Health Care

70-year-old nurse leaves retirement to work in nursing home’s COVID-19 ward

BY: - January 27, 2022

After working for nearly 50 years as a nurse, Cindy Roden was ready to enjoy retirement after leaving her job last March at a nursing home in Aitkin. She had the summer and fall to spend gardening and fishing with her grandkids in the lake just outside her house. Then she got a call from […]

A High-Risk Medical Device Didn’t Meet Federal Standards. The Government Paid Millions for More.

BY: - January 10, 2022

This story was originally published by ProPublica. In 2014, when the Food and Drug Administration found serious problems with a life-sustaining heart pump, its warning letter to the manufacturer threatened to notify other federal health agencies about the inspection’s findings. But for years, no such alert ever went out. Instead, the agency added the warning […]

Leslie Clayton of Golden Valley, Minnesota

A title fight pits physician assistants against doctors in Minnesota

BY: - January 7, 2022

After 23 years as a physician assistant, Leslie Clayton remains rankled by one facet of her vocation: its title. Specifically, the word “assistant.” Patients have asked if she’s heading to medical school or in the middle of it. The term confounded even her family, she said: It took years for her parents to understand she […]

House GOP leans on Mayo Clinic to call off its vaccine mandate

BY: - December 16, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz and DFL lawmakers are slamming a letter signed by more than three dozen House GOP state representatives that asks the Mayo Clinic to end its vaccine mandate for hospital employees. The letter goes further, threatening to withdraw support for state funding intended to alleviate health care workforce shortages. Earlier this month, state […]

U.S. Supreme Court considers new limits on abortions in Mississippi case

BY: and - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is weighing potentially sweeping changes to the right to an abortion, after two hours of arguments Wednesday morning on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court’s conservatives, who hold a 6-3 majority, appeared through their questions to be sympathetic to Mississippi’s arguments that its […]

Protesters rally at Supreme Court as justices hear landmark abortion case

BY: - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Lucia Ruta remembers a time when abortions were illegal. A native of Washington, D.C., she says she received an abortion in a back alley when she was 16, in the 1960s. “The doctor told me that if I made as so much a whimper, he was going to stop and kick me out,” […]

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 […]