Copy into your RSS Reader
Copy into your Podcast App
Is that struck by macaw, initial encounter, or struck by macaw, subsequent encounter?
October 1, 2015 Updating antiquated diagnosis codes is supposed to make medical billing more accurate, but doctors and insurers say right now it seems like a very expensive headache. Is there a code for that?
September 30, 2015 Studies showing that a treatment works are more likely to be published than those with a negative result. So talk therapy and drug therapy for depression are probably less effective than thought.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/444789771/444790906" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
September 28, 2015 Doctors and patients are using ketamine to treat severe depression, even though the anesthetic and psychedelic club drug has not been approved by the FDA for that purpose. It's not without risks.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/443203592/444092381" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Better keep that window open, lady. There aren't many effective options for reducing hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
September 23, 2015 Women have precious few choices when it comes to treating menopause symptoms, an expert panel says. Cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis top the list.
The Essure contraceptive device is placed in the fallopian tubes, where it causes scarring that blocks sperm from reaching eggs.
Courtesy of Bayer HealthCare
September 21, 2015 It's the only available, nonsurgical permanent birth control option that's FDA-approved. But thousands of women have complained of serious side effects like severe pain, heavy bleeding and depression.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/438651575/442148975" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Don't be afraid to ask the pharmacy for a better price, consumer advocates say.
September 16, 2015 Believe it or not, it may be cheaper to pay for a prescription yourself rather than using your insurance. And if that fails, there are other places to turn for help getting the best possible deal.
Aspirin can lower the risk of heart attacks, but there's concern that it's being overused.
September 15, 2015 Some adults at risk of heart attack or stroke can indeed benefit from taking a daily aspirin, a federal panel says. And it may also lower colorectal cancer risk. But the treatment has risks, too.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/440337151/440477150" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has been used for decades as a painkiller in the operating room.
Joe Amon/The Denver Post/Getty Images
August 26, 2015 The synthetic opioid fentanyl is used for surgery and to treat severe pain. Abuse has always been a problem. Now that it's being used to cut heroin, the risk of overdose or death has soared.
Text messages helped remind diabetes patients to check their blood sugar and report in.
August 26, 2015 Many low-income patients can't make multiple visits to the doctor, which is a problem if you're a diabetic trying to get insulin dosing just right. A text-based system made remote reports possible.
Patient reviews of doctors tend to focus on non-medical issues like wait time, billing and front office staff.
Mahafreen H. Mistry/NPR
August 6, 2015 Doctors hate online rankings, saying patients don't get the nuances of medicine. But health care reviews on Yelp are more positive overall than they are for restaurants and other services.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/429624187/429911966" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Louis Arevalo holds his Truvada pills at his home in Los Angeles. The drug can be over 90 percent effective at preventing spread of HIV.
Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News
August 5, 2015 Lack of knowledge about the drug, and stigmas attached to sleeping with men and to perceived promiscuity, are major barriers to PrEP treatment. The costs and side effects are also concerns for many.
A woman prepares bhasma ingredients for an Ayurvedic treatment in India. Ayurveda is also used in the United States.
July 31, 2015 The treatments are popular in India and the United States, but some can be contaminated with high levels of lead and other toxic metals. People continue to be harmed.
Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014, during the "Show Us Your Shoes" parade at the Miss America pageant.
Courtesy of The Miss America Organization
July 30, 2015 She didn't know that sporting an insulin pump on her bikini at a beauty pageant would make her an Internet sensation. Sierra Sandison is trying to use that to help others with Type 1 diabetes.
July 22, 2015 Though endocrinologists have been treating trans youths with hormones for about a decade, it's not clear how starting that process in adolescence affects health. A study aims to find out.
Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit hospital don't always need the tests and treatments suggested.
July 20, 2015 Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit often get multiple tests and treatments a day. Not all of them help, and some can hurt. Neonatologists have picked the five least likely to do good.
If you know what a bladder infection feels like, should you have to go to the doctor every time?
July 15, 2015 It can be pretty miserable waiting to get the urine test when you're sure you've got a bladder infection and just need the antibiotics already. Some doctors think it's time for to let women prescribe.
Glowing bacteria is part of a project on the open-source laboratory Arcturus BioCloud.
Courtesy of Arcturus BioCloud
July 15, 2015 Insulin can be expensive even with insurance, and millions of people need it to stay alive. Proponents of the biohacking movement say it should be possible to make it safely and cheaply.
HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer and other cancers by fending off the virus that causes them. But it's been a tough sell with doctors and parents.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
July 14, 2015 The HPV vaccine has failed to gain market share compared to other new vaccines, even though it's great at preventing cancer. Concerns about teen promiscuity and attempts to require it may be why.
Amanda Dykeman, 33, of Coal Valley, Ill., had Essure devices removed after having multiple health problems.
Tara Haelle for NPR
July 14, 2015 Thousands of women say they've been harmed by the permanent contraceptive. But it's unclear whether the problems were caused by the device. The Food and Drug Administration is taking a closer look.
Hands holding one week old baby boy.
Leanne Temme/Getty Images
July 13, 2015 If parents don't have a name teed up, hospitals often give babies temporary ones, like Babygirl. But those generic names can be dangerously confusing, especially in the neonatal intensive care unit.
July 7, 2015 A comparison of women in 547 U.S. counties found that getting more women in for screening mammograms didn't lower death rates from breast cancer. More small cancers were found.
Most of the people who got measles in last year's outbreaks hadn't been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.
Photo illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
July 6, 2015 The widely publicized measles outbreak linked to California theme parks appears to have made parents more confident about vaccine safety and benefits, a national poll finds.
Nurses Katherine Malinak and Amy Young lift Louis DeMattio, a stroke patient, out of his hospital bed using a ceiling-mounted lift at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dustin Franz for NPR
July 6, 2015 Doctors tell surgical patients to get out of bed as soon as possible, but people with brain injuries are encouraged to rest. Now it looks like activity can benefit brain injured patients, too.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/419519145/420454024" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Melissa Mathis holds a container of freeze-dried placenta capsules.
Carrie Feibel/Houston Public Media
June 28, 2015 Texas now explicitly allows the placenta to be taken home after giving birth in a hospital. It came about at the urging of people who feel consuming dried and encapsulated placenta helps new mothers.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/414836758/418355241" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor