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Republicans seek to criminalize and outlaw gender-affirming care for trans kids

A proposal from Sen. Wendy Rogers — who has a history of introducing anti-trans legislation — would send doctors who provide gender-affirming care to children under the age of 15 to prison for at least 17 years. ... Read more»

Suit by doctors, hospitals seeks change in how arbitrators settle surprise billing cases

Two of the largest lobbying groups representing physicians and hospitals filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a Biden administration decision on how to implement the law shielding patients from most surprise medical bills.... Read more»

Doctors urge pregnant women to get COVID vaccine as severe complications rise

Doctors and health officials are pleading with pregnant women to get vaccinated as more expectant mothers are ending up in the ICU with COVID-19 — and in some cases, they or their infants are dying — mostly in states with low vaccination rates. ... Read more»

Factcheck: Research rebuts claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to male infertility

A new study found there was no negative effect on sperm levels in men after receiving the COVID-19 vaccines - undercutting suggestions that the shots affect male fertility - but social media posts have made the baseless claim that vaccinated men “are effectively sterile.”... Read more»

Doctors now must provide patients their health data, online and on demand

A new federal rule went into effect April 5 that requires health care providers to give patients electronic access to their health information without delay upon request, at no cost, but the rollout of the rule has hit bumps as confusion and concerns reign among doctors and patients.... Read more»

FactCheck: Trump’s attack on the WHO

Trump made his announcement on funding at the White House coronavirus task force daily briefing on April 14, accusing the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” There is no evidence that the WHO has covered up the spread of the novel coronavirus. There has, however, been evidence that China was slow to report the outbreak. ... Read more»

'Red Dawn Breaking Bad': Officials warned about medical safety gear shortfall early on

A high-ranking federal official in late February warned that the U.S. needed to plan for not having enough personal protective equipment for medical workers battling coronavirus, internal emails show.... Read more»

#CoveringClimateNow

'Like a sunburn on your lungs': How does the climate crisis impact health?

Children, pregnant women and the elderly are the most at risk from extreme weather and heat – but the impact is already felt across every specialty of medicine. ... Read more»

VA touts 'transformation,' 5 years after Phoenix hospital scandal

Five years after the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix made national headlines for falsifying records about patient wait times, agency officials told House lawmakers Wednesday that the system has seen a “tremendous transformation.”... Read more»

Political theater: How health-care bill that nearly all opposed managed to pass the House

The AARP called the health bill that House Republicans narrowly approved Thursday “deeply flawed” because it would weaken Medicare and lead to higher insurance premiums for older Americans. The American Medical Association said it would undo health insurance coverage gains and hurt public health efforts to fight disease. The American Hospital Association said the bill would destroy Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor that expanded mightily under the Affordable Care Act and buoyed hospitals’ bottom lines. Normally, that would spell failure.... Read more»

Az medical boards can take years to penalize doctors who overprescribe

It can take years for a physician to be penalized for over-prescribing opioids and it's rare for licenses to be revoked. Since 2010, more than 3,600 people have overdosed and died from opioids in Arizona. Over the past 16 years, the state has sanctioned 250 doctors and assistants for overprescribing prescription pain pills.... Read more»

As opioid epidemic continues, steps to curb It multiply

In recent months there has been an increasing emphasis on health providers and the agencies that oversee them to stem access to widely abused prescription drugs.... Read more»

SciCheck

Factcheck: Is marijuana really a 'gateway drug'?

Chris Christie said that marijuana is a “gateway drug” while arguing for enforcement of its federal status as an illegal substance. Though there are correlations between marijuana use and other drugs, there is no conclusive evidence that one actually causes the other. The science on this topic is far from settled.... Read more»2

Electronic medical records probed for over-billing

The Obama administration is forging ahead with a multi-billion dollar plan to shift from paper to electronic medical records, despite continuing concerns the program may be prompting some doctors and hospitals to improperly bill higher fees to Medicare. ... Read more»

Hospitals grab at least $1 billion in extra fees for ER visits

A Center for Public Integrity probe suggests medical facilities have taken advantage of government’s failure to set billing standards.... Read more»