Michigan Healthcare

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From debate over childhood vaccinations to the changing business of hospital finance, IPR has the stories of hospitals and public health that affect northern Michigan.

Rusty Blazenhoff/Flickr

Some Michigan medical marijuana patients and caregivers could soon be banned from smoking or growing cannabis where they live.

A state Senate panel approved a bill on Tuesday that would let landlords decide whether to allow tenants to grow or smoke medical marijuana.


It takes a lot of heavy lifting to become a physician, a nurse, a dietician or other health-care professional. Long years of coursework and clinical training leave little room to learn other important skills – the kind of skills that can make a health professional an important player in the public policy sphere and prepared to tackle some of our most urgent environmental health challenges.

That's why the Ecology Center is offering a new fellowship program that can train health professionals about effective civic engagement and environmental health risks.

Listen to the full piece above.

We’re all regularly exposed to the chemical Bisphenol A or BPA. Companies have taken it out of baby bottles, and many kinds of those hard plastic water bottles no longer have BPA in them.

But it’s still used on paper receipts and to line most food and drink cans.

Dana Dolinoy is a Searle Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

“There is mounting evidence that BPA has negative health effects in both animal models and humans,” says Dolinoy.

Researcher hunts for new medicines in the Great Lakes

Feb 4, 2014

Let's call today Throwback Tuesday, and go way, way back to the 1920s.

That's when Sir Alexander Fleming stumbled on a mold that stopped bacteria from growing in a petri dish. He called it penicillin.

Ever since that huge discovery, people have been looking all over the Earth for more organisms that can fight disease.

Brian Murphy has been searching at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

Medical marijuana advocates are blasting new legislation in Lansing that would make it easier to remove children from the homes of patients.

Senate Bill 736 would allow judges to inspect personal medical records to determine if marijuana use is appropriate. If they decide that it’s not appropriate, they could order the patient to stop using cannabis or deem them unfit parents or guardians.

Republican Party leaders say opposition to the Affordable Care Act is their No. 1 campaign issue for the midterm election.

It's been a little over two weeks since the Affordable Care Act officially kicked in.

How many people have been able to enroll? How many are getting financial assistance to help pay for their plan? And what deadlines do we need to be aware of?

Joining us once more is Don Hazaert, director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare, one of Michigan's four navigator agencies for the ACA.

Listen to full interview above. 

It's starting to make its presence felt in empty chairs at the workplace and sad little Facebook status updates saying, "I'm sick."

Flu season is upon us.

Federal officials report 35 states are now experiencing widespread influenza activity with young and middle-aged adults being hit hardest this year rather than the usual pattern of seniors or children.

Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of  Community Health and a professor at the University of Michigan, joined us today to give us an idea of what the flu season looks like in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

H1N1 Flu Is Back; Officials Recommend Vaccination

Jan 9, 2014
Alex E Promios/Flickr

State health officials say the H1N1 flu strain that caused widespread school closures in 2009 is again the most prevalent strain of flu this season. The strain is more dangerous for children and young, healthy adults than is most strains of flu.

So far the number of hospitalizations related to the flu is pretty similar to what’s been seen in other years. Still, health officials say they are seeing some disturbing trends.

Michigan’s plan to expand Medicaid health coverage to more than 300 thousand low-income residents has been approved by the federal government.   

It seems hard to believe in 2013, but it's true -- Michigan is one of only five states without a law protecting breastfeeding moms, allowing them to breastfeed their babies in any public or private location.

But that might change soon.
 
The State Senate recently passed a bill that would protect breastfeeding Moms. The bill now goes to the State House for lawmakers to discuss in the new session, starting January 8. 
 
Joining me is a lawmaker who has been working on the bill, State Senator Rebekah Warren.

Gwen Drews

  One-in-four Michiganders say they have been diagnosed at some point with depression or anxiety, but few people have had insurance coverage for treatment.

That changes next year. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more people will be covered under Medicaid and employer insurance plans.

State House Approves Marijuana Dispensaries

Dec 12, 2013
Rusty Blazenhoff/Flickr

Medical marijuana patients in Michigan would have more ways to legally obtain and consume cannabis under three bills that cleared the state House on Thursday.

House Bill 4271 would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate again in Michigan.

State Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) introduced the legislation. He says it’s critical for many patients to have safe access to marijuana right away.

Rick Pluta

A campaign is organizing to block the new law that will require people to buy a separate insurance policy for abortion coverage. Wednesday the state Legislature approved the law, which began as a Right to Life of Michigan petition initiative. Voter-initiated laws do not need the governor’s signature and it will take effect next year.

Abortion rights advocates are putting together a coalition to launch a new petition drive. This one would challenge the new law with a referendum on the November 2014 ballot.

The Michigan Legislature has approved a petition initiative that will require people to buy a separate health insurance policy for abortion coverage. The initiative passed with commanding Republican majorities in the House and the Senate. A handful of Democrats also voted yes.

State Representative Amanda Price (R-Holland) said people who object to abortion should not be forced to help pay for it in their insurance premiums.

“No matter how one frames the issue before us, abortion is an individual choice,” she said. “I will say that again: abortion is an individual choice.”

UPDATE 5:23PM: The Michigan House and Senate have approved a veto-proof law that will require consumers to buy separate policies for abortion coverage. The question was put to the Legislature by a petition drive after Governor Snyder vetoed a similar measure last year because there were no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The new law will take effect early next year.

Paul Maritinez/Flickr

The state Legislature is in its final week of voting before it adjourns for the year. One of the big questions is whether lawmakers will cast votes on a controversial anti-abortion issue this year. A petition drive gathered 300,000 thousand signatures to put the measure before lawmakers. It’s designed to restrict abortion insurance coverage.

A Rare Defiance

This is shaping up as a rare act of defiance by the Legislature, or at least its Republican leaders, when it comes to the anti-abortion lobby.  

Alan Cleaver/Flickr

A new report shows the Ludington and Petoskey areas are among some of the hardest areas in the state to get help with mental health problems – including anxiety and depression.

The report highlights problems with access to mental healthcare providers, even as mental health insurance coverage is expected to improve at the start of the year with the Affordable care Act.

A proposal that would put new restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions is headed to the state Legislature.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Monday moved forward a proposal that would ban abortion coverage in standard health insurance plans. Women would only be able to purchase abortion coverage as a separate rider.

The American Civil Liberties Union has decided to go directly to the source of its unhappiness with the way women are treated in Catholic hospitals. It's suing the nation's Catholic bishops.

Congress has passed new legislation to try to prevent another deadly fungal meningitis outbreak... But, will it be enough?

*Listen to the audio above.

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