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Westmoreland County on pace to surpass record for drug-related fatalities

By Paul Peirce
Drug-related deaths in Westmoreland County are up more than 47 percent in the first six months of the year and show no signs of slowing, according to Coroner Ken Bacha. The majority of the local fatalities were from overdoses of ...

Aetna to buy rival Humana for $35B

By The Associated Press
Aetna intends to spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul. The proposed cash-and-stock deal, announced early Friday, would ...

Young Nebraska girl’s organs give 2 Pittsburgh-area boys a chance to live

By Ben Schmitt
Lauressa Swedberg smiled through her grief Thursday as she planned a funeral in Nebraska for her 3-year-old daughter, whose donated organs saved two lives in ...

Urgent care center planned in Donegal Township

By Debra Erdley
Donegal Township could be home to a new urgent care center later this year, following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s approval of a $1.68 million loan guarantee to Shaker Urgent Care PC. U.S. Sen. Robert Casey announced the approval of the ...

Pitt researchers using grant to find cures for viruses from mosquitoes

By Ben Schmitt
There’s no cure for a variety of mosquito-borne viruses that Department of Defense officials fear could someday be developed into bioterrorism agents. “If someone would ...

County Council exempts jail health care workers from residency requirement

By Aaron Aupperlee
Allegheny County Council members approved exempting jail health care workers from a requirement that they live inside the county. The county and Allegheny Health Network will take over health care at the jail from Tennessee-based Corizon Health in September. County ...

Attorney general accuses Golden Living homes of failing to provide basic services to elderly

By Adam Brandolph
Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed an injunction against a chain of 36 nursing homes Wednesday, accusing it of misleading consumers by failing to provide basic services to elderly and vulnerable residents. The Attorney General’s Office claims Golden Gate Senior Care Center ...

Highmark pilot program aims to expand cancer patients’ access, lower costs

By Adam Smeltz
Highmark Health is rethinking how it pays cancer doctors to encourage those who provide more effective care, part of a plan to reward quality over quantity in oncology, the insurer said Tuesday. “We’re aligning those incentives. Providers really do want to ...

St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data

By Renatta Signorini
Eric Kocian is looking for answers. With the backdrop of people dying from drug overdoses in record numbers throughout Westmoreland County, he wants those answers sooner, ...

Nurse, family partnerships aim to stop black infant deaths in Pittsburgh

By Katishi Maake
Life as an 18-year-old, black single mother from Pittsburgh’s Hill District presented risks for Dannai Harriel and her daughter, born four weeks early. Because of this, ...

Scientists explore Alzheimer’s in women

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and some scientists are questioning the long-held assumption that it’s just because they tend ...

Split U.S. Supreme Court upholds subsidies for Affordable Care Act

By Adam Smeltz
A split Supreme Court deflected the latest legal challenge to President Obama’s signature health care policy Thursday, upholding tax credits that help more than 300,000 ...

High Court’s ruling makes Pa.’s health care contingency plan unnecessary

By The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — The Wolf administration said Thursday that it will withdraw its application to take over some functions of the insurance marketplace developed under the 2010 federal health care law now that the Supreme Court has upheld the law’s nationwide ...

CDC panel votes against universal recommendation for meningitis B vaccine

By Adam Smeltz
Teenagers and young adults should talk with doctors before pursuing one of two multi-dose vaccines available to protect against meningitis B, a federal advisory panel ...

Review of research questions medical marijuana effectiveness

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO — Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and ...

Mapping of working brain to give insight into causes of mental illness

By The Associated Press
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — To the untrained eye, the graph appeared to illustrate a very volatile day on Wall Street — jagged peaks and valleys in red, blue and green displayed on a wall. But the story it told was ...

Texas abortion law teed up for Supreme Court review

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Abortion is back before the Supreme Court, and the justices could signal by the end of the month whether they are likely to ...

Health insurer Cigna rebuffs rival Anthem’s $47B takeover bid

By Bloomberg News
Cigna Corp. rejected Anthem Inc.’s $47 billion takeover bid, saying it is inadequate and not in the best interests of shareholders. Anthem on Saturday offered to buy the smaller health insurer in what would be the biggest takeover ever in a ...

Swindles, waste swell medical costs

By Alex Nixon
Kari Richards of Latrobe visited more than 100 hospitals in 11 states, claiming injuries that netted her fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers worth $600,000, police allege. The ...

VA Pittsburgh to fire three employees accused of harassing colleague with duct tape

By Adam Smeltz
The Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System wants to fire three employees and discipline four over workplace harassment alleged last week, the health system  announced Thursday. At least some of the workers may contest the proposed discipline, said VA Pittsburgh spokesman  Donald ...