health care

A proposal to expand New York State’s medical marijuana program would ease prescribing and cover more conditions. The changes would include easier access, shorter training courses for practitioners, and reduced regulations for dispensaries, among other changes. Legislative Counsel at the Marijuana Policy Program Kate Bell says these changes would have a positive impact on patients. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Several Central New York health, labor and civic groups joined Mayor Stephanie Miner Thursday to warn against a huge interruption of health care.  They want to make sure before congress repeals the Affordable Care Act, there’s a replacement in place.  A big part of their message is that many things are impacted if people lose insurance.  Miner highlights some of the concerns she’s heard.

Excellus.com

The spread of technology is about to start changing medical care more rapidly…and in the process, possibly save patients and the healthcare system money. One local insurer will be rolling out Tele-medicine for the families it covers this coming year.

Scott Willis / WAER News

St.  Joseph’s Hospital and several partner organizations are hoping a new three-year,$1.5 million dollar grant will help to make communities healthier by addressing the root causes of poor health.  Syracuse was one of six communities to be awarded a grant.

Dr. Bechara Choucair says he knew almost immediately that Syracuse would be a top contender.  He’s Senior Vice President for Safety Net Transformation and Community Health at Trinity Health, which awarded the grant.

rarediseaseday.org

  If you or a loved one have ever experienced symptoms that your doctor hasn’t been able to diagnose, you’re not alone. Monday was Rare Disease Day, dedicated to raising awareness about little-known diseases...that can impact patients’ and families' lives.

Excellus BCBS

  The percentage of people without health insurance in upstate New York is less than half the national average.  Information from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield suggests employers and Obama-care are helping keep the region healthier.  Excellus Regional President Jim Reed says many not-for-profit insurers and a higher percentage of plans through people’s workplaces are key.

(Jess Lis/freeimages) / Newsservice.org

  New legislation that takes effect at the start of 2016 will allow expectant mothers in New York to enroll in the state's health-insurance exchange at any time during their pregnancy.  New York is the first state in the nation to that makes pregnancy a “qualifying Life Event” to enroll in coverage through the Affordable Care Act.  Assembly member Aravella Simotas co-sponsored the bill that

John Smith/WAER News

  Syracuse activists feel they’re gaining momentum after the State Assembly passed the New York Health Act.  The vote Wednesday was 90 to 47.  They hope the legislation will pave the way for everyone in New York State to someday have equal access to health care.  The act aims to provide universal healthcare by eliminating insurance co-pays, premiums, deductibles or provider networks.

nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

  The second open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act has ended with hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers getting health coverage for the first time. In the state, there are currently 2.1 million people enrolled in health coverage through the state’s marketplace. Of that number, 553,000 who had not enrolled in coverage through the marketplace in 2014, got insured during this open enrollment period which ended February 15th.

kinneydrugs.com

  Central New Yorkers still looking for way to get health insurance through ObamaCare or Medicare might find some help at Kinney Drug Stores today and tomorrow.  Health Navigators will assist people through the New York State of Health exchange.

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