There’s only one health department in Alabama where people can go to be tested for tuberculosis. It’s not in the state’s biggest city: Birmingham or any large city. It’s in Perry County, where an outbreak has so far claimed three lives since last year. And it’s getting worse. The infection rate is 100 times higher than doctors say it should be. Now, health officials are trying to get handle on the disease. But it hasn’t been easy.
The Birmingham Building Trades Towers Southside is still vacant after a fire forced the elderly residents, most of the poor, from their homes in October. Since this incident, Al.com's Amy Yurkanin has uncovered disturbing information about the property, past and current tenants and its elusive owner who lives out of state.
When Alabama Psychiatric Services closed in February, it sent shockwaves through the state’s mental health community. The company provided mental healthcare to about 28,000 people in locations throughout Alabama and employed more than 250 medical professionals. APS blamed the sudden closure on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, but a lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court in May, and amended last month, offers more details on the specific allegations.
Ramon Jeter was raised by a single mother on the west side of Birmingham. Right out of Ramsay High School he joined the Navy. He eventually served as a field medic in Iraq. Now the married new father is studying public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and he’s been accepted to Clinton […]
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.
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