Health

Fitness, well-being, disease, medical research and issues related to Seton and St. David's Healthcare, Austin Regional Clinic and other health care providers in Austin and Central Texas

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Central Health has selected a firm to redevelop Brackenridge Hospital.

The Central Health Board of Managers announced it's chosen Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology to revamp the hospital, which closed its doors for good in May after more than a century of service in Austin. 

Starting next week, Americans will again be able to shop for health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Open enrollment in most states runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A 17-year-old girl who entered the U.S. without documentation or family told the staff at a Texas shelter in March that she wanted an abortion.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Advocates say Texas will run out of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program sooner than they thought. The program, which Congress failed to reauthorize last month, covers nearly 400,000 children from working-class families in the state.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Open enrollment for health plans through the Affordable Care Act starts Nov. 1. But, this year, cutbacks in federal money for outreach efforts for potential enrollees could mean fewer people signing up for health insurance in Texas.

That gap in federal outreach means the work of getting people signed up could fall squarely on local advocates like Vitoria Ortega of Foundation Communities.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

This post has been updated.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is giving the Trump administration until Oct. 31 to find and approve a sponsor for a pregnant unaccompanied minor in federal custody in Brownsville, Texas.  

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Three Travis County residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a Texas court to tell Central Health it can’t spend taxpayer money on anything other than health care for low-income people.

Central Health is the local hospital-taxing district in Travis County.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

A federal court denied a request Wednesday from attorneys advocating on behalf of a pregnant minor in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in Brownsville. The teenager is being prevented from getting an abortion because of a Trump administration policy that bars unaccompanied immigrant minors from accessing them.

Central Health
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The fourth open enrollment period for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace is less than a month away.

This time things will be different, though.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Insurance coverage for more than 390,000 Texas children and pregnant women is in jeopardy after Congress failed to renew authorization for a federal program.

Congressional authorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides low-cost health insurance for children from low- and middle-income families, expires Sept. 30.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT

Health officials say Texas is experiencing a drug overdose crisis, and one of the big indicators is women dying while pregnant or shortly after giving birth.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nora Chovanec showed off the chickens in her backyard last March while talking about a newly proposed Republican health care bill to replace Obamacare.

The 29-year-old was on a health care plan through the online marketplace created by Obamacare. It allows people who don’t get insurance through an employer to buy a plan on their own.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Graham-Cassidy, the latest Republican health care bill, would take all the money for Obamacare programs and redistribute it to states through a block grant program. That means states would get to decide how the money gets spent.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Republicans in Congress are pushing yet another plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Texas, at first glance, looks like one of the big beneficiaries in the short term.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A federal program that provides health insurance for about 390,000 Texas children must be reauthorized by Congress by the end of the month.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas has the highest population of uninsured people in the nation. 

Roughly 4.5 million people in Texas didn’t have health insurance in 2016, leading the nation in both the number and percentage of residents who are uninsured, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Medical professionals are keeping an eye out for people having difficulty dealing with the trauma of losing their homes during Hurricane Harvey.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A Harvey evacuee at the Delco Center was getting treated for a wound on her head last week when workers discovered she was diabetic.

“The people of CVS immediately ordered the insulin," says Adryana Aldeen, who was volunteering with the Red Cross that day. "She was out of insulin.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A federal court in Austin has blocked a Texas law scheduled to take effect tomorrow that outlaws one of the most common types of second-trimester abortions.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Update – According to a spokesperson for Central Health, the Brackenridge Campus—the former Brackenridge Hospital—is not being considered as a potential emergency shelter anymore.

“The City of Austin approached us about using the Central Health Brackenridge Campus as an emergency shelter, and we were actively exploring how to make that happen,” Ivan Dávila, a spokesperson for Central Health says. “Yesterday, the city told us they had other options and wouldn’t need this location.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A lot of attention has gone to the relatively few counties that may not have an insurer next year in the individual marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act. In most of the country, however, marketplace enrollees will have options.

That’s especially true in Central Texas, where folks looking to buy insurance are going to have even more insurers to choose from.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The state's women's health program is not providing enough services to those who need it, a study released Thursday finds. Advocates say that should give the federal government pause as it reviews an application from Texas health officials to help pay for it.   

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Update (Aug. 1) –  The Texas House passed House Bills 9, 10, 11 and 28 unanimously, which collectively seek to increase state health reporting requirements on pregnancy-related deaths, as well as expand the state's task force on maternal mortality.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The state's new ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedures leaves doctors and patients with few options, says one of the state’s few full-time abortion providers.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

The first documented locally acquired case of Zika in the continental U.S this year has been detected in Hidalgo County, at the southern tip of Texas. There's no indication this is the start of a large-scale outbreak.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said a person who lives in Hidalgo County, which borders Mexico, tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A Houston lawmaker is trying to get the Legislature to reverse cuts to a Medicaid program that pays for therapy for children with development delays – despite it not being on the official agenda for the special session.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., returned to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday after a brain cancer diagnosis to help Republican leadership begin debate on health care.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For Carol Elliott, a Port Aransas resident in her early 60s, the Affordable Care Act is not a failure.

“The Affordable Care Act saved my life,” the musician says.

Elliott lived in Nashville for a long time, but has spent the last 15 years living in the island town in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas shore.

She says money has always been tight, and she’s had to cut corners through the years. That’s often meant she’s been priced out of health insurance.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration cut more than $200 million from teen pregnancy prevention programs and research across the country last week. It was a surprise to a lot of people on the receiving end of those grants – including many here in Texas, where teen pregnancy is a big problem.

NPR

This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. Use this Q&A to explore how the bills would affect you.

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