• Deal to improve veterans' health care costs $17B

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs. An agreement announced by the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees is intended to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. The bill includes $10 billion in emergency spending to make it easier for veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care; $5 billion to hire doctors, nurses and other medical staff; and about $1.5 billion to lease 27 n

  • Southwest La. veterans clinics included in deal

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles. That's according to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, who each announced Monday that the clinics made it into the agreement between the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate veterans affairs committees. In separate news releases, both Landrieu and Boustany said authorization for southwest Louisiana's new clinics has moved too slowly, but each said the deal represents a significant step in seeing health care access expanded for veterans in the state. Landrieu's office says 50,000 veterans live in the region.

  • Chafee holding ceremony on breast density bill

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gov. Lincoln Chafee is ceremonially signing legislation aimed at raising awareness of a potential risk factor for breast cancer. The legislation passed by the General Assembly requires that each mammogram report include a notification to the patient of any finding of dense breast tissue and a suggestion that additional screening may be beneficial to some. Research shows that dense breast tissue may increase a woman's risk of getting breast cancer. Dense tissue can also make it harder for doctors to detect cancers, because it can hide abnormalities, including cancerous cells. A ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the Statehouse. Some say the notification is unnecessary and could

  • Groups seek probe into pepper spray use

    Yesterday

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — California civil rights organizations filed a complaint Monday with the Justice Department asking for a federal investigation into the use of pepper spray in San Diego County's juvenile detention facilities. Pepper spray use is rampant against youth offenders, including those at risk of suicide or self-harm, according to the complaint jointly filed by San Francisco-based Youth Law Center, California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. and a San Diego-area coalition of community organizations, including the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association. Officials also have used pepper spray against youth who failed to follow verbal instructions and on minors with sensitive medical conditions, according to the complaint.

  • Texas doctor's family under 21-day fever watch

    Yesterday

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — State health officials say the family of an American doctor infected with the Ebola virus is under a 21-day fever watch, but it's believed they had no contact with anyone with the deadly disease. A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services said Monday the agency interviewed Amber Brantly and her two children, ages 3 and 5, in the past couple of days and determined they hadn't been exposed to an infected person. Carrie Williams said "there is no need for isolation at this point" for them. Amber Brantly's husband, Dr. Kent Brantly, is in a Liberian hospital receiving treatment. Williams stressed that people aren't contagious until they show symptoms, and the doctor's fa

  • 5 Things to Know in Florida for July 29

    Yesterday

    Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today. MAN KILLED IN SMALL PLANE CRASH ON VENICE BEACH On Sunday morning, Ommy Irizarry posted a Facebook message about his 9th wedding anniversary, which was that day. He tagged his wife, Rebecca, in the post, saying he couldn't wait to see what the next 100 years have in store. Hours later, 36-year-old Irizarry would be dead, killed during a freak plane crash on a Florida Gulf Coast beach near Sarasota. The couple's daughter, 9-year-old Oceana, was critically injured. POLL: FLORIDA VOTERS APPROVE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA Florida voters overwhelmingly support the idea of legalized medical marijuana according to a Quinnipiac University

  • Medicare's own health looking better, report says

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare's financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement. Getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending, the program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030, the government said Monday. That's four years later than last year's estimate. As for Social Security, its massive retirement program will remain solvent until 2034, although disability benefits are in more immediate danger. The disability trust fund now is projected to run dry in just two years. At that point, unless Congress acts, the program will collect only enough payroll taxes to pay 81 percent of benefits.

  • APNewsBreak: Illinois: Doctor faked pot paperwork

    Yesterday

    CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois regulators allege a suburban Chicago doctor misled a 79-year-old patient by issuing a bogus medical marijuana certification for a $250 fee, according to a formal complaint filed Monday. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed the complaint against Dr. Joseph J. Starkman, who has a practice in Highland Park. It's the first such complaint against a doctor since medical marijuana regulations were approved and the second since the state's law went into effect. Starkman told the patient he qualified for marijuana after learning he had a previous diagnosis of glaucoma, but Starkman didn't perform an eye exam, according to the complaint obtained by The Associated Press.

  • No West Nile, encephalitis found in mosquitoes

    Yesterday

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The latest round of mosquito tests in Rhode Island for West Nile virus has found no sign of the disease. The state Department of Environmental Management reported Monday that test results from all 67 mosquito samples taken from over two dozen traps set statewide during the week of July 14 came back negative for both West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis. Results are pending on tests of 187 mosquito samples collected from traps set last week. Neither West Nile nor eastern equine encephalitis has been found in the state so far this year. DEM is reminding residents that personal protection against bites is the best defense against mosquito-borne illness.

  • Family Dollar and Trulia are big market movers

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE Family Dollar Stores Inc., up $15.08 to $75.74 The discount retailer is being bought for $8.5 billion by rival Dollar Tree, which is significantly broadening its reach as it looks to fend off Wal-Mart. Trulia Inc., up $8.69 to $65.04 The real estate website operator is being bought by rival Zillow in a $3.5 billion all-stock deal expected to close next year. Tyson Foods Inc., up $1.02 to $40.56 The meat processor reported a jump in quarterly sales and plans to sell its Mexican and Brazilian poultry units for $575 million. Armstrong World Industries Inc.

  • Minnesota Health officials address Ebola concerns

    Yesterday

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health is working with leaders in the local Liberian community to address concerns about an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Health officials are meeting with members of the West African community Monday. The health department says it's providing resources and information to community members, and is working on creating materials for local West African media about Ebola and travel precautions. The health department also says it's aware of the potential for Minnesotans to travel to and from West Africa. Since the outbreak began, officials have alerted Minnesota health care providers to be on the lookout for anyone with symptoms of the virus.

  • Delaware gets $690,000 grant for nutrition

    Yesterday

    DOVER, Del. (AP) — Public health officials say Delaware's Women, Infants and Children program has received a grant of more than $690,000 to implement an electronic benefits transfer system. The Division of Public Health said Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture made the one-time grant. It will allow the state to replace paper food checks or vouchers with a card for use at authorized stores. The new cards will be rolled out over a two-year period. Delaware's WIC program serves nearly 20,000 low-income pregnant and post-partum women and their young children.

  • Appeals court says St. Luke's can keep Saltzer

    Yesterday

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — One of Idaho's largest health care providers can continue to operate Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group while it challenges a prior ruling that it broke antitrust laws in its buyout of Saltzer, according to a recent federal appeals court decision. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday the appeal is a top priority, the Idaho Statesman reported (http://bit.ly/1nNRqCv). Acknowledging that federal appeals cases usually take years to complete, the judges said they will schedule the case for the first opening in January. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that St.

  • Ohio won't investigate Cedar Point ride accident

    Yesterday

    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's amusement ride inspectors won't be conducting an official investigation into an accident at Cedar Point that injured at least two people, but will have to give the OK for the swing ride to reopen. The state only investigates accidents when someone is admitted to a hospital or stays overnight. Two people were hurt Saturday night when a cable snapped on the Skyhawk ride that swings up to 125 feet in the air, said Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards. One person was treated at the park and another was treated at a hospital, Edwards said. Details were not released about the severity of the injuries or whether those injured were on the ride or watching it.

  • Donor gives OHSU $100 million for cancer research

    Yesterday

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Health & Science University says it's closer to matching Nike co-founder Phil Knight's challenge for cancer research with the help of a new $100 million donation. The gift from a donor who asked to remain anonymous puts the Portland school's campaign over the $400 million mark, officials said Monday. Last year, Knight offered $500 million to OHSU if it could raise an equal amount by Feb. 4, 2016. Including the new gift, OHSU has collected more than $218 million in private pledges and donations from more than 5,800 supporters. The Oregon Legislature has added $200 million more to help meet the goal. "It's an extraordinary boost in confidence that we're going to complete the match," sa

  • Ballwin woman sentenced in Medicare fraud

    Yesterday

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County business owner has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution for bank and Medicare fraud. Tina Kuehl of Ballwin was sentenced Monday in federal court in St. Louis. She previously pleaded guilty to felony bank and health care fraud as well as three counts of making false statements. Federal prosecutors say Kuehl oversaw an organized effort at her home health business, Better Way Home Care of Ellisville, to defraud the federal insurance program by inflating the number of patient therapy visits eligible for reimbursement and submitting false diagnostic codes. The bank fraud involved a foreclosed $305,000 property loan from a Mar

  • Dozens treated for illness at Keith Urban concert

    Yesterday

    MANSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say several dozen people were treated for alcohol-related illnesses at a weekend Keith Urban concert in Massachusetts. Police and fire officials say ambulances from five surrounding communities responded to the Saturday night concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, about 30 miles south of Boston. At least 46 people were treated and 22 were taken to local hospitals. Police say more than 50 people were taken into protective custody at the concert, and some could face charges. Officials say about 18,000 country music fans attended the concert at the outside venue.

  • Third West Nile virus case in Mississippi

    Yesterday

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting the state's third human case of West Nile virus for 2014. The new reported case is in Rankin County. Earlier, health officials reported cases in Newton and Hinds counties. The state health department only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2013, Mississippi had 45 West Nile cases and five deaths. State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs says the second case is a reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito exposures, particularly ahead of the active summer months. In 2012, Mississippi had 247 West Nile cases and five deaths.

  • Mother: Doctor with Ebola sought to be missionary

    Yesterday

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis woman whose son contracted Ebola while working in Liberia says family members are praying for his recovery. Dr. Kent Brantley is the medical director for the Ebola care center of the aid group Samaritan's Purse in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Samaritan's Purse Vice President Ken Isaacs says Brantly is in stable and very serious condition. His mother, Jan Brantly, says he had wanted to be a medical missionary from an early age. She says the Indianapolis Heritage Christian High School graduate began going on mission trips while young and has also worked in Uganda and Tanzania. An Indiana University School of Medicine spokeswoman says Brantly graduated from there in 2009.

  • Florida voters approve of medical marijuana

    Yesterday

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Any way you look at it — age, gender or party registration — Florida voters overwhelmingly support the idea of legalizing medical marijuana, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday. The poll found 88 percent support for medical use of marijuana compared to only 10 percent who opposed. And most Florida voters also approve of allowing adults to have small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, with 55 percent in favor compared to 41 percent who oppose, the poll found. Florida voters will decide in November whether to legalize medical marijuana. While the poll didn't specifically ask about the ballot question, it indicates the issue will meet the 60 percent support needed for