On Wednesday, Governor Robert Bentley’s Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force voted to recommend Medicaid expansion for the state. This comes years after Governor Bentley decided against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Instead, Bentley and the Alabama legislature agreed to rebuild the state’s Medicaid structure. And the clock is ticking on that plan. Eleven months from now, Alabama's new Medicaid system launches. Details about the overhaul have been fuzzy. But WBHM’s Gigi Douban gives us three ways the new plan will change health care for the one million Alabamians on Medicaid.
In the United States, a baby is born dependent on opiates every 30 minutes. In Tennessee, the rate is three times the national average. The drug withdrawal in newborns is called neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, which can occur when women take opiates during their pregnancies. In the spring of 2014, Tennessee passed a controversial […]
Recently, Alabama saw national attention for the high numbers of women it prosecutes for drug abuse during pregnancy. While critics say drug testing new and expectant mothers may be illegal or unconstitutional, most realize why it’s an issue. Alabama’s infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the nation 49th, right after Mississippi. In 2013, Alabama lost approximately more than 500 infants.
Have you been struck by a duck? Maybe hurt in a spaceship accident? If so, the new medical coding system that went live across the nation this month has a code that applies to you. The tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases, or “ICD 10,” includes almost seventy thousand codes — roughly five […]
In Alabama, drug abuse by pregnant women is considered child abuse. The state is one of three that allows mothers to be criminally prosecuted fir. But some women appear to have been drug tested by hospitals without their consent and without being informed they could be arrested for a positive result. Those are the findings of an investigation by al.com and ProPublica.
It takes 20/20 focus to identify the multitude of factors impacting the health of Jefferson County residents. After months of planning, the County Department of Health has developed a plan and is putting it into action. The county and community organizations are partnering to improve health and quality of life with its Community Matters 20/20 Plan.
State legislators still haven’t figured out how to fix a $200 million budget deficit for the upcoming year – and time is running out. Many in Alabama who work in mental health worry that public services could be on the chopping block again, after years of cuts and the closure of three state psychiatric hospitals. Perhaps most concerned is Alabama’s new Mental Health Commissioner, Jim Perdue, who was sworn in this summer. He says with more budget cuts, mentally ill Alabamians may end up in jail rather then getting the help they need.
You don’t have to be a scholar to know that African-Americans are heavily represented in contact sports like football and basketball, but underrepresented in “lifetime sports” like tennis or golf. Some casual observers have come up with relatively simple explanations for that phenomenon. But a University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist and author who studies […]
After more than a week of disagreement in Montgomery, Alabama Senators approved a cut-filled general fund budget on Monday. It includes millions of dollars in cuts to the state’s Medicaid budget. Medicaid provides health care for low income individuals and families. But often poor undocumented immigrants can’t receive care under Medicaid. Advocates for the undocumented say Medicaid cuts will make health care even more difficult to find for this marginalized group.
Alabama Senators are approved a cut-filled general fund budget after lawmakers could not agree how to fill a more than $200 million budget hole. The proposed spending plan cuts nearly that much from mental health services, law enforcement, state agencies and Medicaid. State hospitals are especially concerned about cuts to Medicaid. Will Ferniany, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of UAB Health System, the largest academic medical center in Alabama, told WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley why Medicaid cuts have him worried.
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