TribLIVE

| News


Highmark to increase premiums, limit access to health care in new plans

By Alex Nixon
Highmark Inc. is raising premiums on a range of its health plans next year, and some of its 4.2 million plan members could have a narrower choice of doctors and hospitals as the state’s largest health insurer responds to rising …

Enterovirus D68 case confirmed in southwestern Pennsylvania

By Tribune-Review
Southwestern Pennsylvania has its first confirmed case of enterovirus D68, a respiratory virus that has hospitalized hundreds of young people across the country, the state Department of Health reported Wednesday. State health officials would not disclose the home county of …

State looks into UPMC complaint that Highmark violated agreement

By Adam Brandolph
The state Attorney General’s Office is weighing a complaint by UPMC that Highmark Inc. violated a consent decree the two health care giants reached this year. The decree requires they settle their differences through arbitration rather than litigation, but Highmark …

Pitt joins national team looking to unravel traumatic brain injuries

By Luis Fábregas
A simple blood test could one day help doctors determine whether someone suffered a traumatic brain injury and what type of treatment is needed, according to University of Pittsburgh researchers who on Tuesday joined a large-scale partnership focused on the …

Hospitals, doctors in Pa. received $32M in 5 months from drug, medical device companies

By Alex Nixon  and Adam Smeltz
Drug and medical device companies doled out $32.2 million to physicians and teaching hospitals in Pennsylvania during five months last year, according to data released Tuesday as part of a federal effort to spotlight potential ethical conflicts in medicine. Companies …

Corbett to sign bill to help lower fatal overdoses

By The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill Tuesday that supporters say will reduce the number of fatal heroin overdoses in Pennsylvania in part by making an antidote more available to police and the public. The legislation offers immunity from …

Pitt wins federal grant to train public health workers in food safety, infectious disease control

By Adam Smeltz
The University of Pittsburgh will use nearly $3.4 million in federal grant money to help train public health workers in five states on issues such as food safety and infectious disease control, the school announced Monday. Pitt topped Johns Hopkins …

Cranberry-based Prodigo Solutions: Hospitals can reduce high supply costs

By Alex Nixon
Prodigo Solutions Inc. is an antidote for the billions of dollars in runaway health care expenses that plague America’s hospitals. The Cranberry-based company, which was …

No one way to fix Western Pennsylvania’s heroin problem, report says

By Brian Bowling
A report on Western Pennsylvania’s heroin epidemic puts part of the responsibility on doctors, who it says don’t properly prescribe opioid painkillers. Many people first …

Amaranth plant venture aims to improve deficient diets

By Megha Satyanarayana
On a Clarion County farm north of Pittsburgh grows a small plot of a plant vying for shelf space in the billion-dollar health supplement industry. …

Retailers inject vigor into flu shot enterprise

By Adam Smeltz
The same government-recommended formulas fuel every flu shot in drugstores, doctors’ offices and public clinics, but out-of-pocket prices listed for the inoculations vary by more …

Allegheny Health Network expands women’s services in competition with UPMC

By Alex Nixon
Allegheny Health Network wants the women of Pittsburgh. The region’s second-largest hospital network is stepping up its competition for patients with health giant UPMC by …

Pittsburgh VA investigating source of Legionnaires’ case

By Adam Smeltz
The Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System is investigating whether a veteran with Legionnaires’ disease might have contracted the respiratory ailment at its University Drive campus in Oakland, a spokesman said. VA Pittsburgh workers identified the Legionnaires’ case on Friday but …

Study: Wellness programs don't save money, but employee health improves

By Alex Nixon
UPMC has found success improving the health of its workers through a workplace wellness program, which led to lower health care spending for those individuals. …

Pitt team gets $5.8M grant to develop liver device to enhance research

By Adam Smeltz
A device that mimics the human liver under development at the University of Pittsburgh could make it easier for researchers to test pharmaceuticals without animal trials, a leading medical scholar says. A Pitt team led by D. Lansing Taylor won …

Hospitals sue Highmark, subsidiary Keystone Health Plan West over reduced reimbursements

By Adam Brandolph
A group of Western Pennsylvania hospitals has sued health insurer Highmark Inc. and a subsidiary for reducing payments to them, causing what the hospitals say are “significant economic damages.” The lawsuit, filed on Monday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, …

Pennsylvania Senate OKs medical marijuana bill but proposal in doubt in state

By The Associated Press
HARRISBURG — An emotionally charged debate preceded state senators overwhelmingly passing legislation on Wednesday to legalize several forms of medical marijuana. However, the legislative session is growing short, House Republican leaders are skeptical of the bill, and Gov. Tom Corbett …

Bill allowing schools to administer epinephrine advances in state Senate

By Megan Harris
The state Senate Education Committee approved legislation on Tuesday that would allow schools to keep epinephrine autoinjectors on hand without student-specific prescriptions and to allow school personnel to administer the medication in emergencies. “With the number of students with food …

Tweaks to health care sign-up tallies raise questions

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Call it health care law numerology. The Obama administration has had to revise and refine some initial enrollment numbers for health insurance sign-ups that turned out to be too optimistic. At other times, metrics less favorable to the …

Growing RMU nursing school poised for expansion

By Debra Erdley
Phyllis Wolfe McDonough knew she could elevate her work as a nurse practitioner with a doctorate, but it took a postcard from a Pennsylvania university …