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Guns Account For Higher Suicides Rates In Rural Areas Over Urban Ones, Study Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

Suicides-by-firearm are 66 percent higher in thinly populated counties than in urban counties. There is little regional disparity in non-firearm suicide rates. In related news, experts target teens in suicide prevention efforts while the California prison system reports an increase in suicide attempts among women inmates.

Kansas’ Osawatomie State Hospital Passes Inspection

KHN Morning Briefing

The psychiatric hospital lost its certification in 2015, which resulted in a loss of about $1 million a month in federal funding for the state, but it now appears to be back on track. Meanwhile, in Oregon, Willamette Valley Behavioral Health plans to sue the state over the rejection of its plan to build a 100-bed psychiatric hospital. In addition, the cause of the illness at New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital is still unclear and two Florida cancer centers face fraud allegations.

South Carolina Files Lawsuit Against Maker Of OxyContin Over Alleged Deceptive Marketing

KHN Morning Briefing

The suit accuses Purdue Pharma of violating the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. With similar cases recently filed in Birmingham, Ala., and Cincinnati, the litigation is following in the court path used against Big Tobacco. In other news on the national crisis: teen overdose deaths rise; the lure of “body brokers”; when antidotes fail against synthetic drugs; and more.

White House Tries To Push Congress To Try Again On Obamacare Repeal

KHN Morning Briefing

One key Trump administration target is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but the president is also keeping up his attacks on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose no vote last month was pivotal to preventing Senate passage of any legislation to undo the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is meeting with White House officials on his repeal-and-replace plan.

Standard Advice On Finishing Antibiotics Is Being Challenged By Disease Experts

KHN Morning Briefing

The infectious disease specialists are making the case that taking the drugs once they are not needed may be helping lead to antibiotic resistance. In other public health news, some big-name companies are working to destigmatize mental health problems, Amazon recalls some solar eclipse glasses, music may help some dementia patients and articles on the benefits of work and alcohol.

Enough Painkillers Sold In One Town To Medicate Every Man, Woman, Child For 136 Days

KHN Morning Briefing

A first-time release of CDC prescribing data shows vast regional disparities. Stateline reports on the numbers and the town — Martinsville, Va. — that topped the list. In other news on the national opioid epidemic: Massachusetts police test a new overdose database; experts wait on the impact of White House action; and the deaths of two sons drive one mother’s mission to fight back.