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Highmark members to keep maternity care at UPMC’s Magee in 2015

By Adam Smeltz  and Alex Nixon
At least 120 pregnant women insured by Highmark Inc. will retain coverage this year at UPMC-owned Magee-Womens Hospital under a state-brokered resolution announced Thursday. The agreement ...

State senator seeks coverage numbers from 5 insurers

By Adam Smeltz
State Sen. Don White said Thursday he asked five health insurance companies to identify how many people each of them covers in Western Pennsylvania. The Indiana Republican wants annual data going back five years from Downtown-based Highmark Inc. and UPMC Health ...

UPMC, Highmark disagree over payment of medical claims for children

By Luis Fábregas
UPMC on Wednesday accused rival Highmark Inc. of denying 154 claims for children undergoing treatment at UPMC-owned hospitals and clinics, but the insurer shot back ...

Veterans Affairs settles another Pittsburgh-area Legionnaire’s lawsuit

By Brian Bowling
A retired Army veteran and his wife have settled their Legionnaires’ disease case against the Department of Veterans Affairs, one of the couple’s lawyers said Wednesday. “We were able to reach a good resolution with the United States,” Douglas Price said. ...

Obamacare enrollment up in Pennsylvania

By Alex Nixon
Uninsured people in Pennsylvania are enrolling for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act at a faster pace this year than last, but federal data released Tuesday suggest the Obama administration has a challenge signing up young adults. The government said ...

Supporters optimistic about passage of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — Dustin Himes moved to Pennsylvania from Olympia, Wash., where he could get marijuana legally to treat pain from an injury. “You talk to people ...

Ex-Steelers QB Batch creates sports medicine startup at Pitt

By Megha Satyanarayana
Former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch is among a group of partners who have created a new sports medicine partnership at the University of Pittsburgh. Impellia …

Flu activity downgraded, but Pa. not out of woods yet

By Adam Smeltz
Reported flu cases in Pennsylvania have fallen for the third consecutive week, a convincing pattern that suggests the 2014-15 flu season has probably peaked for ...

Pittsburgh to consider giving its workers 6 weeks of paid parental leave

By Melissa Daniels
Jennifer Presutti went to work on the fifth floor of the City-Council Building with less than a week to go before she is due to ...

Measles warning issued to Connellsville

By Karl Polacek
Connellsville city health officer Tom Currey informed board members this week that he received a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning about a measles outbreak. According to Currey, the warnings were issued after several people who visited Disneyland in California ...

Emergency room visits decline as navigators steer patients to proper medical care

By Alex Nixon
Overuse of the emergency room, unnecessary hospital readmissions and poor compliance with disease screenings are stubborn problems for the nation’s health care system and big contributors to rising medical spending. Three hospitals in Western Pennsylvania have found a way to blunt ...

Medicare payments to tie doctor, hospital payments to quality rather than volume of care

By The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration Monday announced an ambitious goal to overhaul the way doctors and hospitals are paid, tying their fees more closely to the quality of care rather than the quantity. Rather than pay more money to Medicare ...

Vets study links PB pills, genetic variations to Gulf War illness

By Brian Bowling
A government-issued pill intended to protect troops from nerve agents may have made some troops more vulnerable to a chronic condition marked by headaches, cognitive ...

Doctor urges W.Pa. parents to notice measles signs, stresses importance of vaccines

By Adam Smeltz
Even 2,400 miles from  Disneyland, Western Pennsylvanians should keep a careful watch for measles symptoms because a rare outbreak  tied to the southern California amusement park  has sickened at least 78 people, public health experts  said. “As people return to  their ...

Slippery Rock University gets board OK to begin physician assistant program for rural areas

By Debra Erdley
Slippery Rock University could begin training physician assistants to work with special needs populations in rural communities as early as summer of 2016 under a new program approved Thursday. The Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education approved ...

UPMC to debut organ transplant surgery outside Pittsburgh

By Luis Fábregas
UPMC surgeons for the first time will perform organ transplant surgeries outside Pittsburgh when the medical care giant begins a kidney transplant program in Erie, officials said Thursday. The transplant surgeries at UPMC Hamot, about 128 miles north of Pittsburgh, ...

House forbids federal funding for abortions

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — With thousands of abortion protesters swarming the city in their annual March for Life, Republicans muscled broadened abortion restrictions through the House on Thursday when a GOP rebellion forced leaders into an awkward retreat on an earlier version. In ...

Parents who opt out of vaccinations for kids aid measles outbreak, critics say

By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — A major measles outbreak traced to Disneyland has brought criticism down on the small but vocal movement among parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children. In a rash of cases that public health officials are rushing ...

Pitt researcher to test organ-cooling device to protect human livers for transplant

By Adam Smeltz
An organ-cooling device that preserves livers from pigs might protect human livers for transplantation, a discovery that could help save untold lives, a University of Pittsburgh researcher said. Dr. Paulo Fontes said UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore in Oakland could run the ...

Safety, access rallying cries on front lines of abortion debate

By Aaron Aupperlee
State laws nearly closed Cincinnati’s only abortion clinic last year, threatening to make it the largest metropolitan area without an abortion facility. A Pennsylvania law passed ...