NPR Topics: Health Care

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The state of health care, health insurance, new medical research, disease prevention, and drug treatments. Interviews, news, and commentary from NPR's correspondents. Subscribe to podcasts.
Updated: 24 min 14 sec ago

Maybe You Should Rethink That Daily Aspirin

7 hours 46 min ago

A small dose of aspirin taken regularly can help prevent a second heart attack or stroke. But too many healthy people are taking the drug for prevention. And for them, the risks may outweigh benefits.

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Would Doctors Be Better If They Didn't Have To Memorize?

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 5:36am

For decades, first-year medical students have had to cram the details of the cellular metabolism cycle into their heads. Some med schools say it's time to quit cramming and focus on patients' lives.

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Would Doctors Be Better If They Didn't Have To Memorize?

Sun, 04/26/2015 - 5:36am

For decades, first-year medical students have had to cram the details of the cellular metabolism cycle into their heads. Some med schools say it's time to quit cramming and focus on patients' lives.

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As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

Sat, 04/25/2015 - 9:41am

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

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Couples Counseling Catches On With Tech Co-Founders

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 2:56pm

Friction between close business partners is the reason many startups fail. But increasingly in Silicon Valley, co-founders of companies are turning to therapists before things go south.

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More Whistleblowers Say Health Plans Are Gouging Medicare

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 5:08am

Federal authorities are investigating claims that some Medicare Advantage health plans have overcharged the government for years by claiming that patients are sicker than they are.

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Can A Person With Dementia Consent To Sex?

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 3:34pm

A jury in Iowa acquitted a man who had been criminally charged for having sex with his wife, who had Alzheimer's. Very few care facilities have policies on dementia, sex and consent.

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Is It Time To Make Medical And Family Leave Paid?

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:56am

Democrats in Congress have reintroduced a bill that would create a national paid leave program, covering two thirds of people's wages for up to 60 days a year. But small business owners are wary.

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Californians Can Now Pay Cash For Health Insurance At 7-Eleven

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:06am

Many people who are eligible for federal health insurance subsidies don't have bank accounts, which makes it hard to pay premiums. A system in California lets them pay with cash at stores.

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What's At Stake If Supreme Court Eliminates Your Obamacare Subsidy

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 3:56am

Each state has its own stories. In Louisiana, nearly 200,000 people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov, and about 90 percent now get subsidies. What if that help goes away?

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FDA Ponders Putting Homeopathy To A Tougher Test

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 3:46am

Homeopathy's popularity has exploded in recent years. Now the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether homeopathic remedies should have to be proven safe and effective.

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Top Hospital Ratings Prove Scarce In Medicare's Latest Tally

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:27am

Only 7 percent of the nation's hospitals assessed by Medicare were good enough to win 5-star ratings. The government used patient reviews to come up with the grades.

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Study: Insurers Fail To Cover All Prescribed Contraceptives

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:38pm

An analysis of health plans in five states found limited or no coverage for some forms of contraception. Insurers sometimes imposed copays or required women to pay the full cost of the contraceptives.

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When Keeping A Secret Trumps The Need For Care

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:08am

Young adults covered by their parents' health plans may balk at getting treatment for mental health or other conditions they would rather not have show up on family insurance statements.

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Marathon Bombing Survivors Face A World That Still Feels Out Of Control

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 3:40am

Martha and Alvaro Galvis were wounded in 2013's bombing of the Boston Marathon. One of the hardest things to deal with, they say, is the feeling that something random and scary could happen again.

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Congress Approves Longer-Term Fix For Medicare Reimbursements

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 12:41am

Eight senators, all Republicans, voted against the bill because funding has not been fully allocated for its $214 billion cost. President Obama says he will sign it.

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Is That Corporate Wellness Program Doing Your Heart Any Good?

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:31pm

Most employers have a wellness program, but who knows if it's actually improving your health. The American Heart Association is proposing its own standards for improving cardiovascular health at work.

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Digital Tools For Health Come With 'Hope, Hype And Harm'

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:51am

Medicine's move into the computer age has great potential for improving care. But patients and doctors still face serious challenges in adapting to the rush of new technology.

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Big Bills A Hidden Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 4:17am

Cancer treatment is increasingly expensive, even for patients who have insurance. Some doctors advocate discussing the costs of cancer treatment as they would hair loss, pain or other side effects.

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Why Some Doctors Hesitate To Screen Smokers For Lung Cancer

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 3:30am

Medicare now pays for some long-term smokers to get an annual test. These scans could save thousands of lives each year, but some doctors still worry risks outweigh benefits.

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