Health

Health news

courtesy Erie County Medicaid Inspector General

Nearly a third of Erie County residents are on Medicaid and the number is rising at an average 4 percent annually, according to the latest numbers from the County's Medicaid Inspector General. The report also shows numbers that contradict what the Inspector General says are some of the misconceptions about Medicaid and who is using it.


Hospitals have long been reluctant to share with patients their assessments of which nursing homes are best because of a Medicare requirement that patients' choices can't be restricted.

For years, many hospitals simply have given patients a list of all the skilled nursing facilities near where they live and told them which ones have room for a new patient. Patients have rarely been told which homes have poor quality ratings from Medicare or a history of public health violations, according to researchers and patient advocates.

Patrick Koster

Douglas Hahn was diagnosed with depression when he was 9 years old. In subsequent years, he isolated himself from others until he was almost finished with high school. He was in and out of facilities during a difficult era.

File photo

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the biggest meals people cook each year. With it come challenges in preparing the food.

NYS urging more breastfeeding initiatives

Nov 22, 2016

The New York State Department of Health continues to push for breastfeeding initiatives. On Monday, the department announced it will allocate more than $7 million toward promoting breastfeeding. 

New York State

Federal auditors say New York improperly used as much as $150 million in grants to set up its insurance exchange under President Barack Obama's health care law and enroll people for coverage.

Buffalo water quality testing one-third complete

Nov 16, 2016

The City of Buffalo says testing of water sources in common use areas of the City’s 27 community centers, prioritized by where young children attend daycare and spend time after school and on weekends, is nearing completion, while the analysis for lead and copper at more than 150 city-owned buildings by the end of the year is on track.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

While New York would not be as greatly affected as other states if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, there could be some changes to the health exchange. Republicans, controlling the House, Senate and soon the presidency are now positioned to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law.

Gretchen Ertl/Reuters/Landov

There has been a recall of one of the key weapons in the fight against fatal opioid abuse overdoses -- naloxone.

Many diabetics ignoring basic health recommendations

Nov 8, 2016

New data collected by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield suggests many people with diabetes admit they are not taking the basic steps to keep their chronic illness in check.

A new survey finds that nearly three-quarters of adults in Buffalo believe opioids addiction is one of today's highest social priorities, but there are not enough community resources to tackle the problem. That is why a local health provider, that began in response to the AIDS crisis of a generation ago, has been expanding into opioids addiction and other chronic diseases that are underserved and stigmatized.

Kaleida Health

With the opening of the new John R. Oishei Children's Hospital a year away, there are still big parts of the project in the works. Kaleida Health is jumping through the last hoops to put a helicopter pad on top of the complex.

Open enrollment is here. Now what?

Nov 2, 2016
Karen Shakerdge / WXXI News

You may have heard a few different numbers regarding insurance costs rising for 2017. Not all states have the same rate increases. In New York, plans are going up an average of 17 percent.

Not sure what these changes in premium costs mean for you? Or what you need to do if you're already on a health plan through the exchange? Wondering if you need to bother with the exchange if you get health insurance through your employer? 

WXXI's Karen Shakerdge sat down with Lisa Ball, staff attorney at Legal Assistance of Western New York, specializing in health, to learn more.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

The City of Buffalo is continuing to take proactive steps in the fight against lead poisoning with its new “Wipe Out Lead” campaign.

Mobile mammograms at City Hall

Oct 28, 2016
WBFO's Eileen Buckley / File Photo

If you are a woman age 40 or over who is due for your regular mammogram or have never had a mammogram, you may want to check out the mobile breast health coach outside Buffalo City Hall until 5 p.m.

UB researchers to track flu season via smartphone survey

Oct 28, 2016
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Tracking the spread of flu in Western New York? There's an app for that! University at Buffalo researchers are seeking individuals who will participate in a smartphone project that will track how the flu spreads this season.


WBFO's Michael Mroziak

There was plenty of excitement at Roswell Park Cancer Institute Wednesday morning, as President and CEO Candace Johnson made what she called two "historic" announcements that "represent new hope for patients with lung cancer." The Buffalo-based hospital and research center will become the first such institution in the U.S. to test cancer drugs developed in Cuba.


The cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is expected to rise an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to information released by the Obama administration Monday afternoon.

Still, federal subsidies will also rise, meaning that few people are likely to have to pay the full cost after the rate increases to get insurance coverage.

Chris Pizzello/Invision / Associated Press

New York Sen. Timothy Kennedy has proposed new legislation that would ban the sale and possession of the newly emerging synthetic opioid nicknamed "Pink."

WBFO News File Photo

All drinking fountains in Lackawanna City Schools have been turned off and sinks have warning signs on them, after elevated levels of lead were found from a variety of sources.

New York State is requiring more health insurers to cover the cost of medications used to help those struggling with opioid addiction.

Buffalo is pushing hard against bad landlords and bad property managers in the fight against lead poisoning, especially lead poisoning in children.


ECMC

Recovering from an illness can take toughness - ECMC says Jim Kelly toughness. in that spirit, the medical center dedicated its new “Kelly Tough Room” Tuesday.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says state and county measures to address the opioids crisis are "making a positive difference." Speaking with reporters, he said the county expects some 100 fewer deaths from overdoses this year than previously projected.

Google Maps

Lewiston Police say they have identified the cause of seven people falling ill at the town Post Office Wednesday.

Mighty Taco, Inc.

Mighty Taco has issued an update on what is suspected to be a bad batch of refried beans that sickened 140 people between September 30 and October 6.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A not-for-profit health insurance provider that serves low-income people eligible for government assistance has opened an office on Main Street, and has ambitious plans to sign up new members over the next year.

Mighty Taco

More than 140 people have been identified as reporting nausea and vomiting after eating at an Erie County Mighty Taco, according to the Erie County Health Department.

Google Maps

The Lewiston Post Office was evacuated for an early morning emergency Wednesday.

More than 100 people have reported becoming ill in recent days after eating at Mighty Taco locations. The Erie County Health Department offered an update Friday on the series of illnesses linked to the popular fast food chain.


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