Health Care Reform - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/cat/healthcarereform Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) Utahns, still need health insurance? There are options http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57802377-78/insurance-health-coverage-plans.html.csp For months, consumers have been told that their last chance to buy health insurance was March 31, the deadline for enrolling in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) online insurance marketplace. That’s generally true — with a few major caveats bound to befuddle consumers. With a few exceptions, the marketplace www.HealthCare.Gov is closed until the next sign-up period, starting Nov. 15. But some insurers, such as Arches Health Plan, Humana and SelectHealth, are selling Obamacare policies off the exch... For months, consumers have been told that their last chance to buy health insurance was March 31, the deadline for enrolling in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) online insurance marketplace. That’s generally true — with a few major caveats bound to befuddle consumers. With a few exceptions, the marketplace www.HealthCare.Gov is closed until the next sign-up period, starting Nov. 15. But some insurers, such as Arches Health Plan, Humana and SelectHealth, are selling Obamacare policies off the exch... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 57802377@www.sltrib.com Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:09:58 MDT 24 Utah providers billed Medicare $1M or more in 2012 http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57807896-78/million-medicare-utah-doctors.html.csp Eighteen Utah doctors and six businesses drew down more than $1 million apiece in 2012 from Medicare, according to a detailed federal database of physician billings. Statewide, about 160 providers received a total of $79.8 million in payments from the government program for the elderly that year. Utah health care businesses, such as laboratories and ambulance services, billed an additional $79.7 million. That’s a sliver of the $77 billion Medicare paid physicians and such services nationally i... Eighteen Utah doctors and six businesses drew down more than $1 million apiece in 2012 from Medicare, according to a detailed federal database of physician billings. Statewide, about 160 providers received a total of $79.8 million in payments from the government program for the elderly that year. Utah health care businesses, such as laboratories and ambulance services, billed an additional $79.7 million. That’s a sliver of the $77 billion Medicare paid physicians and such services nationally i... 57807896@www.sltrib.com Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:30:40 MDT Fewer Utah kids going without health insurance http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57797718-78/percent-health-utah-kids.html.csp Fewer Utah children are going without health insurance now than in 2008, the first full year of the Great Recession. The uninsured rate for children fell to 9.8 percent in 2012 from 12.4 percent in 2008, according to an analysis of census data by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That’s still higher than the national rate for kids of 7.5 percent, which is also dropping. But the push for near-universal coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which took full effect in January, is bound to accel... Fewer Utah children are going without health insurance now than in 2008, the first full year of the Great Recession. The uninsured rate for children fell to 9.8 percent in 2012 from 12.4 percent in 2008, according to an analysis of census data by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That’s still higher than the national rate for kids of 7.5 percent, which is also dropping. But the push for near-universal coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which took full effect in January, is bound to accel... 57797718@www.sltrib.com Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:41:14 MDT Sebelius: 7.5 million now signed up http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57801860-68/million-sebelius-7.5-health.csp Washington • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law. That’s a 400,000 increase from the 7.1 million that Obama announced last week at the end of the law’s open enrollment period. The figure exceeded expectations, a surprise election-year success for the law after a disastrous roll-out. Sebelius disclosed the new figure during a hearing Thursday before the Senate Finance... Washington • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law. That’s a 400,000 increase from the 7.1 million that Obama announced last week at the end of the law’s open enrollment period. The figure exceeded expectations, a surprise election-year success for the law after a disastrous roll-out. Sebelius disclosed the new figure during a hearing Thursday before the Senate Finance... 57801860@www.sltrib.com Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:44:01 MDT Utah tracking shows persistent drug shortages nationwide http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57790583-78/shortages-drug-saline-drugs.html.csp There is no remedy in sight for America’s drug shortage. The number of new shortages has dropped steadily over the past two years from a high of 267 in 2011, mostly due to a reporting requirement that allows regulators to get ahead of anticipated problems and intervene, according to the University of Utah’s Drug Information Service. But unresolved shortages from years past are pushing up the total number of drugs in short supply. The U.’s tracking service reported 273 active shortages in the fo... There is no remedy in sight for America’s drug shortage. The number of new shortages has dropped steadily over the past two years from a high of 267 in 2011, mostly due to a reporting requirement that allows regulators to get ahead of anticipated problems and intervene, according to the University of Utah’s Drug Information Service. But unresolved shortages from years past are pushing up the total number of drugs in short supply. The U.’s tracking service reported 273 active shortages in the fo... 57790583@www.sltrib.com Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:25:49 MDT Kane County adult hospitalized for hantavirus http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57785292-78/hantavirus-bleach-cleaning-health.html.csp An adult in Kane County is being hospitalized for hantavirus, Utah’s first confirmed case of the year, state health officials say. Officials are still investigating and don’t yet know how or exactly when the individual was infected. The individual’s condition was also unknown on Monday. There is no anti-viral medicine for hantavirus and treatment involves providing supportive care, said Dave Heaton, a spokesman for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. Exposure is more common in rural ar... An adult in Kane County is being hospitalized for hantavirus, Utah’s first confirmed case of the year, state health officials say. Officials are still investigating and don’t yet know how or exactly when the individual was infected. The individual’s condition was also unknown on Monday. There is no anti-viral medicine for hantavirus and treatment involves providing supportive care, said Dave Heaton, a spokesman for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. Exposure is more common in rural ar... 57785292@www.sltrib.com Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:05:09 MDT Gifted Utah therapy dog ‘knew his mission was finished’ http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home3/57769567-200/putter-springmeyer-dog-therapy.html.csp Putter, a gentle dog with dark watery eyes, was at home in the Utah Capitol. Welcomed at closed-door talks with the governor, Senate president and House speaker, the most he contributed was a snore or two. He was a quiet, calming influence. But this winter’s legislative session was to be his last. The Shih Tzu, a six-year companion and service dog to health industry lobbyist and former Assistant Attorney General Douglas Springmeyer, died Jan. 13 — just weeks after Springmeyer underwent surgery f... Putter, a gentle dog with dark watery eyes, was at home in the Utah Capitol. Welcomed at closed-door talks with the governor, Senate president and House speaker, the most he contributed was a snore or two. He was a quiet, calming influence. But this winter’s legislative session was to be his last. The Shih Tzu, a six-year companion and service dog to health industry lobbyist and former Assistant Attorney General Douglas Springmeyer, died Jan. 13 — just weeks after Springmeyer underwent surgery f... 57769567@www.sltrib.com Sat, 05 Apr 2014 12:23:32 MDT Medicare open to Utah’s elderly, married same-sex couples http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57770626-78/medicare-sex-couples-married.html.csp The Obama administration on Thursday took extra steps to open Medicare benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is now accepting special enrollment requests from such couples, allowing those over age 65 to enroll outside the conventional enrollment period for Medicare Part A and Part B, medical and durable equipment coverage. The agency also will give those couples a reprieve from late enrollment penalties. “Today’s announcement helps to cl... The Obama administration on Thursday took extra steps to open Medicare benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is now accepting special enrollment requests from such couples, allowing those over age 65 to enroll outside the conventional enrollment period for Medicare Part A and Part B, medical and durable equipment coverage. The agency also will give those couples a reprieve from late enrollment penalties. “Today’s announcement helps to cl... 57770626@www.sltrib.com Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:53:08 MDT Utah, nation see rapid rise in e-cigarette poisonings http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57770988-78/cigarette-poisonings-calls-poison.html.csp Scientists are still studying and debating the health risks of e-cigarettes and whether they cause cancer. But there’s no question that nicotine can be hazardous — even lethal — if ingested. And a sharp rise in e-cigarette-related calls to the nation’s poison control centers suggests that’s happening with greater frequency. An analysis of calls involving conventional cigarettes and liquid e-cigarettes by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the proportion of e-cig cal... Scientists are still studying and debating the health risks of e-cigarettes and whether they cause cancer. But there’s no question that nicotine can be hazardous — even lethal — if ingested. And a sharp rise in e-cigarette-related calls to the nation’s poison control centers suggests that’s happening with greater frequency. An analysis of calls involving conventional cigarettes and liquid e-cigarettes by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the proportion of e-cig cal... 57770988@www.sltrib.com Thu, 03 Apr 2014 22:48:39 MDT House GOP moves against health care law http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57769558-68/health-law-full-hours.html.csp Washington • House Republicans renewed their election-year assault on President Barack Obama’s health care law Thursday, their opposition undimmed just days after Obama celebrated news that more than 7 million Americans had signed up for coverage under the law. The GOP-led chamber voted 248-179 to change the law’s definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. The result would be that fewer workers would get employer-sponsored health coverage and hundreds of thousands more... Washington • House Republicans renewed their election-year assault on President Barack Obama’s health care law Thursday, their opposition undimmed just days after Obama celebrated news that more than 7 million Americans had signed up for coverage under the law. The GOP-led chamber voted 248-179 to change the law’s definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. The result would be that fewer workers would get employer-sponsored health coverage and hundreds of thousands more... 57769558@www.sltrib.com Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:50:02 MDT U of U “goes blue” for autism awareness week http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57754254-78/autism-blue-week-awareness.html.csp It’s a rare occasion that the University of Utah “goes blue.” But on Wednesday evening the U.’s George S. Eccles Legacy Bridge will be illuminated in blue lights to mark Autism Awareness Week. The bridge lighting will follow a 6:30 to 8 p.m. talk by U. psychiatry professor Deborah Bilder on new prevalence data and research efforts afoot to better understand autism spectrum disorders. A week later, on April 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., autism specialist Bruce Parsons and Eliot Francis, a high-functi... It’s a rare occasion that the University of Utah “goes blue.” But on Wednesday evening the U.’s George S. Eccles Legacy Bridge will be illuminated in blue lights to mark Autism Awareness Week. The bridge lighting will follow a 6:30 to 8 p.m. talk by U. psychiatry professor Deborah Bilder on new prevalence data and research efforts afoot to better understand autism spectrum disorders. A week later, on April 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., autism specialist Bruce Parsons and Eliot Francis, a high-functi... 57754254@www.sltrib.com Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:07:01 MDT Deadline brings high interest for health insurance http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57758466-68/health-insurance-enrollment-deadline.html.csp Sacramento, Calif. • A blizzard, jammed phone lines and unreliable websites failed to stop throngs of procrastinating Americans from trying to sign up for health coverage by the midnight Monday deadline for President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative. In Louisiana, wait times for callers lasted up to two hours. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee received nearly 1,900 calls by midday compared with about 800 the previous Monday. And in California, where enrollments surged toward... Sacramento, Calif. • A blizzard, jammed phone lines and unreliable websites failed to stop throngs of procrastinating Americans from trying to sign up for health coverage by the midnight Monday deadline for President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative. In Louisiana, wait times for callers lasted up to two hours. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee received nearly 1,900 calls by midday compared with about 800 the previous Monday. And in California, where enrollments surged toward... 57758466@www.sltrib.com Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:03:01 MDT Utah research: Genetic marker may predict heart attacks http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57743674-78/heart-attack-blood-patients.html.csp Cardiologists have called it their greatest unmet need — a test to predict when a patient is about to have a heart attack. Scientists in California last year detected elevated clusters of endothelial cells in the blood of heart attack victims. Now researchers at Utah’s Intermountain Medical Center have identified a genetic signal in the blood that surfaces days before a heart attack. “We think it’s an interesting signal that may help us anticipate and prevent heart attacks through aggressive ... Cardiologists have called it their greatest unmet need — a test to predict when a patient is about to have a heart attack. Scientists in California last year detected elevated clusters of endothelial cells in the blood of heart attack victims. Now researchers at Utah’s Intermountain Medical Center have identified a genetic signal in the blood that surfaces days before a heart attack. “We think it’s an interesting signal that may help us anticipate and prevent heart attacks through aggressive ... 57743674@www.sltrib.com Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:31:29 MDT Health care website stumbles on last day http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57752664-68/website-health-site-sign.html.csp Washington • The Obama administration’s health care website stumbled early Monday , falling out of service for nearly four hours on deadline day for sign-ups. After it was fixed, officials plowed ahead with a nationwide promotional drive, almost like getting out the vote on Election Day. Early visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. At times the visitors were also directed to a virtual waiting room — a feature designed to ease the strain ... Washington • The Obama administration’s health care website stumbled early Monday , falling out of service for nearly four hours on deadline day for sign-ups. After it was fixed, officials plowed ahead with a nationwide promotional drive, almost like getting out the vote on Election Day. Early visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. At times the visitors were also directed to a virtual waiting room — a feature designed to ease the strain ... 57752664@www.sltrib.com Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:31:29 MDT Utah’s autism rate holding steady, but still above average http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57735693-78/autism-utah-bilder-rate.html.csp Utah’s autism rate continues to be above average, but it’s holding steady at about 2 percent of the population as the national rate rises, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. One in 54 Utah children have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder, according to an analysis of 2010 data. That’s down from 1 in 47 in 2008, but still roughly 2 percent of the population, said Deborah Bilder, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah and one of the ... Utah’s autism rate continues to be above average, but it’s holding steady at about 2 percent of the population as the national rate rises, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. One in 54 Utah children have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder, according to an analysis of 2010 data. That’s down from 1 in 47 in 2008, but still roughly 2 percent of the population, said Deborah Bilder, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah and one of the ... 57735693@www.sltrib.com Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:29:16 MDT Utah leads nation in insured swamped by medical bills http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57727868-78/underinsured-health-report-utah.html.csp Utah may not have the most uninsured residents, but it ties with Idaho for the country’s highest rate of underinsured — those who struggle to pay for health care, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund. The analysis of U.S. Census data shows underinsured rates range from a low of 8 percent in New Hampshire to highs of 16 percent in Mississippi and Tennessee and 17 percent in Idaho and Utah. Being underinsured is defined as living in a household that spent 10 percent or more of its in... Utah may not have the most uninsured residents, but it ties with Idaho for the country’s highest rate of underinsured — those who struggle to pay for health care, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund. The analysis of U.S. Census data shows underinsured rates range from a low of 8 percent in New Hampshire to highs of 16 percent in Mississippi and Tennessee and 17 percent in Idaho and Utah. Being underinsured is defined as living in a household that spent 10 percent or more of its in... 57727868@www.sltrib.com Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:06:33 MDT Utah families celebrate passage of cannabis ‘Charlee’s Law’ http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57728706-78/cannabis-utah-law-oil.html.csp Utah’s hemp supplement bill, better known as “Charlee’s Law,” is a technical piece of legislation, packed with a lot of “legalese,” said sponsor Rep. Gage Froerer at the governor’s ceremonial signing of the law on Tuesday. But it’s a symbol of compassion for parents who have exhausted all medical remedies for their children, and a promise of hope for a better future, he said. “And number one it’s about trust,” Froerer said. “The state of Utah is willing to trust the parents of this state in mak... Utah’s hemp supplement bill, better known as “Charlee’s Law,” is a technical piece of legislation, packed with a lot of “legalese,” said sponsor Rep. Gage Froerer at the governor’s ceremonial signing of the law on Tuesday. But it’s a symbol of compassion for parents who have exhausted all medical remedies for their children, and a promise of hope for a better future, he said. “And number one it’s about trust,” Froerer said. “The state of Utah is willing to trust the parents of this state in mak... 57728706@www.sltrib.com Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:06:33 MDT How will marijuana grower decide who gets cannabis oil? http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57730440-78/alepsia-utah-patients-cannabis.html.csp The non-profit Realm of Caring Foundation in Colorado markets an oil, Alepsia, that it says will qualify under Utah’s upcoming cannabis law. There is a waiting list, including 50 Utah children, for Alepsia. To be legal for use in Utah after July 1, an oil can contain no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gives users a high, and no less than 15 percent cannabidiol (CBD). READ MORE: Utah families celebrate passage of cannabis “Charlee’s ... The non-profit Realm of Caring Foundation in Colorado markets an oil, Alepsia, that it says will qualify under Utah’s upcoming cannabis law. There is a waiting list, including 50 Utah children, for Alepsia. To be legal for use in Utah after July 1, an oil can contain no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gives users a high, and no less than 15 percent cannabidiol (CBD). READ MORE: Utah families celebrate passage of cannabis “Charlee’s ... 57730440@www.sltrib.com Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:53:53 MDT Parents group: How to comply with new Utah cannabis law http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57730464-78/utah-cannabis-department-epilepsy.html.csp Charlee’s Law doesn’t take effect until July 2, 2014. Until then, here are steps and tips from Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy. Before applying for a hemp registration card, patients must: Have tried three treatments for epilepsy under the direction and documentation of a neurologist. Obtain a letter of recommendation from your neurologist affirming that you have intractable epilepsy and that you may benefit from treatment with hemp extract. You will need a copy of this statement, and the neuro... Charlee’s Law doesn’t take effect until July 2, 2014. Until then, here are steps and tips from Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy. Before applying for a hemp registration card, patients must: Have tried three treatments for epilepsy under the direction and documentation of a neurologist. Obtain a letter of recommendation from your neurologist affirming that you have intractable epilepsy and that you may benefit from treatment with hemp extract. You will need a copy of this statement, and the neuro... 57730464@www.sltrib.com Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:31:02 MDT Will Utahns with multiple sclerosis want cannabis treatments? http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57724253-78/cannabis-marijuana-therapies-academy.html.csp There’s little evidence that popular alternative therapies — such as bee venom, gingko biloba or reflexology — effectively treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new guidelines by the American Academy of Neurology. But medical marijuana in pill or oral spray form can ease MS-related muscle tightness and pain, a panel of nine doctors found after a review of 291 clinical studies. The guidelines, published Monday in the journal Neurology, may give a boost to the marijuana movement ... There’s little evidence that popular alternative therapies — such as bee venom, gingko biloba or reflexology — effectively treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new guidelines by the American Academy of Neurology. But medical marijuana in pill or oral spray form can ease MS-related muscle tightness and pain, a panel of nine doctors found after a review of 291 clinical studies. The guidelines, published Monday in the journal Neurology, may give a boost to the marijuana movement ... 57724253@www.sltrib.com Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:51:29 MDT