• Health advocacy groups file lawsuit against state

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Three advocacy groups filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the state of Tennessee of failing to provide certain services required by the federal health care law. The lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program follows a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that was sent to state officials last month, accusing them of failing to meet requirements under the health care law. The lawsuit says the state isn't providing in-person assistance and is forcing applicants to apply for TennCare — the state's expanded Medicaid program — through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace website, which was not des

  • SSM, doctor involved in surgery error to part ways

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis health care company is parting ways with a neurosurgeon who operated on the wrong side of a woman's brain last year. SSM Health Care and Dr. Armond Levy both confirm that his contract was not renewed. It expires in October. SSM says Levy was not fired and the decision had nothing to do with the surgery on 53-year-old Regina Turner of St. Ann, Missouri. Turner went to SSM St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, Missouri, in April 2013 for surgery on the left side of her brain to reduce her stroke risk. The surgery was instead performed on the right side of her brain. A lawsuit claiming that Turner will suffer potentially lifelong medical problems as a result of the botched surgery was s

  • Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice organizations are ramping up for their role as gatekeepers in the state's new medical marijuana program. Medical professionals find themselves at the center of a quickly changing legal landscape with minimal scientific research to back the claims of those extolling marijuana's therapeutic benefits. "It's already an issue," said Dr. Martha Twaddle of Barrington-based JourneyCare, which specializes in end-of-life care. "People are asking, 'What about marijuana?'" Illinois is among 23 states that have made medical marijuana legal. Illinois' new law is on the restrictive side, with a limited list of qualifying health conditions.

  • Heart condition blamed for CSU runner's death

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — An irregular heartbeat is being blamed for the death of runner at the Boulder Spring Half Marathon this year. Twenty-year-old Jessica Dillon of Castle Rock collapsed near the finish line of the race in May. On Wednesday, Boulder coroner Emma Hall said the Colorado State University student died because of the irregular heartbeat combined with a condition that shrinks the size of the heart chamber but thickening its walls.

  • APNewsBreak: Medicaid enrollees strain Oregon

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received. But an Associated Press review shows that an unexpected rush of enrollees has strained the capacity of the revamped network that was endorsed as a potential national model, locking out some patients, forcing others to wait months for medical appointments and prompting a spike in emergency room visits, which state officials had been actively seeking to avoid. The problems come amid nationwide growing pains associated with the unprecedented restructuring of the U.S.

  • Fire official: Bed bugs found in Detroit EMS rig

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit fire official says an emergency medical services unit is being disinfected after bed bugs were found in an ambulance. Chief Dale Bradley said Wednesday that the fumigation of an EMS unit attached to Engine Company 54 represents a precautionary move. WXYZ-TV first reported about the pest discovery. The station says that the word "Don't Enter, Bed Bugs, Toxic," was written on the door to the EMS unit. According to Deputy Fire Commissioner John Berlin, the bed bugs were traced to a patient.

  • Mosquitoes with virus found in Albuquerque area

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque-area health officials say they've collected mosquitoes positive for the West Nile virus in Bernalillo County for the first time in 2014. City and county health agencies operate a mosquito control program aimed at reducing mosquito populations that transmit the virus. West Nile's typical symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, but in rare cases it can cause meningitis or encephalitis. People older than 60 are at most risk for serious disease from West Nile virus. Dr. Mark DiMenna of the city Environmental Health Department says mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus will be around until there is a hard frost in the area.

  • Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's health minister confirms that the doctor in charge of battling the current Ebola outbreak has himself become ill with the deadly disease. Minister of Health and Sanitation Miatta Kargbo issued a statement Tuesday saying that Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan has a confirmed case of Ebola. The minister described the stricken doctor as a national hero for the sacrifices he has made during the current outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever. The minister said the doctor is now on his way to a Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Sierra Leone's eastern Kailahun District. More than 500 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in three West African countries: Sierra Leone, Guine

  • State hires top medical pot official

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A health official who managed Minnesota's efforts to reduce tobacco use and obesity will run the state's new medical marijuana program. The Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday that Michelle Larson, a deputy director in the department's Office of Statewide Health Improvement, would direct the new program. Larson will oversee the selection of two marijuana manufacturers and set up of a patient registry. Patients are expected to be able to begin getting medical marijuana in July 2015. Larson was chosen among more than 150 applicants. She starts Aug. 13. Minnesota legislators approved medical marijuana this year, making it the 23rd state plus the District of Columbia to do so.

  • Head of troubled CDC anthrax lab has resigned

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the government lab that potentially exposed workers to live anthrax has resigned, an agency spokesman said Wednesday. Michael Farrell was head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab since 2009. He submitted his resignation Tuesday, the spokesman said. Farrell declined interview requests, said the spokesman, Tom Skinner. Farrell was reassigned following an incident last month at an Atlanta lab that handles bioterrorism agents. The lab was supposed to completely kill anthrax samples before sending them to two other CDC labs that had fewer safeguards. But the higher-security lab did not completely sterilize the bacteria. Dozens of CDC workers were potentially exposed to an

  • 3rd loon death this year linked to lead poisoning

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) — The Loon Preservation Committee says a third loon death this year has been linked to lead poisoning in New Hampshire. The loon was found beached on Lake Winnipesaukee on Friday and when biologists examined the bird, X-rays found a lead fishing jig and blood tests showed toxic levels of the metal. The bird was immediately euthanized. The preservation committee says a loon will die from lead poisoning two to four weeks after ingesting lead tackle. Lead accounts for more loon deaths than all other human factors combined. Loons are threatened in New Hampshire and protected federally.

  • NY agencies collecting more gender data

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State agencies have begun adding gender identity to their data collection, part of an effort Gov. Andrew Cuomo said will help the state better meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender New Yorkers. A new report Wednesday identified eight agencies, including the Department of Health, collecting or updating their data systems to gather those demographics. "New York State has a long history of advancing progressive ideals," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "By being more inclusive with how state agencies monitor the demographics of those they serve, we can address health and financial disparities, safety concerns, and a myriad of other issues that impact LGBT New Yorkers.

  • Sara Lee recalls smoked sausage over allergen

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    NEW LONDON, Wis. (AP) — Sara Lee Foodservice in New London, Wisconsin, is recalling 41 tons of smoked sausage due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the product was made with an ingredient called hydrolyzed soy protein, a known allergen that wasn't listed on the label. The product is called "Smoked Sausage Rope." It's sold in 10-pound cases containing two 5-pound packages. The sausage was sent to distribution centers to be shipped to institutional users across the country. It's not available in grocery stores or sold directly to consumers. Neither the USDA's food-safety division nor the company has received any reports of adverse reactions from eating the product.

  • Texan gets measles after softball event in Kansas

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texan has been diagnosed with measles after attending a softball tournament in Kansas where health officials later warned of possible exposure to the virus. Tarrant County Public Health officials in Fort Worth on Wednesday announced a resident tested positive for measles after traveling outside Texas. Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Christine Mann says the person attended a July Fourth weekend softball tournament in Wichita, Kansas. Officials from both health agencies declined to release further details on the individual. Health officials on July 17 announced more than 30 people from Texas who traveled to the tournament may have been exposed to the measles virus.

  • China detains employees of suspect meat seller

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Five employees of a company accused of selling expired beef and chicken to McDonald's, KFC and other restaurants in China were detained by police Wednesday after an official said illegal activity was an organized effort by the supplier. China's food safety agency said on its website that its investigators found unspecified illegal activity by Husi Food Co. but gave no confirmation expired meat had been found or other details. Some of the illegal conduct was an "arrangement organized by the company," the deputy director of the agency's Shanghai bureau, Gu Zhenghua, told the official Xinhua News Agency. Those in criminal detention include Husi's quality manager, the Shanghai police department said on its

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Undercover investigators using fake identities were able to secure taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional investigators said Wednesday. The weak link seemed to be call centers that handled applications for frazzled consumers unable to get through online. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office told a House committee that its investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts — even after HealthCare.gov's much maligned online system flagged some applications as problematic. The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony docume

  • 1 dead, 2 injured by SW Fla. lightning strike

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A lightning strike has killed one person and injured two others on Fort Myers Beach in southwest Florida. The Lee County Sheriff's Office says 41-year-old Scott Wilcox of Lehigh Acres was struck by lightning shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday. The strike apparently killed Wilcox instantly. Fourteen-year-old Zac Latawiec and 16-year-old Chelsea Gill were injured. They were taken to the hospital, and their conditions were not immediately available. Witnesses say they heard a loud cracking sound when the lightning struck. According to local media reports, the storm was so intense that rescue workers had to stay in their vehicles for some time after the strike.

  • Nevada inmate, 73, dies after 'prolonged illness'

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Authorities say a 73-year-old inmate who's been in prison for nearly four decades has died after a prolonged illness. Nevada Department of Corrections officials say Lawrence Schultz died Monday at the Regional Medical Facility at the Nevada Correctional Center. Schultz had been in prison since 1978 after being convicted of first-degree murder in Clark County. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. An autopsy is planned.

  • GSK cuts earnings forecast after weak 2nd quarter

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has cut its full-year earnings expectations as it says its second-quarter profits were hit by currency moves and a fall in sales of its respiratory drugs. The company said Wednesday it expects 2014 earnings per share to be broadly similar to last year. It had previously forecast growth of between 4 and 8 percent. GSK said second-quarter revenue fell 16 percent to 5.6 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) from 6.6 billion pounds in the same quarter in the previous year. Profit attributable to shareholders dropped from 1.05 billion pounds a year earlier to 654 million pounds. The firm, which remains troubled by a high-profile bribery investigation in China, said sales there were down 20

  • Seniors share homes for cost saving, companionship

    Updated: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do. Rosenfeld is among thousands of aging Americans taking part in home-sharing programs around the country that allow seniors to stay in their homes and save money while getting some much-needed companionship. "It's a wonderful arrangement," said the white-haired Rosenfeld, who when asked her age will only say she's a senior citizen. "The way the rents are these days, I couldn't stay here without it." She shares her two-bedroom, $1,000-a-month Brooklyn apartment with Carolyn Allen, a 69-year-old widow who has suffered two strokes and no longer wants to live alone.