Medicine

Health & Science
9:55 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Could brain scans reveal the right treatment for depression?

Talk therapy is best for some people; antidepressants are better for others. Scientists say PET scans might help figure out early on what treatment a person needs.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:39 pm

Finding the right treatment for depression can be a struggle. People find relief with the first treatment only 40 percent of the time. Trying different antidepressants or therapies can take months, which means months of suffering.

Scientists are trying to better the odds by searching for signals in the body or in behavior that could be signposts to the right treatment. Researchers at Emory University say that PET scans of the brain may help predict which people do better on SSRI antidepressants, and which would benefit most from cognitive behavioral therapy instead.

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health insurance
5:50 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Want to pay less for medical care? ... find a better deal online

Not all MRIs cost the same -- and now some insurance companies help you compare costs and save.
The Bs Flickr

If you have high-deductible health insurance – possibly paying $2,000 or more out of pocket – the price of every test or procedure matters a lot. In theory, you should shop around.

But, that’s easier said than done, as Seattle real estate broker Steven Wayne discovered: He ran through his $3,800 deductible, pretty quickly, after a recent series of fainting spells.

Now, new online tools can help you compare real costs.

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quality medical care
11:40 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Medical ratings: Western Washington good, but not the best

Where you live definitely affects the quality of your health care. That’s clear in a new report comparing communities across the country. Western Washington is divided into three zones and they all score above average – but not in the top 10 percent.

The best score goes to the Everett/Snohomish/Skagit area.

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health care costs
6:00 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Workers' wellness saving jobs in parks, policing, transit

King County Executive Dow Constantine and nine county employees who've been getting healthier.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he’ll be able to preserve as many as a dozen sheriff’s deputies and 20 public health nurses. That’s because King County employees have been improving their health – and saving taxpayers about $23 million this year.

The savings go back into the county’s budget, and will mean fewer cuts next year.

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Health
11:36 am
Thu June 2, 2011

Rare Bacterial Strain Identified As Cause Of European Outbreak

A couple of E. Coli bacteria captured in an image from the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases in Berlin earlier this week.
Manfred Rohde Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 3, 2011 6:06 am

Update 3:58 p.m.: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director for the division of foodborne, bacterial and mycotic diseases, tells NPR's Richard Harris the bacterium seen in the European outbreak isn't brand new. Tauze identified it as E. coli O104:H4. "This organism that's been isolated from the sick people in Germany has been seen before," he says.

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Medicine
10:21 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Health procedures scrutinized for costs, benefits

If you've had arthroscopic knee surgery for osteoarthritis, maybe you shouldn't have.  And if you've tried any of these treatments, there are questions, too, about whether it was worth it:

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Medicine
4:07 pm
Thu January 20, 2011

Hospital courtship: UW Medicine proposes to Valley Medical Center

King County's major medical centers continue jockeying for position in the emerging new health-care world. 

U.W. Medicine and Valley Medical Center proposed this week what they call a "strategic alliance." Valley wants to retain its name, although the news release says Valley would become "part of U.W. Medicine."

Earlier this year, U.W. Medicine took over running Northwest Hospital (in north Seattle), without actually owning the hospital. 

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Science
4:58 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

Hospitals reveal surgical infection rates

Surgery at U.W. Medical Center
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

If you ever need elective surgery, more websites keep appearing to help you pick the safest hospital.  Now, you can compare all the hospitals in Washington based on their infection rates following some common surgeries. 

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