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Mississippi

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Requiring a prescription for certain cold medicines could dramatically reduce methamphetamine production in West Virginia, a national substance-abuse expert told state lawmakers.

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Last week Antidote introduced you to Dr. Steven Balt, the rare physician to have the courage to open up about his personal experiences with the physician discipline system. The first part of our interview was posted last week. The last part is below.

Picture of William Heisel

Medical boards from coast to coast are inconsistent, inefficient and ill equipped to monitor the hundreds of thousands of doctors licensed under their watch, Antidote’s investigation of every state board has found. There are some standouts, but, overall, they do a terrible job protecting patients and informing the public.

It bears repeating that most doctors do a great job and are focused on one thing: helping their patients heal and lead healthier lives. The mission of this tour was to explore what happens to that minority of doctors who don’t follow the rules.

Picture of William Heisel

Approaching the half-way mark in Antidote’s tour of state medical boards, I thought I had seen every conceivable public records sin. Unnecessarily clunky websites. Redacted records. Demands for written requests.

The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure adds a new offense against its citizenry: greed.

Picture of Nalea J. Ko

The sun rose over the horizon a few hours before 62-year-old Sung Nguyen stood dockside with tears steadily flowing down his cheeks. The new day brought the same stress of being out of work with few prospects. The Vietnamese American fisherman watched his nearby docked boat, wrapped partially in "Dream Girls" movie posters, as it rocked gently in a Biloxi, Mississippi harbor.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

We’re Number 6! Hurray!

There has been quite a flurry of quick-hit news stories about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s health rankings of the nation’s counties. Apparently, at one point on the day they were released, “county health rankings” was the top search term in Google News.

Too bad a number of these stories were boosterish (or defensive) pieces, devoid of context, about where individual counties ranked in comparison to the one next door.

Picture of William Heisel

Last week, Antidote spoke with Dr. Doris K. Cope, a seasoned anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who is one of the voices behind the new Life Line to Modern Medicine campaign from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Picture of Debra  Sherman

Reforms unlikely to defeat obesity

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This story distills a national analysis of nursing home data and finds that Illinois is the worst state in the country for black seniors seeking nursing home. Illinois has the highest number of poorly rated majority black facilities in the country and just one black nursing home that received an excellent rating from Nursing Home Compare.

We looked at black and white homes where a high percentage of resident care was paid for by Medicaid and found that the disparities between the two groups actually increased, rather than shrunk as some owners with whom we had spoken predicted.

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