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A Son's Death Reveals Chasms In Emergency Mental Health Care

Families seeking mental health care for a suicidal relative often face a labyrinth. First, they must obtain a legal commitment order, then they must find space on a hospital ward. State budget cuts have made it harder to get care during a mental health crisis.
NPR

Remember 'French Fries Cause Cancer'? Here's The Acrylamide Update

Back in 2002, news that acrylamide, a carcinogen in animals, had been found in some foods set off a bit of a panic. Now the FDA has issued a new warning on the chemical in food. But here's the puzzler: In the years since that first scare, the human studies haven't really backed those initial concerns about cancer.
NPR

Obama, State Insurance Commissioners Talk Policy Extensions

President Obama met with state insurance commissioners to discuss changes to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Some commissioners are in a difficult spot because their states passed laws that prohibit policies that don't comply with the law. Now, the president says companies can keep offering non-compliant policies for another year if they want to.
NPR

Medicare Project May Provide Better Care Less Expensively

Fort Dodge, Iowa, is not exactly what you'd think of as a hotbed of health care innovation. But the small town in the western part of the state is part of a Medicare pilot project that economists say could be a pathway to the holy grail of health care: providing better care at a lower cost.
NPR

FAA Orders Apnea Testing For Overweight Pilots, Controllers

The FAA says physicians need to evaluate anyone with a body mass index of 40 or higher for possible obstructive sleep apnea which could cause fatigue on the job.
NPR

How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans

By a standard test most African-Americans have low levels of vitamin D. But most African-Americans also have strong bones. It turns out that the problem is with the test, which was looking for a form of D more common in Caucasians. The variation is a result of human evolution.
NPR

Medicaid Enrollment Is Brisk Despite HealthCare.gov Troubles

If you advertise it, they will come. Sign-ups for Medicaid are brisk, even in states that haven't expanded their programs with an infusion of federal dollars. Experts call that the "woodwork effect" — getting the word out to people who were already eligible.
NPR

Moms-To-Be Are Eating Fish, But Choosing Low-Mercury Options

The blood mercury levels in women of childbearing age dropped 34 percent in the decade between 2000 and 2010, according to new research from the EPA. That suggests that potential moms and those expecting are making smarter choices at the fish counter, without avoiding seafood altogether.
WAMU 88.5

A Closer Look At Mental Health Services

In the wake of a violent episode in which Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds was reportedly stabbed by his son, who then fatally shot himself, we look at how mental health services currently do and should work.

WAMU 88.5

Inside The Local Running And Racing Boom

As runners lace up for the next Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell Run, we explore the growing popularity of running in our area and the tensions between serious and casual racers.

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