Health Care

CVS sometimes forces people to use its pharmacies. Now the Supreme Court will weigh in

BY: - November 26, 2021

It’s a practice long complained of. CVS Health and other massive corporations often use their pharmacy middleman subsidiaries to force people to get the most expensive class of drugs from the businesses’ own mail-order pharmacies. Some call the practice “patient steering.” CVS and companies such as UnitedHealth and ExpressScripts/Cigna say the arrangements save patients money. […]

Free tests look for harmful chemicals in young children

BY: - November 16, 2021

Children starting kindergarten in southeastern Minnesota can get free testing for possible exposure to harmful chemicals as part of a new pilot program, the Minnesota Department of Health announced on Tuesday. Families who bring their kids ages 3 to 6 to early childhood screening appointments, which are required for public school enrollment, will receive a […]

Photo illustration of nurses in a hospital

Feds issue 47 penalties to Minnesota hospitals for high patient readmission, injury rates

BY: - November 15, 2021

The federal government issued 47 penalties to Minnesota hospitals for high patient readmission or hospital-related infection rates — a lower proportion than the national average, according to an analysis of federal records by Kaiser Health News. The federal government reduces hospitals’ Medicare payments through programs aimed at increasing patient safety, enacted as part of the […]

Advocates call on state to cut ‘Positive Alternatives to Abortion’ program

BY: - October 27, 2021

Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday called on the Legislature to cut $3.3 million in state money going to organizations that encourage women to carry their pregnancies to term. Twenty-seven organizations received grants of up to $350,000 through Minnesota’s “Positive Alternatives to Abortion” program this year, including some so-called “pregnancy resource centers,” according to a report […]

Walz, Senate GOP outline contrasting approach to rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations

BY: - October 6, 2021

Senate Republicans and DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday outlined drastically contrasting approaches to managing the ongoing pandemic, setting up a protracted legislative impasse as the governor calls on lawmakers to act on a raft of COVID-19 mitigation measures.  Walz is calling for mandatory vaccination of long-term care workers, teachers and other school staff, among […]

Nonfatal drug overdoses up 18% in Minnesota, report says

BY: - September 30, 2021

Nonfatal drug overdoses rose 18% during the 2020 pandemic year, from 6,196 emergency department visits in 2019 to 7,290 the following year, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Thursday. People of color were disproportionately affected: Native Americans were nine times more likely to experience a nonfatal overdose than white Minnesotans, and Black Minnesotans were three […]

He refused the shot, and COVID-19 nearly killed him. Local GOP party chair now urges vaccine

BY: - September 21, 2021

By the time Mark Korin leaves the hospital, he will have lost 40 pounds and spent nearly two months battling COVID-19. And he still has a long recovery ahead.  The former Oak Grove mayor, chair of the Senate District 31 Republican Party and Trump supporter had refused the COVID-19 vaccine, believing he did not need […]

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid and lower prescription drug costs

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices — if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The massive […]

Biden administration plan to cut high drug prices mostly quiet on middlemen

BY: - September 14, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week issued a plan to address high drug prices as part of President Joe Biden’s push to take on anticompetitive practices across the economy. Although it addressed in detail abusive practices by drugmakers, the plan was more superficial about the practices of some of the country’s […]

The latest on full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot

BY: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one that […]

COMMENTARY

‘Unconscionable and appalling’: Doctors on Enbridge Line 3 — Opinion

BY: , and - August 5, 2021

As physicians, our duty is to protect the health of all Minnesotans, now and for the future. As daily witnesses to the importance of clean air, water, and land to human health, we are deeply distressed about the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline currently under construction across our state and through 1855 Treaty […]

University of Minnesota implements mask mandate for fall semester

BY: - August 2, 2021

The University of Minnesota is reinstating its mask mandate weeks before students are set to return to campus, University President Joan Gabel announced Monday. Effective Tuesday, all students, staff, faculty and visitors at the system’s campuses across the state will have to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, according to the announcement. The policy […]