Health Care

Local News
4:20 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Block Partners HealthCare Agreement, Say Antitrust Experts

Credit Flickr, jdlasica

The Partners HealthCare agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General came under fire this week by antitrust experts who are calling on a state judge to block the agreement, saying its unlikely to contain rising medical costs

A letter dated July 21 and signed by 21 national antitrust experts and health economists urges the judge to reconsider her support of the proposed settlement. BU economics professor Randall P. Ellis is among those who signed.

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
5:29 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

BPR: Charlie Sennott, Police Commissioner William Evans, Juliette Kayyem, Concert Roundtable

What if health care workers were replaced by robots? Art Caplan from NYU Langone Medical Center talked with Jim and Margery about the coming robot health workers.
Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/agecombahia/ / Flickr

Hour one:  

BPR hour one

  • GlobalPost cofounder Charlie Sennott talked to Jim and Margery about the downing of Malaysian Air flight MH17, Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Israel to try to broker truce between Israelis and Palestinians, and ongoing armed conflicts in Iraq.
  • Art Caplan is head of medical ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center. Caplan looked at a thinning US health care workforce, and whether robots could replace some caregivers in the coming decades. Caplan is co-editor of Contemporary Debates in Bioethics.
  • Bay Windows and South Ends News co-publisher Sue O'Connell talked about a new survey that showed a very small percentage of Americans self-identify as gay.
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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
4:00 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

BPR: Politics, Market Basket, All Revved Up, Pointless Neighborhood Happiness, Seth Mnookin

Are you a believer in neighborliness? A new study says being a good neighbor may not increase your happiness. Jim and Margery asked listeners if that sounded right.
Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/editor/ / Flickr
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LOCAL NEWS
6:29 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Partners Merger: Hospitals Push Back Against Expansion Plan

Mass General, Brigham and Women’s, and Newton-Wellesley are some of Boston’s biggest names in health care and have one big thing in common: they all belong to the Partners HealthCare System, which is embroiled in a five-year fight to expand its network even further.  

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Local News
6:04 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Beacon Hill Considers New Abortion Clinic Protection

Massachusetts Democrats say they've written a new bill providing clear access to abortion clinics, following a Supreme Court decision that found the state's "buffer zone" law unconstitutional.

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
2:34 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

BPR: Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Exercise Prescriptions, Corby Kummer, Kara Miller, Jack Dunn

What if doctors regularly handed out exercise prescriptions? One MGH pediatrician has started doing just that. Jim and Margery talked to her about it.
Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentclark/ / Flickr
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Boston Public Radio Podcast
4:10 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Could Your Wrinkles Raise Your Insurance Premium?

Insurance companies may be able to gauge a person's lifespan by scanning a photograph of their face. But is it ethical?
Credit By Jkimxpolygons via Wikimedia Commons

Recent developments in facial recognition technology have made it possible to measure a person's lifespan based on facial appearance, and  insurance companies are interested in using this data to decide premiums. But should insurance underwriters determine your rates based on your mug shot?

Medical ethicist Art Caplan returned to Studio Three on Wednesday to discuss the ethical implications of this new project. Caplan is the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at  NYU's Langone Center.

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:27 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

BPR: Gift Giveaways, Brian McGrory, Jennifer DeLeon, Art Caplan, Kevin Cullen

Would you open a bank account if you were guaranteed a free, fancy toaster for your troubles? Jim and Margery looked at the growing incentives being used to sign people up for services.
Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/hamsters/ / Flickr
  • Would a free toaster or a tote bag entice you to sign up for a bank account? Are you more likely to sign up for wireless service if some freebie is attached?
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Local News
5:10 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Suit Challenges NH Health Clinic Buffer Zone

A conservative Christian law group has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down New Hampshire's 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

Alliance Defending Freedom announced Tuesday that it filed the suit on behalf of several abortion opponents. The suit says the buffer zone signed into law this year violates the free speech rights of abortion protesters.

ADF filed the Massachusetts lawsuit that led to last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down that state's buffer zone.

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Local News
3:18 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

New Prescription For Kids: Go Outside

Tommy Maloney, with the magnifying glass, walks with Outdoors RX in the Stonehurst Trails in Waltham.
Credit WGBH News

Technology is having a major impact on how childhood is lived in 2014.

Today’s kids spend nearly eight hours a day consuming some kind of entertainment media on a smartphone, tablet or TV. At the same time, outdoor play is dropping precipitously: according to one study, kids today spend just half the time outside that their parents did a generation ago.

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LOCAL NEWS
7:51 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Acton Widow On Two-Year Wait For Late Husband's VA Medical Appointment

The trouble at the federal Department of Veterans Affairs has been front-page news for weeks. At the heart of the scandal are reports of inexcusably long wait times for veterans seeking treatment. Last month, the VA conducted an internal audit to gauge its scope and found more than 57,000 veterans were forced to wait 90 days or more for their first VA medical appointment, and 64,000 veterans never got an appointment after requesting  one.  

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COMMENTARY
8:35 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Fixed Nurse-Patient Ratios Are Needed In More Than Just The ICU

Nurse Danielle Zamerelli checks patient in the intensive care unit at Emory University Hospital Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Atlanta.
Credit (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

If you have ever had a loved one in a hospital intensive care unit, you know. In that sterile scary room, the nurse can be the most important person.

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Local News
8:52 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Commission Hears Cases For, Against Partners HealthCare Expansion

Massachusetts General Hospital, a Partners HealthCare member.
Credit AP Photo

The ongoing dispute between Partners HealthCare, the state’s largest health provider, and a group of hospitals objecting to Partners expansion entered a new phase yesterday. Boston’s Health Policy Commission took up the case and heard from those for and against the proposed deal Wednesday.

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LOCAL NEWS
10:33 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Planned Parenthood CEO On Supreme Court Buffer Zone Ruling

Following the Supreme Court's controversial Massachusetts “buffer zone” decision, state leaders are looking for a legal loophole. In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that requiring pro-life activists to stay at least 35 feet away from reproductive health facilities violates their First Amendment rights.

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Local News
6:23 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Pols Plan To Strenghten Security At Health Clinics That Offer Abortions

Credit (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley outlined possible legislative steps that the state will take to ensure unimpeded access to women's health clinics that offer abortion at a press conference on Wednesday. 

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LOCAL NEWS
5:58 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Treating Substance Abuse By Asking Every Patient

Head to the hospital with a broken bone or a bad bug, and you expect to answer questions about your allergies and health history. But soon, whether you visit the ER or the Dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, you’ll be asked how often you have six or more drinks and how frequently you’ve used illegal drugs in the past year.  

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Local News
5:42 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Brave New World: Preparing For A Post-Buffer Zone Reality

Planned Parenthood on Commonwealth Ave. in Boston.
Credit Anne Mostue / WGBH

The United States Supreme Court today struck down a Massachusetts law that created buffer zones around abortion clinics. 

In front of the large Planned Parenthood building on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, there’s a painted, yellow line 35 feet from the door. It’s the line anti-abortion activists have not been allowed to cross-- the so-called buffer zone.

Ray Neary stands behind it, holding a sign with an image of a fetus. He says he isn’t sure when the Supreme Court ruling goes into effect but he hopes to step over the line soon.

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Local News
11:37 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Abortion Clinic 'Buffer Zones' Unconstitutional

Protesters stand outside the buffer zone of a Planned Parenthood on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.
Credit Abbie Ruzicka / WGBH

The Supreme Court has struck down a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts on Thursday.

The justices were unanimous that extending a buffer zone 35 feet from clinic entrances violates the First Amendment rights of protesters.

Chief Justice John Roberts says authorities have less intrusive ways to deal with problems outside the clinics.

From NPR News reporter Bill Chappell:

From the law experts at SCOTUSblog:

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
2:24 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

BPR: Casinos, Brian McGrory, Art Caplan, Charlie Sennott, Michael Waldman

A Supreme Judicial Court ruling on Tuesday put a casino-repeal initiative on the November Massachusetts ballot. Are you having second thoughts about Mass. casinos?
Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/funeralbell/ / Flickr
  • Jim Braude and Margery Eagan discussed the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court's Tuesday ruling that a question on casino repeal will be placed on the November ballot.
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Local News
8:29 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Coakley, Partners HealthCare Finalize Agreement

Attorney General Martha Coakley has finalized an agreement with Partners HealthCare that will allow the state's largest hospital and physicians' network to acquire South Shore Hospital and Hallmark Health Systems.

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
4:45 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

BPR: Cash Incentives For Health, Callie Crossley, Larry Hott, Emily Rooney, Friday News Quiz

Olmsted Park, part of the Emerald Necklace in Boston designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Larry Hott talked to Jim and Margery about his new documentary about Olmsted.
Credit Wikimedia Commons
  • What would it take to get you to buy healthy foods? Harvard Pilgrim is starting a program that offers cash rewards to employees when they eat healthy foods. Would some cold hard cash entice you? Jim and Margery talked with Leslie John, assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.
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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:44 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

BPR: Charlie Sennott, Sore Losers, Jack Connors, Brian McGrory, Garen Daly

Have we cultivated a culture of sore losers? According to one Globe writer, 2014 may be a banner year for bad sportsmanship. Jim and Margery opened the lines to hear what listeners thought.
Credit Gus Estrella / Flickr
  • GlobalPost cofounder Charlie Sennott joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan from Paris, where Sennott was retracing World War I historical sites.
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NECIR
12:39 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Lyme Disease Test Results Called Into Question

Credit Sean Corcoran / WGBH

It’s the season to get outdoors in New England, and, unfortunately, that also means it’s Lyme season. The CDC estimates about 300,000 people annually contract Lyme, mostly here in the Northeast.

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NEW ENGLAND CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
12:01 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Federal Loopholes Compromise Lyme Disease Testing

A deer ticks, like the one seen here on a thumbnail, that can infect people with Lyme disease, are often no bigger than a poppy seed.
Credit Lauren Owens

As Lyme disease becomes an increasingly challenging public health threat across the Northeast, a growing number of tests for the vexing ailment may be misdiagnosing patients when telling them that they have – or don't have – the tick-borne illness.

An exemption in federal regulations allows many labs to offer Lyme tests without proof that they accurately identify the disease, leaving anxious patients and their doctors to decide which tests to believe.

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Local News
1:18 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

When A Diagnosis Disappears: The End Of Asperger's

Andy Novis

Spend five minutes with Andy Novis, and it’s clear he’s a man obsessed by his passions. Novis’ West Medford apartment is packed with marathon bibs—he’s run Boston alone a whopping 22 times—and the boldly colored, intricate paintings he creates en masse.

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Local News
3:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

'Complicated Grief': Valid Diagnosis, Or Normal Suffering Pathologized?

A photo of Cynthia LeBlanc Schuurman and her late husband, Gerrit.

Cynthia LeBlanc Schuurman and her husband Gerrit shared a storybook marriage for decades, from a chance meeting in Amsterdam to newlywed years on Beacon Hill to later stints living in Spain and Germany. But in 2008, it came to an abrupt halt.

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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
2:25 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

BPR: Sen. Ed Markey, Dr. Howard Koh, Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Emily Rooney, Callie Crossley, News Quiz

Wheelock College President Jackie Jenkins-Scott and Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Howard Koh joined Jim and Margery in Studio Three.
Credit Will Roseliep / WGBH News
  • Sen. Ed Markey talked to Jim and Margery about his meeting with Pope Francis. Markey and the Pope talked about the threat of climate change, and whether the Church would help raise awareness of the threat.
  • Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard K.
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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:16 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

BPR: Edward Snowden, Art Caplan, Joe Avellone, Alex Beam, Jonathon Alsop

Edward Snowden spoke to Brian Williams on NBC Wednesday about whether he will return to the US. Jim and Margery discussed Snowden.
Credit thierry ehrmann / Flickr
  • NBC's Brian Williams interviewed Edward Snowden Wednesday night. Snowden posited that he was a spy for the US government, and that he remains a patriots. Others — like Secretary of State John Kerry — have a different opinion.
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Local News
10:43 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Mass. Considering Allowing Nurse Practitioners To Practice Primary Care

Dr. George Abraham examines his patient, Jason Lizotte.
Credit Ibby Caputo / WGBH News

There’s a doctor shortage in Massachusetts. The traditional ‘family doctors’—the primary care physicians people go to for annual checkups or when they get injured or sick—there just aren’t enough of them. It’s actually a national problem. And with so few doctors, some states are looking to nurses for help.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Let's Talk About AIDS

The 2012 AIDS Walk Boston
Credit Courtesy photo

“That was stupid.”

I’ll always remember those three words. They’re what a close friend said when I told her that I was HIV positive.

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