• Nebraska DHHS to publish ACCESSNebraska performance reports

    Yesterday

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's beleaguered Department of Health and Human Services will publish public performance reports for its services to help residents apply for Medicaid and food stamps. Gov. Pete Ricketts' office and new DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips announced Friday that metrics such as payment accuracy, wait times and application processing for ACCESS Nebraska will be updated monthly on the department's website. ACCESS Nebraska processes applications and renewals for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, and Medicaid, but has been criticized for delays and errors. A lawsuit in August alleged that more than 30 percent of applications for SNAP benefits were not processed in the regulated 30-day ti

  • Amid meth's grim toll on Kansans, a case of hope

    Yesterday

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The woman has been off methamphetamine for four months now. She is literally pregnant with motivation. The 26-year-old, in recovery at a Wichita residential treatment center, expects to give birth to a son soon. In the struggle against one of the most destructive drugs, she is winning so far, a day at a time. Four months is the longest she has stayed sober while in recovery. It gives her hope, after the drug caused her to give up two other children. She is part of a wave of Kansas parents whose meth use has led to their children being removed or voluntarily turned over to others. In Wichita and across the state, an increasing number of children have been removed because of parents' meth use, records sho

  • Young, homeless and expecting her first baby in Springfield

    Yesterday

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Victor Thomas Lee Buford hasn't been born yet. His mother calls him "the jackhammer" on nights he can't stop kicking. He appears healthy on an ultrasound. He's about 15 inches long. He might have strawberry blonde hair and he will probably never meet his father. On the day he leaves the hospital, he will wear a new skull and bones onesie. Like his mother, he will probably be homeless. "I always wanted to be a mom — but not this way," said Elizabeth "Lyzz" Buford, 21, at an overnight shelter. "I'm just trying to take it one day at a time." Barely able to care for herself, she must learn to care for a newborn. She never intended to become pregnant but now that a li

  • 5-year-old namesake grandson of Jerry Tarkanian has stroke

    Yesterday

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Family members say the 5-year-old namesake grandson of famed basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has suffered a stroke. His parents say the boy complained of pain in his legs and was taken to University Medical Center at 4 a.m. Friday. Danny and Amy Tarkanian say he's undergoing testing and is showing signs of improvement. The family says the boy has never had health issues and is conscious and moving around better since the stroke. Danny Tarkanian is a former Republican congressional candidate and Amy Tarkanian is a political commentator and former Nevada GOP chairwoman. The boy's grandmother Lois Tarkanian is a Las Vegas city councilwoman. The elder Jerry Tarkanian, who led the 1990 UNLV team to

  • Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — GlaxoSmithKline is recalling remaining doses of a popular four-in-one flu vaccine because of effectiveness problems. The company alerted U.S. customers Tuesday that the vaccine can lose potency over time and fail to adequately protect against some strains of the flu. The Flulaval Quadrivalent Thimerosal-free vaccine in prefilled syringes is designed to protect against four strains of influenza virus. But Glaxo said in a letter it "cannot rule out potential suboptimal protection" in people who received the vaccine in early January or later. The letter was sent to about 1,000 customers throughout the U.S., including wholesale distributors, pharmacies, government agencies and physicians. The recall affe

  • St. Louis-area foot doctor gets 366 days prison for fraud

    Yesterday

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis foot doctor has been ordered to spend a year and a day in federal prison and pay $1.75 million for his role in submitting bogus health care claims. Sixty-six-year-old Dr. Lawrence Iken of Chesterfield was sentenced Friday in St. Louis, where Iken and his company pleaded guilty in January to a felony count of health care fraud. Iken must repay nearly $1 million related to false health care claims. Iken and his company also must pay the federal government more than $748,000 as part of a civil settlement.

  • Large measles outbreak traced to Disneyland is declared over

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — California health authorities on Friday declared an end to a large measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and triggered a national debate about vaccinations. Disease detectives for months raced to contain the highly contagious disease, which surfaced at Disney theme parks in December and spread to a half-dozen U.S. states, Mexico and Canada. The outbreak sickened 147 people in the U.S., including 131 in California. There were no deaths. Officials at the California Department of Public Health said no new infections have been reported for the past 42 days — or two incubation periods — meaning the outbreak is over in the U.S. "Having this measles outbreak behind us is a significant accom

  • Injured giants fan throws out first ball in San Jose

    Yesterday

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco Giants fan who was brutally beaten outside Dodger Stadium in 2011 has thrown the first pitch for the San Jose Giants home opener. The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bayareane.ws/1DqQJVd ) that Bryan Stow used a walker to reach the mound Thursday. He tossed an underhand ball about 15 feet. Stow says it was "a little scary" but he'd love to do it again. The Giants are the farm team for the San Francisco Giants. They beat Bakersfield 10-5. Stow said he plans to attend a San Francisco Giants game against the Los Angeles Dodgers next week. Stow was beaten by two Dodgers fans and left with severe brain damage. He was awarded $18 million in damages in 2014. Two of hi

  • Kentucky officials ask federal court to dismiss lawsuit

    Yesterday

    PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky state court system says a federal lawsuit over access to medication for drug addicts should be dismissed. The Kentucky Enquirer (http://cin.ci/1yxpLfi) reports the Administrative Office of the Courts filed a motion saying judges — not the court system — decide whether addicts who have been arrested can continue taking prescribed medication. Stephanie Watson filed the lawsuit in March in U.S. District Court in Pikeville. In the suit, she says the state violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by prohibiting drug addicts from taking medication for their addiction while they are out of jail on bond. The motion to dismiss says the state has relaxed its rules regarding addiction m

  • 5 dog flu cases in Lafayette area bring Indiana total to 17

    Yesterday

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The number of dog flu cases in Indiana has reached 17 with the confirmation of five additional cases in the Lafayette area. Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine spokesman Kevin Doerr confirmed the additional cases Friday. It followed the Indiana State Board of Animal Health's announcement Thursday of 12 cases, mostly in northwest Indiana. The board last week had asked veterinarians to informally notify the board of any cases they diagnose. The virus has swept the Chicago area in recent weeks, sickening more than 1,000 dogs and killing five dogs between January and March.

  • California health authorities say large measles outbreak that began at Disneyland is over

    Yesterday

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — California health authorities say large measles outbreak that began at Disneyland is over.

  • Andover man gets 4 months for stealing Social Security

    Yesterday

    BOSTON (AP) — An Andover man who stole nearly $150,000 in Social Security benefits sent to his dead father has been sentenced to four months in prison. Graeme Griffith was also sentenced Thursday in federal court to two years of probation and fined $3,000. The 60-year-old has also paid full restitution. He pleaded guilty in January to theft of public money. Prosecutors say even after Griffith's father died in 2003, Griffith continued to accept his father's Social Security benefits that were directly deposited in a joint bank account.

  • Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — For 94-year-old Louise Irving, who suffers from dementia, waking up every day to a video with a familiar face and a familiar voice seems to spark a flicker of recognition. "Good morning, merry sunshine, how did you wake so soon?" Irving's daughter, Tamara Rusoff-Hoen, sings in a video playing from a laptop wheeled to her mother's nursing home bedside. As the five-minute video plays, with stories of happy memories and get-togethers, Irving beams a bright smile before repeating the traditional family send-off. "Kiss, kiss ... I love you.

  • Justice halts religious groups' birth control opt-out role

    Yesterday

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Supreme Court justice is blocking an appeals court's ruling that would have forced two western Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses and a Christian college to fill out forms to avoid penalties for not directly providing contraceptive benefits. Justice Samuel Alito issued the order Tuesday soon after the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals filed documents making its ruling official. The religious groups had asked Alito to intervene while they appeal to the Supreme Court. The Affordable Care Act says religious organizations can opt out of directly providing and paying to cover medical services they consider morally objectionable.

  • Four SC hospitals earn top rankings from patients

    Yesterday

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Four South Carolina hospitals have earned top ratings in patient surveys released by the federal government. The ratings from Medicare's Hospital Compare website show that hospitals in Abbeville, Greenville, Greer and Mount Pleasant earned five-star ratings. The top satisfaction ratings went to Abbeville Area Medical Center, Patewood Memorial Hospital in Greenville, Greer Memorial Hospital and Mount Pleasant Hospital. Seven hospitals received two-star ratings. The ratings are based on customer surveys ranking several categories of care.

  • Developer jailed for kickbacks among Menendez contributors

    Yesterday

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Sen. Bob Menendez's legal defense fund raised nearly $1.3 million up until the day before he was indicted on bribery and corruption charges, including $10,000 from a retired New Jersey developer who served two years in prison for making illegal kickbacks. Menendez's fund also received $10,000 from the wife of the developer, Joseph Barry, and another $130,000 from executives of the development firm founded by Barry's two sons, and their families, according to a review by The Associated Press of financial disclosure forms filed with the IRS and Senate.

  • Dog flu outbreak gained foothold at urban doggie day cares

    Yesterday

    CHICAGO (AP) — Many urbanites use doggie day cares while they work long hours. Paying others to exercise their pets, owners can forgo long walks and enjoy guilt-free pooch snuggling in the evenings. While usually a healthy experience for the dogs, the day care environment, with dozens of pets mingling, contributed to an epidemic of dog flu in Chicago that is spreading in the Midwest, experts say. The illness could arise in other urban areas after sweeping through the city where it took advantage of spring break boarding and sickened more than 1,100 dogs. ___ IT PROBABLY CAME FROM ASIA Experts at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine say the H3N2 dog flu virus likely arose from viruses circulating i

  • Administration fees for vaccines to be waived for a week

    Yesterday

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — State public health centers and the Municipality of Anchorage are waiving administration fees for immunizations for all ages as part of National Infant Immunization Week. The state health department made the announcement by press release. National Infant Immunization Week begins Saturday and ends April 25.

  • Study: More people engaged in end-of-life planning

    Yesterday

    COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Research at the University of Missouri indicates that more people are talking in advance about end-of-life wishes with their aged loved ones. A study by lead author Nidhi Khosla and colleagues Angela Curl and Karla Washington will be published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The MU researchers looked at trends in advance care planning from 2002 to 2010, using data from the Health and Retirement Study. Advance care planning involves discussion of end-of-life care preferences, which researchers say is important because many people facing death are unable to make their own decisions. Khosla says advance planning can reduce stress for caregivers and relatives facing d

  • Wheelchair van service operator to pay $76K settlement

    Yesterday

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A wheelchair van service operator will pay nearly $76,000 to the state of New Hampshire in a settlement over Medicaid claims he made that lacked adequate records supporting them. Jeffrey Gould runs North Country Medi-Van. The service claims were made between 2009 and 2013. North Country Medi-Van no longer provides Medicaid services. The Medicaid program is a joint federal and state health care program that provides benefits to qualified individuals. The case was investigated by the Medicaid Fraud Unit of the New Hampshire attorney general's office.




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