Health Care | Nashville Public Radio

Health Care

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courtesy Xenex

The VA hospitals in Middle Tennessee have added a new layer of infection control: Waist-high, germ-zapping robots are being deployed throughout the VA, which has become a leader in the health care industry's fight against drug-resistant superbugs.

Lamar Alexander FAFSA
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (file)

Sen. Lamar Alexander acknowledges that the final tax bill set to pass this week will increase health insurance costs for those who use the federal exchanges. But he says his bipartisan bill to stabilize the insurance marketplace will offset the cost increase.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Nearly half of Tennesseans thought the Affordable Care Act should be repealed as Donald Trump was elected President last November. But Vanderbilt's latest statewide polling finds that number has dropped closer to a third, and hopes for a Republican alternative have also withered over the last year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

More Tennesseans seem to be buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, even though advertising has dropped considerably under the Trump Administration. Open enrollment for 2018 ends Friday at midnight, and the number of applications processed by federally-funded insurance guides — known as navigators — has already surpassed last year. Many enrollees are finding that despite a leap in average price, they are paying less.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The largest employers in Nashville have agreed to promote voter registration as part of their hiring process. The project is spearheaded by Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper and Republican state Sen. Steve Dickerson, who last year promoted registration in Nashville high schools and saw an 85 percent bump.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville General Hospital is trying to keep a negative audit from being used to justify shutting down the facility. The Metro Hospital Authority has been fighting a proposal from Mayor Megan Barry to downsize the city's struggling safety-net hospital, and some board members are worried about how an audit might look to the casual observer.

Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Davidson County is marking a steep drop in infant sleep deaths. The number of infants who suffocated while sleeping dropped 29 percent in one year. So called "sleep-related deaths" dipped to 15 in 2016, representing one in five of all infant deaths.

courtesy TennCare

TennCare's 98-page renewal form is making it harder than necessary for low-income Tennesseans to maintain their subsidized government health coverage, according to the Tennessee Comptroller. After conducting an investigation requested by House Speaker Beth Harwell, the state agency has issued a memo suggesting a list of changes.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The resident physicians at Nashville General will have to find somewhere else to finish their training if the hospital is downsized to a collection of outpatient services. An announcement last month that relocated Meharry Medical College's third- and fourth-year students did not affect medical residents — but related changes at Nashville General would.

courtesy TBI

Forensic experts say they're alarmed by two drug combinations that recently showed up in the TBI crime lab. One is a mixture of fentanyl and methamphetamine. Another is cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

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