KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Health Officials Tout Flu Vaccine’s Effectiveness, But Say Season Has Yet To Peak

The strain chosen for this year's vaccine is 59 percent effective, which is an improvement on last year's, which came in at less than 20 percent. In other public health news, scientists say the connection between ovarian cancer and talc is unclear, the president is set to talk about his precision medicine initiative and a fight is brewing over nursing home evictions.

USA Today: Studies Mixed On Link Between Talcum Powder, Ovarian Cancer
A court case involving the family of an Alabama woman who blamed the talc in baby powder for causing their mother's fatal ovarian cancer is raising questions about the product's safety — especially for feminine hygienic use. A St. Louis jury late Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the woman's family $72 million in damages. (Szabo, 2/24)

NPR: Nursing Home Evictions Strand The Disabled In Costly Hospitals
What if you had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home your landlord said you couldn't move back in? Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face that situation every year. In most cases, it's a violation of federal regulations. But those rules are rarely enforced by the states. So, in California, some nursing home residents are suing the state, hoping to force it to take action. (Jaffe, 2/25)

Meanwhile, out-of-staters are ending up in Colorado's ERs in high numbers due to cannabis-related reasons —

NPR: For Pot Tourists, The Trip Is More Likely To End In The ER
A lot of visitors to Colorado figure they might give the state's good ganja a try. But they might not be prepared for the effects. When it comes to bad weed trips, out-of-staters have been doing much worse than Colorado residents and are going to the ER more often since recreational sales of marijuana began in 2014. (Chen, 2/24)

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