In some cases, "observation" may be no more than a billing designation that allows hospitals to move patients out of crowded emergency departments. Hospitals also may use them to avoid potential insurance reimbursement problems.
The world is close to wiping out polio, as the number of new cases is at an all-time low. But recent violence against polio vaccinators threatens to reverse this progress. Recently, gunmen killed nine polio vaccinators in Nigeria, mirroring attacks in Pakistan in December.
The Food and Drug Administration recently issued new warnings on the safety of some hip replacements. As part of our occasional series, "Mind and Body," Diane and her guests discuss what patients need to know about safety and cost of hip replacements.
When researchers asked hospitals how much a total hip replacement would cost a 62-year-old woman paying cash, a surprising number couldn't or wouldn't say. Health care could learn something from the car industry about working with consumers, critics say.
The rate at which American women are having babies fell again in 2011, continuing a decline that's been under way for years. Births to teenagers hit another low, while births to older women rose slightly.
Two-thirds of the people who died from gunshot wounds in 2010 were suicides. Diane and guests talk about recognizing people at risk of suicide and whether reducing access to guns could lower U.S. suicide rates.
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