Health

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Indiana ranks 41st in the country for overall health, according to the latest America's Health Rankings report from the United Health Foundation.

And it's the third year in a row Indiana has landed in the exact same spot.

United Healthcare of Indiana Medical Director Julie Daftari says even though the state's ranking is unchanged from last year, Indiana still had several victories.

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One in five Hoosier employers reports injuries or near misses in the workplace due to prescription drug issues and nearly a quarter say they’ve seen employees borrow or sell prescription drugs. That’s according to a National Safety Council survey of more than 200 Indiana HR and safety professionals.

The National Safety Council says 80-percent of Indiana employers say they’ve experienced prescription drug abuse issues at their companies.  Yet less than 30-percent offer training around workplace drug use. 

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The Indiana Department of Health says it’s in recovery mode when it comes to addressing the HIV outbreak in Scott County.

Health officials talked about the next steps in addressing the outbreak during a panel discussion Tuesday at Indiana University.

The state and the Centers for Disease Control just finished re-testing more than 500 at-risk people for HIV. Only three of those tests came back positive.

Scott County Public Health Nurse Brittany Combs says that’s encouraging.  

Health Officials: No Cancer Cluster In Johnson County

Dec 1, 2015
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The State Health Department and the Department of Environmental Management say they have not found enough evidence to link cases of child cancer around Franklin to a cancer cluster.

ISDH officials say they studied numerous factors, and IDEM studied water, soil, and other factors but found nothing in the area that would be cancer-causing.

There had been concern among some residents that contaminated water was leading to an increase in the number of cases of childhood cancer.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed another lawsuit against the state, this time against the Family and Social Services Administration. 

​The newest lawsuit is over Medicaid payments for Hepatitis C treatment.

There is a cure for Hepatitis C, but it can cost as much $100,000. Medicaid programs can get the drugs for cheaper, but they're still expensive. So, to limit the burden on the state, there are requirements. Patients have to have a certain level of liver damage. Or they have to also be infected with HIVr before Medicaid will pay for the treatment.

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An Indiana University health policy expert says insurance companies might deal a big blow to Obamacare.

Last week, UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest health insurer, said it might withdraw from the Affordable Care Act's health exchanges after next year if it was unable to turn around what it calls huge financial losses.

While state and federal exchanges only make up a small percentage of the company's business, United says it will lose $700-million on them this year and next.

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Police and prosecutors are renewing a call to require a prescription for cold remedies containing psuedoephedrine.

The decongestant is a key ingredient in methamphetamine. Indiana already limits how much pseudoephedrine a person can buy at once, and maintains a database of how much has been purchased. Police, though, argue the rise in the number of Hoosier meth labs has been unimpeded.

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Every year, states with their own occupational safety and health agencies are reviewed by the federal OSHA. 

The latest audit of Indiana’s agency, IOSHA (which is charged with ensuring the safety of all places of employment in the state, minus federal workers and certain maritime and agricultural operations), has shown that in 2014, the agency took 14 times longer than the national average to respond to complaints and only completed a little more than half the number necessary to meet its workplace inspection goal.

Indiana State Department of Health / Facebook

Indiana health officials say the key to reducing the state's chronically high infant mortality rates is to improve infant death rates among minorities.

Indiana needs to cut its infant death rate by one-sixth in five years to reach a federal goal of holding the rate to six deaths for every thousand live births. The mortality rate among whites is already at that goal, but babies born to African-American Hoosiers are two-and-a-half times more likely to die before their first birthday.

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Being mom’s favorite might sound great – but Purdue social scientists have discovered it sometimes comes with a large price.

Researchers studied families for 16 years as part of the longitudinal Within Family Differences Study, which explores relationships among different generations of families. Their most recent findings show adult children who perceive themselves as a mother’s favorite are more likely to exhibit signs of depression.

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