Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Any Kind Of Exercise Can Help With Mental Health, But Playing Team Sports Can Amplify That Boost

KHN Morning Briefing

“If you just run on a treadmill for example, it’s clear that you’re getting that biological stimulation. But perhaps there are other elements of depression that you’re not going to be tapping into,” said Adam Chekroud, one of the study’s authors. In other public health news: memory, the polio-like illness that’s striking children, suicide, loneliness in HIV patients, and more.

St. Luke’s Hires New Cardiac Surgeons As It Works To Overhaul Troubled Houston Heart Transplant Program

KHN Morning Briefing

After losing its Medicare certification, the transplant center had temporarily suspended its program in June in order to review the deaths of patients following heart transplants. In a statement, the hospital said it will continue to make improvements in the program. The original director, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, is still on staff and the hospital declined to describe his current duties.

Women Are Miscarrying After Employers Deny Their Light Duty Requests Even With Notes From Doctors

KHN Morning Briefing

And it’s completely legal for the employers to do so. Under federal law, companies don’t necessarily have to adjust pregnant women’s jobs, even when lighter work is available and their doctors send letters urging a reprieve. The New York Times investigates the issue that’s affected women across the country. News on women’s health also focuses on fertility rates, abortion, and ovarian cancer.

States That Expanded Medicaid Under Health Law Are Slower To Spend Opioid Grants, Investigation Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

In states that expanded Medicaid, the program already covers addiction treatment for nearly everyone who is poor and needs it, so they have to rely less heavily on extra opioid funding. In other news on the crisis: celebrities help fight addiction stigma; a look at a wildly successful Shanghai-based syndicate; why abuse-resistant opioid pills are failing to make strides on the market; and more.

Maryland Wants Supreme Court To Review Ruling That Knocked Down State’s Drug Price Gouging Law

KHN Morning Briefing

A federal appeals court last spring said the law — which allows Maryland’s Medicaid program to notify the state attorney general when an “essential” drug rises in price by 50 percent — gives Maryland officials the right to govern business outside the state, effectively providing “unprecedented powers to regulate the national pharmaceutical market.”

In Tight Georgia Race, Stacey Abrams Reframes Medicaid Expansion As A Smart Business Move

KHN Morning Briefing

“Raise your hand if you would say no to someone who said, ‘Give me a dollar and I’ll give you $9 back,’” said Stacey Abrams, the Democrat in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. “It is economically false, a falsehood over all, to say we can’t afford to expand Medicaid.” The expansion would bring jobs to rural areas because it would save hospitals teetering on the brink of closure, she says. Abrams’ choice to focus on Medicaid expansion reflects a broader trend from Democrats on the trail who see health care as a winning issue.

Trump Administration Mulls Rule That Would Eradicate Government Recognition Of Transgender Americans

KHN Morning Briefing

HHS is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that get government funds. “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposes in the memo obtained by The New York Times.

FTC Files Complaints Against Two Stem Cell Clinics Offering ‘Miracle’ Treatments For Autism, Parkinson’s

KHN Morning Briefing

This is the first time the agency has cracked down on clinics saying, “There are no human clinical studies in the scientific literature showing that amniotic stem cell therapy cures, treats, or mitigates diseases or health conditions in humans.” In other public health news: cyborgs, whole-genome sequencing, a mysterious illness in children, Ebola, equality, sunlight and more.

Cancer Treatment Can Often Come Too Late, But What If You Could Get Ahead Of The Disease?

KHN Morning Briefing

A new study, called Project Baseline, is trying to pinpoint the transition from normal health to disease. Researchers hope that the project could lead to the identification of new markers in the blood, stool or urine of healthy people that help predict cancer, cardiovascular disease and other leading killers of Americans. In other news, why don’t all cancer-linked mutations in cells turn into tumors?