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U.S. Medicare sets new hospital, doctor payments for 2015
31 Oct 2014 at 3:02pm
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Medicare program's payment rate for hospital outpatient services will increase 2.3 percent in calendar year 2015, while the rate for ambulatory surgical services will rise 1.4 percent, the federal government announced on Friday. The Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled will also begin to pay doctors a monthly fee to coordinate care for patients with multiple chronic conditions in 2015, a government statement said. The separate monthly payment of $40. ...
Judge rejects attempt to isolate nurse
31 Oct 2014 at 2:52pm
FORT KENT, Maine (AP) ? A Maine judge gave nurse Kaci Hickox the OK to go wherever she pleases, handing state officials a defeat Friday in the nation's biggest court case yet over how to balance personal liberty, public safety and fear of Ebola.
Jefferies CEO, chairman take drug tests
31 Oct 2014 at 2:37pm
(Reuters) - Jefferies Group LLC said on Friday Chief Executive Rich Handler, Chairman Brian Friedman and executives at its healthcare division were tested negative for drug usage, after one of its investment banking head was accused of drug abuse. Sources told Reuters on Thursday that Sage Kelly, the head of Jefferies' healthcare investment banking group, is taking a leave of absence from the firm as he wages a bitter divorce battle with his estranged wife. ...
Canada imposes visa ban on three Ebola-hit countries
31 Oct 2014 at 2:07pm
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will stop issuing visas to people from the three West African nations where Ebola is widespread, the government said on Friday. The federal citizenship ministry, explaining the move, said in an official document that "the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health". About 5,000 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Fears rose that the disease could spread beyond the region after a few cases were diagnosed in Spain and the United States. ...
Pentagon civilians leaving Ebola zones may choose monitoring regimen
31 Oct 2014 at 2:05pm
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Civilian U.S. defense employees returning from Ebola relief work in West Africa must undergo monitoring to ensure they are free of disease but can choose between following civil health guidelines or the stricter military regimen, the Pentagon said on Friday. The decision followed an impassioned political and scientific debate in the United States about the most appropriate and safe precautions for returning medical and other workers who have been helping to contain the Ebola outbreak at its source. ...
Halyard Health poised to shine in debut on back of Ebola scare
31 Oct 2014 at 1:47pm
By Devika Krishna Kumar (Reuters) - When Kimberly-Clark Corp decided a year ago to carve off its healthcare division, it probably did not envisage launching the company amid the deadliest ever outbreak of the Ebola virus. Since Ebola was first diagnosed in the United States, demand has surged for the eye shields, face masks and disposable gowns made by Halyard Health Inc, which is set to make its market debut on Monday. "The investment community seems very engaged and are asking us a lot of questions," Warren Machan, Halyard's senior vice-president of business strategy, told Reuters. ...
Researchers in Oregon identify autism-risk genes
31 Oct 2014 at 1:28pm
By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - Researchers in Oregon say they have identified 27 genes that may cause autism, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature. The research at Oregon Health and Science University has the potential to create a screening tool for parents of autistic children, by helping them to determine if future offspring are likely also to develop the disorder, said co-author Brian O'Roak, assistant professor of molecular and medical genetics at OHSU's medical school. ...
Canada dismemberment killer had troubled childhood, his father says
31 Oct 2014 at 1:27pm
By Allison Lampert MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Canadian man who killed and dismembered a Chinese student in 2012 was raised by a domineering mother who would get drunk on vodka and was obsessed with germs, the man's father testified on Friday, while describing himself as an alcoholic schizophrenic. Luka Magnotta, 32, has admitted killing and dismembering engineering student Jun Lin, 33, and to videotaping the acts and mailing parts of the body to several addresses. He is pleading not guilty due to mental illness. ...
Hold U.S. envoy Power defends Ebola guidelines, warns on Guinea
31 Oct 2014 at 1:20pm
By Louis Charbonneau and Bill Berkrot NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Friday defended federal guidelines for monitoring health workers returning from three Ebola-stricken West African countries while urging greater coordination to contain the outbreak in Guinea. There is a growing controversy in the United States over some states ordering 21-day quarantines for nurses and doctors returning after treating Ebola patients, an idea that medical experts have criticized. ...
Republicans question preparedness spending after Ebola missteps
31 Oct 2014 at 1:18pm
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Texas Republicans, including Tea Party-backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, sought to ratchet up the pressure on the Obama administration's Ebola response on Friday, by questioning its use of federal tax dollars for emergency preparedness. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the lawmakers said they were concerned about missteps in the Dallas Ebola case of Thomas Eric Duncan, which they said occurred after large sums of federal money were spent to help U.S. cities prepare for infectious diseases. ...
Could breathing differently change how people climb mountains?
31 Oct 2014 at 1:06pm
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A brief new report claims that using a breathing technique based on Tibetan Buddhist tradition, 26 inexperienced mountain climbers made it up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa in 48 hours while avoiding acute mountain sickness. They were trained to take quick deep breaths constantly while climbing, said coauthor Dr. Geert A. Buijze of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam in The Netherlands. ?Compare it to the deep breathing when performing strenuous exercises,? Buijze told Reuters Health by email. ...
Judge rejects strict limits on U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients
31 Oct 2014 at 1:01pm
By Joel Page FORT KENT Maine (Reuters) - Declaring Ebola fears in the United States "not entirely rational," a judge rejected Maine's bid for a quarantine on a nurse who treated victims of the disease in West Africa but tested negative for it, and instead imposed limited restrictions. Nurse Kaci Hickox's challenge of the Maine quarantine became a key battleground for the dispute between officials in some U.S. states who have imposed strict quarantines on health workers returning from three Ebola-ravaged West African countries and the federal government, which opposes such measures. ...
Insurance broker Aon launches Ebola liability cover
31 Oct 2014 at 12:58pm
LONDON (Reuters) - (The story was corrected in the first and fourth paragraphs of Oct. 28 story to show Aon is based in Britain, and not the United States) British insurance broker Aon has launched Ebola liability cover for hospitals and other health care institutions, the company said on Tuesday. The Ebola virus has killed nearly 5,000 people worldwide, mainly in West Africa. Fear of Ebola infections spreading to developed economies has prompted insurance companies to add exclusion clauses to their standard policies or to develop new products. ...
Aging Is All In Your Head, Study Says
31 Oct 2014 at 12:57pm
"You can't teach an old dog new tricks," you might joke. Or think to yourself, "I'm too old to do that." Stop it, we beg you. A new study shows perceptions of age are as good as reality when it comes to physical functioning.Researchers from Yale University and University of California, Berkeley set out to find out just how powerful negative --...
GMO crops have fans, critics
31 Oct 2014 at 12:40pm
(Reuters) - Since commercialization of the world's first genetically engineered crops in 1995-1996, there has been an ongoing debate globally about the safety and effectiveness of the crops. China has recently slowed its process for allowing imports of certain types of GMO corn and rejected millions of dollars worth of U.S. * GMO crop developers and other backers say many scientific studies show the crops are safe, and the USDA promotes the crops as a means to enhancing global food security. The last import approval for a GMO grain was granted in June 2013, said Matthew O'Mara, director of international affairs at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, an industry group.