Health Care

Thousands of veterans deluge VA with claims for toxic exposure benefits, health care

BY: - November 25, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is processing claims at the fastest rate in its history, hoping to avoid a significant backlog as hundreds of thousands of veterans apply for health care and benefits under the landmark toxic exposure law Congress passed earlier this year. The day after President Joe Biden signed the […]

Two communities find a cure for medical debt: pandemic stimulus funds

BY: - November 23, 2022

Local governments in Ohio and Illinois are using American Rescue Plan Act money to relieve residents struggling with medical debt by partnering with an organization that buys debt and wipes the slate clean for debtors. It’s a strategy advocates say could be duplicated across the country to help erase a multibillion-dollar problem. On Nov. 9, […]

Thanksgiving holiday renews focus on bird flu, rising costs

BY: - November 22, 2022

Fresh turkeys are more expensive and smaller than usual leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s due, in part, to the deadly and highly transmissible avian influenza that has wracked turkey producers this year. The virus, which is transmitted by wild, migrating birds, has led to the deaths of […]

AG seeking public input on potential merger between Fairview, Sanford Health

BY: - November 22, 2022

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Tuesday announced his office is seeking public input on a possible merger between Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services to create a new health care system that spans the Midwest. Ellison said people can submit comments or concerns about the merger through a new online forum. The Attorney General’s […]

MN children’s hospitals facing severe bed shortage, pediatricians warn

BY: - November 22, 2022

There are just two pediatric intensive care beds available in the entire state of Minnesota, per the latest data from the Department of Health.  The other 142 beds are occupied mostly by children suffering from a variety of respiratory ailments, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and influenza. Pediatricians are warning that pressure on the childrens’ […]

Minnesota seeks to end blood donation discrimination

BY: - November 21, 2022

Christopher Johns got into the habit of donating blood when he was in high school.  But after graduation and coming out as gay, he was surprised to learn that blood banks would refuse donations from him and other gay men who were sexually active. “I was very caught off guard by it,” he said. “I […]

15,000 Minnesota nurses will vote on second strike

BY: - November 17, 2022

Union leaders representing 15,000 nurses at hospitals across the Twin Cities and Duluth area said Thursday they will take a second strike authorization vote — after a three-day strike in September yielded little progress. “Our hospital leadership have failed,” said Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary Turner during a news conference. “They have failed to solve […]

Recreational marijuana use will be legal in 21 states after ballot measures pass

BY: - November 9, 2022

Advocates for marijuana liberalization saw mixed results as legalization ballot measures were counted Tuesday, with Maryland and Missouri voters approving recreational use for adults but Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota rejecting the proposal. Maryland and Missouri will bring the list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal to 21. Maryland’s referendum passed easily, […]

Mental health workers reach tentative deal at Fairview as strike continues at Allina

BY: - October 4, 2022

The union representing about 350 mental health workers at M Health Fairview announced a tentative agreement on a first labor agreement on Monday, a year after workers voted to unionize with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. While workers at M Health Fairview hammered out a deal, more than 130 mental health workers at Allina hospitals launched a […]

Mental health workers launch 3-day strike at Allina hospitals in Twin Cities

BY: - October 3, 2022

More than 130 mental health workers at two Minneapolis area hospitals began a three-day strike on Monday to pressure Allina Health for higher wages, better benefits and more safety protections from violent and abusive patients. The strike at Abbott Northwestern and Mercy Hospital-Unity Campus comes amid growing unrest among health care workers, who say they’re […]

Minnesota overdose deaths up sharply last year, driven by fentanyl

BY: - October 3, 2022

Minnesota drug overdose deaths hit a record high in 2021, according to provisional data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The sharp uptick in fatal overdoses mirrors a pandemic-era trend also seen in other so-called deaths of despair, like suicide and alcoholism. Nearly 1,500 Minnesotans lost their lives to drugs last year, […]

Minnesotans are drinking themselves to death at an unprecedented rate

BY: - September 22, 2022

More than 1,100 Minnesotans died due to excessive drinking in 2021, according to data recently released by the CDC. The number is a record high for the state, representing a doubling of the mortality rate since 2014 and a continuation of a pandemic-era spike in alcohol deaths.  Last year more Minnesotans died of alcohol-induced causes […]