Health & Human Services

Containing the Coronavirus

In King County, Washington, the public health department is relying on temporary staff hired for measles and hepatitis A outbreaks to help investigate a confirmed case of coronavirus.

California Plan to Reduce Homelessness Forces Cities, Counties to Step Up

A proposal by the governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors would mandate that cities, counties and the state reduce homelessness or be vulnerable to court action.

Diagnosed With Dementia, She Documented Her Wishes. They Said No.

Nevada is the only state that explicitly recognizes an advance directive about end-of-life care that allows patients to dictate they will refuse assisted eating and drinking.

Feds Reject Wyoming’s Plan to Regulate Air Ambulance Transport

The state had requested a Medicaid waiver as part of a plan to reduce air ambulance costs and to improve service availability.

Preventing Discrimination Against Preventive HIV Medication

A proposal before the Maine Legislature would forbid life insurance companies from denying coverage to people who take medication to prevent HIV.

State Health Officials Say Medicaid Expansion Helped Combat Opioid Epidemic

Health officials from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania testified before a congressional committee about how states have used federal opioid funding.

State Lawmakers Urge Medicaid Expansion to Fight Maternal Mortality Crisis

A bipartisan panel of Georgia lawmakers recommended that the state expand Medicaid coverage for poor and rural mothers, a move they said could help lower the state's high maternal death rate.

The Disproportionate Effects of Air Pollution

Residents of poor and segregated neighborhoods around St. Louis had heightened risk of cancer due to increased exposure to air pollutants, including car emissions, researchers found.

Aging Hospitals Aren’t Ready for the Technology Revolution

COMMENTARY | The political discourse around infrastructure investment has all but ignored the deteriorating state of U.S. hospitals.

Texas Law Highlights Dilemma Over Care For Patients With No Hope Of Survival

Critics say a two-decade-old law gives hospitals too much power in determining when to stop treatment.

Coping With Loss Of Hospital, Rural Town Realizes: We Don’t Need A Hospital

It’s been about a year since the hospital in Fort Scott, Kan., closed. The lessons for this community about meeting its residents’ health needs could provide insights for the rest of the country.

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New Suicide Prevention Number Could Lead to Surge in Calls

The caller said, “I don’t think I’m going to make it.” He was on a bridge.

Teen Marijuana Vaping on the Rise While Other Drug, Alcohol Use Declines

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s annual teenage drug use survey found marijuana vaping has doubled among high schools seniors, while alcohol, tobacco, and opioid use are all on the decline.

A Foster Care and Adoption Shift in a Southern State

Louisiana refocused its efforts on foster care and adoption four years ago. Today, adoption rates are up, particularly among sibling groups and older teens.

Extending Medicaid After Childbirth Could Reduce Maternal Deaths

Evidence shows women should receive follow-up care for a year after giving birth.

Early in the Season, Flu Widespread in 10 States

Public health officials said they hope to improve both information sharing and vaccine manufacturing to reduce the spread of flu in the near future.

The Healthiest—and Unhealthiest—States

Reduced smoking rates, not much violent crime and low reports of sexually transmitted diseases make Vermont the healthiest state in the country, according to rankings released this week.

HIV Treatment, Testing Not Reaching Enough People, CDC Says

New data shows that current treatment, testing and prevention methods are not reaching enough Americans to help curtail new HIV cases, which federal officials said underscores the need for expanded options.

Report: Over 2 Million Children Affected by the Opioid Epidemic

The societal costs associated with children’s exposure to opioids could total $400 billion by 2030, a new report from the United Hospital Fund estimates.

After Rapper's 'Hymen Check' Comments, New York Lawmakers Want to Outlaw Virginity Testing

New York state legislators have filed two bills to ban the practice of virginity testing, which seeks to confirm the presence of a girl or woman's hymen as evidence that she is not sexually active.