Navigating the Health Care System

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June 11 2013 20130611

Not Just the Baby Blues: Screening Can Help Address Postpartum Depression

If you know someone who's expecting a baby this summer, you have plenty of company. More babies are born in July, August, and September than in any other months of the year, according to 2010 Federal data [PDF File]. A new baby brings joy and excitement. But for some women, it can also bring on the start of serious depression. Known as postpartum depression, this condition often starts shortly after a woman gives birth, but it can also begin up to a year later. Signs of postpartum depression... Read more

May 10 2013 20130510

Hopeful Signs on a Long Road to a Better Health System

If you've ever thought that your experience with the health care system–good or bad–is very different from someone else's, you're not alone.A new set of reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) show that the goal of safe, high-quality care is not within reach for all Americans. The 2012 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report were released this month.Based on data collected from 2002 to 2009, the reports... Read more

April 9 2013 20130409

Health Law at Three Years Highlights Coverage, Cost, and Quality Improvements

When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law 3 years ago, many Americans paid attention to popular features like letting young adults stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26 or closing the "donut hole" gap for Medicare prescription drugs.These portions of the health care law help a lot of people.As of December 2011, 3.1 million more young adults had health insurance coverage as a direct result of the law, according to a national survey from the U.S. Department of... Read more

March 5 2013 20130305

New Primary Care Focus Helps Patients Take Better Care of Themselves

Starting new behaviors to improve our health can be a challenge. Too often, our health care system doesn't help us learn the skills we need to stay healthy.Take the example of Alex, a 60-year-old man who just learned he has Type 2 diabetes.He must watch his diet and get regular exercise. He will need to visit his doctor to prevent problems with his eyes, feet, and kidneys, which can be affected by this disease. Alex will also need to check his blood sugar levels and he may need daily pills... Read more

February 5 2013 20130205

New Tools Help Health Providers Reduce Patients' Risk of Falls

For older adults, falls are serious, whether they take place in the home or in a health care setting.More than one-third of adults over age 65 fall each year. Falls can cause bone fractures, disability, and even death. Among people 75 and older, falls are far more likely to cause admissions into a long-term care facility than for adults 10 years younger, Federal data show.An estimated 500,000 falls  happen each year in U.S. hospitals, causing 150,000 injuries. Patients have a higher risk... Read more

January 8 2013 20130108

Make Good on Your Resolution To Quit Smoking

For people who smoke cigarettes, the New Year is a popular time to try to quit.And it's no wonder why.Tobacco use kills about 443,000 people in the United States each year or about 1 in 5 deaths annually. It is the Number One cause of preventable deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health and for the health of your loved ones. Within just 12 hours of your last cigarette, the carbon monoxide levels... Read more