a state that generally does poorly in health care, it doesn't necessarily matter what your income level is. High-income people who live in these poorly-performing states are worse off than low-income people who live in states with high health scores.

Cathy Schoen is senior vice president at The Commonwealth Fund and the author of the new report. She spoke with Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, earlier in the day.

Listen to the full interview above.

Rina Miller / Michigan Radio

What was meant to stir a football rivalry in Michigan last Saturday has turned into a good deed. 

A skywriter left this message over the East Lansing sky last weekend: "Go Blue."

Those are fightin' words in Michigan State University territory.

The aerial taunt by University of Michigan supporters did not amuse most Spartan fans, but one managed to turn the jab into a  constructive form of revenge.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

State health officials are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a screening program that has saved the lives of more than seven thousand newborns.

Starting with just one test in 1963, Michigan doctors now routinely test newborn infants for more than 50 potentially life threatening conditions.

Matthew Davis is the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health.    He says infant screening is one of the best success stories in public health.

user striatic / Flickr

If you’re a Michigander looking for health insurance this fall, relax — help is on the way. Well, at least some help.

Earlier this August, Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reported four groups were picked by the federal government to navigate Michigan’s uninsured — or underinsured — through the new health insurance market developed under the Affordable Care Act.

On October 1 — the day the new marketplace opens up — the aptly named “navigators” will guide Michigan residents through their choices under Obamacare.

“Navigators are entities that are working on behalf of the exchange at no cost to consumers,” said Don Hazaert, the executive director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare. MCH is one of the organizations selected to navigate Michiganders, along with Community Bridges Management, the Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services, and American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The effort to train people to help Michiganders navigate the new federal health insurance law is gearing up.

Starting October 1st, Michiganders will be able to use an online marketplace to choose a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act. How many plans there will be and what the plans will offer is still unclear.

But several groups are preparing to help with the process.

Don Hazaert is the executive director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare. The group received a grant to help implement Obamacare in Michigan.

Andrian Clark / Flickr

Back in June, we wrote about some changes Michiganders will see in healthcare starting this fall. That's when people who currently do not have health insurance will be able to shop for a plan online.   

But a lot can change in three months — and that’s especially true when it comes to implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Here’s an updated rundown of what’s going on with healthcare in the Great Lake State.

Spc. Garett Hernandez/flickr

Over the past 12 years, nearly 50,000 American troops have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The visible injuries are often lost limbs from roadside improvised explosive devices. 

But, there are so many who are coping with the "non-visible" injuries: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, for example. The kinds of injuries that can worsen with time and tear apart a soldier's home life, or worse.

Today we talk with Rick Briggs, a retired Air Force Major who has come up with what he thinks will be a perfect refuge  for these vets: Camp Liberty, using the beautiful outdoors of mid-Michigan as a place of healing.

Briggs is also the manager of the veterans program for the Brain Injury Association of Michigan. 

Click on the link above to listen to the full interview.

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