Health

The State Department of Health is spending the next year reaching out to new and expectant mothers in an effort to curb the state’s infant mortality rate. 

Indiana’s rate of infant deaths is one of the worst in the country.  First Lady Karen Pence says the Labor of Love campaign, meant to reduce that rate, will be carried on all major TV stations, at bus depots, in radio ads, and in a variety of publications.  She says messages will include everything from the importance of prenatal care and breastfeeding to safe sleep.

New Website Helps Hoosiers Compare Medical Costs

Jan 12, 2015
http://mycareinsight.org/

The Indiana Hospital Association has created a new consumer website.

IHA President Douglas Leonard says mycareINsight.org helps Hoosiers compare hospital charges and quality ratings.

He says the goal is to help folks better understand hospital billing and what they might ask before deciding on treatment options.

"There's been a lot of interest, obviously, in hospital prices and the difficulty of understanding process and charges," says Leonard. "So we made a decision over a year ago to pursue a site that will help."

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hattiesburgmemory/3298748510

Though abortion rights advocates are happy a federal judge has struck down a 2013 Indiana law requiring all abortion clinics to meet the same standards surgical abortion sites must meet, they say they’re still wary about what the 2015 lawmaking session may bring.

Indiana Public Broadcasting

The new Republican Congress will be sworn in Tuesday, and a Hoosier-authored change to the federal health care law will be the first agenda item.   

The House plans to vote Thursday on a bill to roll back the health care law‘s redefinition of full-time work as 30 hours a week.

Indiana Congressman Todd Young (R-9th) is co-authoring the bill for a second straight Congress. He estimates the change would cost part-time workers $75 billion in lost earnings.

Yongjiet / https://www.flickr.com/photos/yongjiet/

The American Cancer Society says Indiana isn’t doing nearly enough to support its breast and cervical cancer screening program. 

Indiana Once Again Ranks 41st In Overall Health

Dec 10, 2014
Alex E. Proimos / https://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/

The latest American Health Ranking report from the United Health Foundation ranks Indiana 41st out of the 50 states when it comes to overall health – the same rating the state received last year.

The foundation ranks states based on several factors, including health-related behaviors, policy and outcomes.

Though the Hoosier state saw no change in its ranking, it did witness some decreases in behaviors such as smoking and binge drinking.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hattiesburgmemory/3298748510

A federal judge has struck down portions of Indiana laws that regulate abortion clinics.

In a preliminary ruling, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson writes that part of the law attempting to regulate Planned Parenthood centers that provide non-surgical abortions more strictly than regular doctor‘s offices who provide the same services violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana legal director Ken Falk represents Planned Parenthood in the case.

courtesy Healthcare.gov

The Indiana Department of Insurance is warning people purchasing health care on the federal marketplace to be on the lookout for scammers. 

Open enrollment in the federal marketplace known as Healthcare.gov began earlier this month.  More than a hundred thousand Hoosiers enrolled last year. 

Department of Insurance Chief Actuary Karl Knable says people re-enrolling or seeking insurance on the marketplace for the first time should be alert about potential scams. 

https://www.healthcare.gov/

The estimated 600,000 people in Indiana without health-care coverage have an opportunity to shop for plans when the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace opens for business on Saturday. It's the second enrollment period for the marketplace, created as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Kathleen Falk, regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services, said residents have many more options because the number of insurers for 2015 has jumped from four to nine.

NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/

Indiana State Department of Health officials say they're monitoring six people who have traveled to Indiana from West Africa. Those being monitored are considered low risk for Ebola infection and are cooperating with health officials.

The health department says these measures are in accordance with new travel guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says all travelers to Indiana from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be under what it calls "direct active monitoring" by their local health department for 21 days upon entering the country.

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