health care

D. Webster

Superbugs like MRSA, C.diff and other antibiotic resistant germs make people sick every year when they visit the place they rely on to keep them healthy - their local hospitals.

"75,000 of those yearly are fatal," said Brandon Bray, account manager for Xenex Disinfection Services.

"Which is about equivalent to, if you added up breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents. It's the same as hospital acquired infections, but people just don't talk about it," said Leah Hansen, Xenex associate business development manager.

A new law designed to protect consumers from massive air ambulance bills took effect in North Dakota on Monday.

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread says air ambulance service can be a frequent mode of transportation of patients to emergency medical care in rural states - but many patients are then sent outrageous bills for that service. He says consumers in North Dakota have reported bills totaling anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000. Godfread says now every health insurance plan sold in North Dakota is required to protect its consumers from these bills.

North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner said President Trump’s decision to end health insurer subsides under the Affordable Care Act could mean health insurance premiums going up.

The payments are called “Cost Sharing Reductions.” They go to insurance companies to help reduce the premiums paid by lower income people buying health insurance on the ACA marketplace.

Children's Health Insurance Program in ND OK for now

Oct 3, 2017

The authorization – and funding – for the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program have run out, effective October first.

Congress has not yet acted to reauthorize and fund it.

The program – called “Healthy Steps” in North Dakota -- is available for children who are in households that may not qualify for Medicaid, but where the family can’t afford to buy health insurance.

Some states have now stopped accepting applications for the program. Others have said they will soon run out of money for it. But, in North Dakota, the situation is different.

Interim Legislative committee talks 'Obamacare'

Aug 4, 2017
ND Legislature

An interim Legislative committee has begun its work on creating a new state plan to meet the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”

But there’s uncertainty. Congress tried but failed to “repeal and replace” the ACA, and so far hasn’t made any changes to the original act.

"Uncertainty creates problems for the health insurance market," said Rep. George Keiser (R-Bismarck), the chairman of the interim Health Care Reform Review Committee. "It creates uncertainty for consumers. And it certainly is creating a problem for the states."

Healthcare: Meetings and rally

Jul 7, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A day for health care discussions in Bismarck.

It ended with a rally in Bismarck's Custer Park. It was organized by the AFL-CIO and Indivisible Bismarck.

Those attending waived signs and chanted. The group wants the GOP healthcare bills scrapped.

"They are presenting America with an immoral choice," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) told the rally. "They are bills that are telling us that we need the biggest tax break in the history of forever for the richest Americans, so we can take 22 million Americans off of health care."

CHI-St. Alexius becoming a regional health care system

Apr 20, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Catholic Health Initiatives is forming a regional health care system for central and western North Dakota.

What this means: CHI-St. Alexius of Bismarck, CHI Mercy Medical Center in Williston, CHI-St. Joseph's in Dickinson, CHI-Carrington Health, CHI Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, as well as hospitals an clinics in Turtle Lake, Minot, Mandan and Washburn will now be under the CHI-St. Alexius name.

The first of its kind in North Dakota.

Altru – the Grand Forks Medical center – and Medica – an insurance company – are setting up what’s called an “Accountable Care Organization” – the first of its kind in North Dakota.

"It's a way to incent providers, patients and insurers to work together to manage population health, rather than each entity focusing on their own function," said Altru Chief Financial Dwight Thompson.

Thompson says the ACO was created for employers. He says the insurer and provider will work together – and it will help provide better medical care.

ND nurses urged to share research findings

Oct 24, 2014

When you think of nursing, the term “research” may not come to mind.

But the executive director of the North Dakota Center for Nursing says nurses are involved in a lot of different research.

"One is quality improvement -- looking at the processes within the health care facility to make sure thye;re working well," said Patricia Moulton. "Also, evidence-based practice -- looking at new ways to do practice. And your basic nursing research as well."

Sanford adds mobile clinics to the Bakken

May 21, 2014
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Sanford Health will expand its reach in the Bakken.

Sanford will be using two mobile clinics and one modular clinic in the oil patch. The modular clinic will be in Watford City, while the two mobile units -- dubbed OPC mobileMED -- will go where they’re needed.