Tony Pugh

Prices for hospital care vary widely, even within same city, data show

The actual cost of hospital care became a lot clearer for consumers on Wednesday when the Obama administration released the average prices charged by more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals for the 100 most common medical procedures. | 05/08/13 19:57:47 By - By Tony Pugh

FDA lowers age limit to 15 for over-the-counter birth control

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the sale of the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step for sale without a prescription to women ages 15 and over. | 04/30/13 19:18:21 By - By Tony Pugh

Despite health challenges, Southern states resist Medicaid expansion

Nine Southern states, all led by Republican governors, have decided not to implement the health care law’s expansion of Medicaid, even though the federal government has pledged to pay all medical costs for the newly eligible enrollees in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and no less than 90 percent of their costs thereafter. | 04/11/13 17:38:50 By - By Tony Pugh

Few insurers now cover services required in 2014 under health care law

Just 2 percent of health plans available to consumers in the private insurance market offer all the coverage that will become mandatory next year under the health care overhaul, a new analysis has found. And consumers and the federal government might end up paying the cost of all those new requirements in higher premiums. | 03/07/13 18:56:03 By - By Tony Pugh

CDC warns about drug-resistant ‘superbug;’ care facilities urged to act

Government officials want the nation’s health care providers to step up efforts to halt the spread of a drug-resistant “nightmare bacteria” that attacks the bloodstream and kills up to half of patients who become infected. | 03/05/13 19:02:54 By - By Tony Pugh

Looming federal spending cuts will hit hospitals where it hurts

Hospitals across the country will face significant job losses, service reductions and other belt-tightening measures when President Barack Obama signs the order Friday implementing a series of automatic budget cuts. | 02/28/13 16:53:03 By - By Tony Pugh

Health law’s Medicaid expansion moves forward, but with many questions

In the largest one-year enrollment bump in program history, 8 million Americans are expected to gain health insurance in 2014 through Medicaid under the nation’s massive health care overhaul. | 02/12/13 17:17:56 By - By Tony Pugh

Newtown massacre may impel states to beef up mental health services

The push for expanded mental health services after the mass murders of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., has moved from Congress to the nation’s statehouses, where health care advocates hope growing tax revenues and renewed outrage over gun violence will lead lawmakers to boost funding for counseling. | 01/31/13 17:10:42 By - By Tony Pugh

Georgia GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss won’t run again; Democrats see opportunity

Citing frustration with the Obama administration and congressional gridlock, Georgia’s senior senator, Republican Saxby Chambliss announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election next year, dealing a blow to Senate Republicans while bolstering Democratic hopes of regaining the seat after a 12-year absence. | 01/25/13 18:37:53 By - By Tony Pugh

Flu outbreak kills more children, hospitalizes more seniors

In the deadliest week yet for the nation’s stubborn influenza outbreak, nine more children died of flu-related illness last week, bringing the season’s pediatric death toll to 29, as local health officials nationwide continue to take protective measures to stop the spread of the virus. | 01/18/13 18:28:30 By - By Tony Pugh

Georgians inaugural-bound to celebrate the president

The 57thpresidential inauguration may be an inside-the-beltway affair, but Georgia residents are crashing the party next week to put their Peach State stamp on festivities marking the final four years of the Barack Obama presidency. | 01/18/13 06:38:35 By - By Tony Pugh

Experts applaud Obama’s sweeping gun-control plan

President Barack Obama’s wide-ranging plan to curb gun violence in America isn’t likely to be enacted in full, but experts say the sheer breadth of his proposal will provide a national blueprint for action that can guide lawmakers, fuel a powerful lobbying effort and sustain a national dialogue on gun control. | 01/16/13 19:29:17 By - By Tony Pugh

Baltimore gun violence summit concludes with recommendations

The Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. concluded Tuesday with a series of wide-ranging, research-based recommendations to curb gun violence that will go to members of Congress and the Obama administration for consideration. | 01/16/13 06:36:16 By - Tony Pugh

Flu outbreak appears to falter, but only time will tell

After an early outbreak, the nation’s flu epidemic is showing some signs of weakening, but government experts say it’s too soon to tell whether the worst has passed. | 01/14/13 06:24:25 By - By Tony Pugh

Growth in health care spending remains at record low in 2011

Total U.S. health care spending hit $2.7 trillion in 2011, making for a three-year run of record-low annual spending growth after the onset of the Great Recession. | 01/07/13 19:25:54 By - By Tony Pugh

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