Health

Health news

courtesy Catholic Health

In response to a state health official's advisory about the flu, a Buffalo-area hospital system is announcing a temporary restriction on visitors to its facilities.


David Irish

In Betsy Irish’s room, it’s all about the music. There is a big boom box in the corner, framed CD jackets and a special box just for Christmas music.

She’s hanging out with her dad, David Irish, at her group house in a suburb of Rochester. They’re doing one of their usual activities — reading the dictionary.

With little power left in Washington, Democrats set out on Sunday to make a big statement against GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with rallies in dozens of cities.

It's also a step for the party toward regaining its footing after grassroots efforts in 2016 failed to keep the White House in Democrats' hands.

An expansion of industrial hemp farming was one of Governor Cuomo’s proposals at his regional State of the State address in Syracuse. The proposal comes the same week the state allots more money to fight drug addiction.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

The latest round of air quality tests have found no lingering effects from a massive November fire last year at the old Bethlehem Steel complex.

Is aid-in-dying right for New York?

Jan 9, 2017
Jo Naylor / Flickr

Susan Rahn's doctors first discovered cancer in her back a few years ago. They traced its to her breast, and she's now at Stage 4 - a terminal diagnosis. Rahn changes her medication every three months to fight the pain.


Albany is apparently seeing a growing problem with gambling addiction and is allowing the state's public addiction treatment centers to provide more beds for problem gamblers.

The rush to get health care before it changes

Jan 9, 2017

The number of New Yorkers signing up for health insurance through the state health exchange continues to climb. In recent weeks nearly 3.5 million people enrolled in plans.

An overwhelming majority of people disapprove of Republican lawmakers' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law, according to a poll released Friday.

And judging by the letter-writing and lobbying in the first week of the new congressional session, many health care and business groups agree.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

On a cold, windy and snowy night, around two dozen people were inside the Erie County Emergency Operations Center talking about giving life, using naloxone to overcome the fatal overdose effects of opioids. As fatalities have continued to rise, the number of people wanting to learn how to use the drug spray also has increased. 

In recognition of National Radon Month, the state is reminding New Yorkers to test their homes for that invisible, odorless and tasteless gas that can ultimately be fatal.

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were both on Capitol Hill Wednesday, making competing cases for and against Obama's signature health care law. Republicans have promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act their first order of business, once they control both Congress and the White House.

WBFO's Chris Caya

A new era in health care begins Tuesday, with the opening of the Oishei Children's Outpatient Center at Main and High Streets on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

WBFO file photo

Erie County leaders are reporting a spike in opioid-related deaths during the month of December. Health Department officials are investigating whether they may be linked to a new synthetic form of the drug.

Improvements reported at Buffalo VA Hospital

Dec 22, 2016
WBFO File Photo

Local veterans may be encouraged with some recent news. The Buffalo VA Medical Center has made a "large improvement" in overall quality.


Medtronic

A 67-year old Ontario County man is one of the first local residents to have the world's smallest pacemaker implanted in his heart.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is turning up the heat on the federal government to consider recalling e-cigarette batteries and devices that explode and catch fire, injuring users.

NYS health exchange extends enrollment deadline

Dec 16, 2016
New York State

New Yorkers now have an extra two days to sign up for health insurance in time for a January 1 start date.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

On Wednesday the big weather incident was the lake effect snow. One day after, it's the severe cold that has arrived in the region. It is a bitter cold, warns Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein, that may prove dangerous to one's health and safety in very short time if not properly covered.  


Chris Caya / WBFO News

A historic boost in cancer research funding is available across the country, thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act. Western New York’s household name in fighting the disease is ready to compete for new dollars.

Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is investigating another hacking into its network of protected health information, this time affecting some 34,000 patients who have bloodwork conducted through the company.

More Medicaid coverage for transgender services

Dec 12, 2016

Increased  coverage for transgender medical care and services are taking effect for Medicaid plans in New York. The Department of Health has established that young people, under the age of 18, will now receive coverage for hormone therapy deemed medically necessary, according to the notice filed in the NYS Register.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama is expected to sign the 21st Century Cures Act into law. Two local congressmen, one from each major political party, stood together with representatives of numerous health and patient interests to celebrate the act's passage.


New York state is making more changes to its medical marijuana program.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act — also known as Obamacare — and replace it with something else. While no one really knows what that means, one health care analyst with a prominent Albany think tank said New York could be billions of dollars in the hole as a result.


Chris Caya/WBFO News

It’s not every day that a hospital relocates to a new spot, but that’s what is happening at Women & Children’s Hospital. The hospital will move from its current location on Bryant Street to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in several stages beginning on January 3.

Kenmore Mercy earns Top Hospital award

Dec 8, 2016
Catholic Health System

Kenmore Mercy Hospital has earned the Leapfrog Group's Top Hospital Award and was the only hospital in New York State to make this year's list of 115.

Taylor Mann / CleanSlate UV

When the cell phone you hold in your hand and press against your face is at least six times dirtier than the average toilet seat, it begs the question: Is it safe to use in a hospital? The answer: Not so much. A winner of New York’s 43North competition is out to change that, and they’re finding more uses for their product than originally planned.


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.

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