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The first in a three part series on the causes behind Oklahoma's lack of access to health care, including a physician shortage, geographic disparities and lack of transportation options.

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Finally, Germany's E. coli mystery solved, new Medicaid protections for gay couples, parents' vaccine worries and more from our Daily Briefing.

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After three days of listening to expert neurologists, demographers, caregivers, and policy people on Alzheimer's disease, journalist Laura Newman raises tough questions for journalists to consider to avoid oversimplifying this complicated topic.

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The new report about the criminal histories of nursing home workers from the Office of Inspector General for Department of Health and Human Services has prompted many bold statements. What has been missing from all the alarmist analyses of this report are a few key facts and a sense of perspective.

 

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The biggest finding in a new report about the criminal histories of nursing home workers is that the Office of Inspector General can’t say whether seniors and people with disabilities truly are in danger.

 

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Are nursing home workers with criminal records really endangering residents? It's hard to tell from a new inspector general's report.

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The declining quality of residential care facilities in San Luis Obispo county has led some local families to question whether they can be trusted with the care of their loved ones.

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Victims of traumatic brain injuries often fall through the cracks of the system of care in Virginia, particularly those with behavior problems. Injuries often cause problems like impulse control and anger issues. These victims often ping-pong from one facility to another because their behavior gets them thrown out. They need structured treatment but few long-term residential facilities that specialize in brain injury rehab take government insurance like Medicaid. This is a population that is growing because improvements in emergency medical care have saved more people who suffer brain injuries in accidents. Also, more military personnel are surviving traumatic brain injuries sustained in battle. People with severe mental problems, dementias and disabilities such as autism also sometimes have these behavior issues that make them difficult to place.

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A new generation of heart devices is giving new hope to patients. Their use has increased 10-fold since January, but ethical quandaries loom: When is it appropriate to disconnect the device and let a patient die?

Picture of Natalie Walsh

As Congress goes into recession, the debate over healthcare hits home. But what's really happening on the reform front? Will it meet the needs of the American public? In a 5-hour special series over five days, we'll hear from doctors, hospital administrators, insurance companies, economists and average people about what's driving up healthcare costs, what it will take to make real changes, and what trade-offs people are willing to make to see meaningful reform through.

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