Health Care | Nashville Public Radio

Health Care

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courtesy office of Lamar Alexander

Senator Lamar Alexander's bipartisan response to the opioid crisis has unanimously advanced out of the health committee that he chairs.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

An experimental cancer treatment has won a rare endorsement from the Tennessee legislature, even though lawmakers were discouraged from weighing in. The General Assembly is requiring insurance coverage of proton therapy, which benefits one company building a treatment center in Franklin.

David Goehring / via Flickr

Doctors in Tennessee are putting patients on fewer addictive painkillers. An annual survey finds that opioid prescriptions dropped 8.9 percent in Tennessee last year, but the state still stands out for its high rate of prescribing.

Lauren Bishop / CDC

A nonpartisan analysis finds that the federal government is shouldering a much larger share of individual health insurance costs in Tennessee. Subsidies for those who buy their own insurance on the federal marketplace have increased by 309 percent since 2014, according to the Sycamore Institute. Premiums, by comparison, have risen 185 percent over the same period.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Backers of Nashville's $5.4 billion transit plan argue that construction of light rail and expansion of bus service could be good for the city's health. That's because riding typically means much more walking.

There's an irony at the heart of the treatment of high blood pressure. The malady itself often has no symptoms, yet the medicines to treat it — and to prevent a stroke or heart attack later — can make people feel crummy.

"It's not that you don't want to take it, because you know it's going to help you. But it's the getting used to it," says Sharon Fulson, a customer service representative from Nashville, Tenn., who is trying to monitor and control her hypertension.

Com Saluda / via Flickr

Tennessee doctors failed to convince the legislature that the way TennCare is starting to pay them isn’t working. Physicians called it their top priority for the legislative session. Lawmakers have agreed to study the program but not pump the brakes.

courtesy Sen. Lamar Alexander

This week, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander launched the first hearings on a sweeping response to the opioid crisis. Alexander chairs the Senate's health committee.

courtesy CPS

Updated on Wednesday

Two health care executives have been indicted and accused of a Medicare kickback scheme. Former CEO of Brentwood-based Comprehensive Pain Specialists John Davis was arrested Monday along with Brenda Montgomery, founder of a company based in Camden called CCC Medical.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Ask someone who has a child diagnosed with autism about wait times for lining up services, and they measure in months. The backup is only expected to build as the number of children on the autism spectrum balloons. Vanderbilt is now trying out a stopgap to squeeze in more kids — telemedicine.

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