WXXI AM News

Health

State launching effort to eliminate hepatitis C

Jul 27, 2018
New York State Department of Health

New York is now home to the nation’s first strategy to eliminate hepatitis C, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor unveiled a $5-million program Friday that he said will expand access to clean syringes, increase funding for hepatitis C treatment, and remove barriers to insurance coverage for people getting that treatment.

Hepatitis C is a deadly disease affecting more than 200,000 New Yorkers, but it’s curable in 90 percent of cases, said Colleen Flanigan, director of hepatitis health care at the state health department.

Report from NY health officials calls for pot legalization

Jul 13, 2018
wnyc.org

Proposals to permit recreational marijuana use in New York state took a big step forward Friday when state health officials issued a long-awaited report concluding that the benefits of legalization outweigh the risks.

The 74-page analysis from the Department of Health estimates the state could raise nearly $700 million in tax revenue off the drug and create more than 200,000 new jobs.

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Organizers of a proposed “recovery” high school in Rochester say they're making progress in their goal of establishing a school dedicated to students who are trying to overcome addiction.  

The grassroots organization Recovery Now NY has been leading the effort for the past three years. Executive director David Attridge said they have just completed a request for information from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and Governor Cuomo's office.

New U.S. Census data released today show that the Finger Lakes region has a lower uninsured rate than the state and national averages.

The lower rate means the region has more people with health insurance than other parts of the state and nation.

According to numbers analyzed by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the Finger Lakes region's uninsured rate is 3.62 percent, lower than the New York state rate of 6.06 percent, and the national rate of 8.58 percent. 

The state has fined MVP Health Plan and MVP Health Insurance $200,000 for incorrectly applying cost-sharing to members’ claims and improperly denying some claims for preventive healthcare services.

The NYS Department of Financial Services says that MVP, which has a large presence in the Rochester area, has agreed to pay the fine and correct processing procedures. The companies have also agreed to make restitution including interest.

The restitution totals about $9,000 for 356 of MVP’s customers. The violations happened between 2011 and 2013.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is moving to ensure several protections in the Affordable Care Act remain in place regardless of whether the Republican-led Congress votes to repeal it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has directed state regulators to prohibit insurers from discriminating against customers based on pre-existing conditions, age or gender. The state also will require insurers to cover contraceptive drugs and devices without charging co-pays or deductibles.

Parents have raised concerns about gaps in the quality and focus of care related to children's social and emotional health in our region. As a result, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation convened a commission on children's behavioral health. What did they find? We discuss the Crisis in Care report with our guests:

  • Dr. Martin Lustick, M.D., senior vice president and corporate medical director for Excellus BCBS, and co-chair of the Greater Rochester Initiative for Children’s Social and Emotional Health Implementation Task Force
  • Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., associate professor at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, superintendent of East High School, and co-chair of the Greater Rochester Initiative for Children’s Social and Emotional Health Implementation Task Force
  • Anita Black, program officer for the Greater Rochester Health Foundation

There are approximately 7,000 rare diseases that affect 30 million Americans. That means one in ten lives with a rare disease. A condition is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people. The University of Rochester is one institute  leading clinical research and therapeutic development of rare diseases. Joining this edition of Need to Know is one of the gifted minds involved in that work. Dr. Erika Augustine, Director of the Center of Human Experimental Therapeutics discusses her recent findings and an upcoming event focused on rare diseases sponsored by the University of Rochester.

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Numerous studies have shown that starting the day with breakfast has a positive influence for students.

The federal government funds a program that allows income-eligible students to eat that first meal of the day at school, but less than one third of those who qualify for the program in New York State take advantage of it.

 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of health care providers are asking state authorities for increased support for community-based services to help uninsured patients.

On Monday more than 900 community health care supporters will ask Albany lawmakers to preserve health care in federally qualified health centers , according to Community Health Care Association of New York State.

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