Releasing medical records

Individuals have the right, per federal law, to access their medical records. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives patients the right to access their health information and medical records.

Unfortunately, the hospitals releasing this information are not always consistent in how they deliver that information and what they communicate to patients.

A recent study looked into the issue of hospital medical record requests.

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New law requires hospitals to disclose cost of medical procedures

In the United States, health care prices and costs are not easily understood.

Most patients do not know how much the medical services they are receiving cost. They submit their bills to insurance, pay their co-pay, and receive a bill. There is little attention paid to the actual cost of services or procedures.

But a new law may change that.

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How to deal with an inconsiderate doctor

Visiting the doctor is usually not a pleasant experience. The situation is only made worse when the doctor is unempathetic, confrontational or in a hurry.

One thing patients know is that a doctor’s tone and demeanor matter.

A recent article on HealthLine examines how a doctor’s words and actions affect patients.

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Should pregnant women be included in research studies?

A recent article by NPR detailed the challenges doctors face in treating pregnant women with medical conditions – either pre-existing or pregnancy-related. The effects of certain medications may be unknown or unstudied, so doctors often rely on what they’ve always done.

Pregnant women are not typically involved in medical research studies, due to ethical and safety concerns for both the mother and the fetus. Pregnant women are among what is considered a vulnerable population, and studying them is generally not permitted.

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Google Street View cars being used to detect gas leaks

Gas leaks are extremely common in the United States. Many gas lines are decades old, and these older pipes are more likely to leak.

A gas leak can result in a catastrophic explosion or fire.

But even when a gas leak does not result in an explosion or fire, they can still be problematic.

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Is minimally-invasive surgery for cervical cancer safe and effective?

Minimally invasive surgery is often recommended by surgeons, and is a popular treatment for cervical cancer for many reasons. The incisions are small. The surgery recovery time is shorter. And there is a lower risk of infection and bleeding.

But a recent study shows a difference in survival and recurrence among women who underwent minimally invasive hysterectomy surgery, as opposed to those who underwent a traditional hysterectomy through an open abdominal incision.

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Neonatal health problems higher among black and Hispanic babies

Newborn Hospital A new study by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention shows a large disparity between black and Hispanic babies and white babies when it comes to developing certain neonatal health conditions.

Black and Hispanic babies are more likely to be born prematurely than Caucasian babies.

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Alternative transportation options for older adults

Senior TransportationHaving a car and driving is something many of us take for granted.

For senior drivers who are about to stop driving, the loss of independence can be a difficult thing to go through.

Fortunately, there are transportation options available to help seniors get around, attend medical appointments, run errands, etc. Learning what ride options are available and figuring out how to use them can be overwhelming. But with practice and help from friends and family members, this is not an impossible task.

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Why fall risks in nursing homes shouldn’t be ignored

Wheelchair Falls at nursing homes and retirement homes are a real safety concern.

Many nursing home residents are in the facility because of decreased mobility. Many are no longer able to walk or even stand on their own. Falling is a real possibility, and can have devastating effects.

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More American women die in childbirth than most industrialized countries

Birth Injury LaborFor nine long months, expectant mothers wait for the arrival of their child. And for most mothers, this is only the first chapter in a long story that is the life of a child.

But something is going on in the U.S. A concerning number of women are dying in childbirth or shortly after.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 700 women die in the United States every year in childbirth or due to pregnancy complications.

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