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North Carolina leaders are still deciding whether they'll expand Medicaid to cover almost 680,000 more uninsured adults. The expansion became an optional part of President Obama's health care law because of a Supreme Court ruling.

A major goal of the Affordable Care Act is to give every American access to health insurance. For low-income people, the Medicaid expansion is a huge part of that.

While only two cases of meningitis in North Carolina have been tied to the national outbreak, local health officials are taking extra precautions. They’ve even made house calls to track down everyone who might be infected, so basically anyone in North Carolina who could be part of the outbreak should already know it.

"All 93 of the patients from the clinic in High Point and the clinic in Wilson have been contacted," said Julie Henry, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare will begin penalizing hospitals Monday that have too many repeat patients who check back in due to complications. The penalties will come out of Medicare’s payments to the hospitals, and they're part of President Obama's health care law. 

Nearly one out of every five Medicare patients who walks into a hospital today will be back in the hospital within a month. That’s according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and improving that ratio is what the penalties are all about.

West Nile Virus In Our Region

Sep 11, 2012

For most of us in the region, West Nile Virus seems like a problem for folks far away, maybe even in foreign lands, but it'’s not only here, it has a face and a name familiar to area newspaper readers. Longtime Charlotte Observer writer, Elizabeth Leland, was recently diagnosed with the virus and Observer health writer Karen Garloch chronicled her experience. We'’ll visit with Garloch, Mecklenburg County Health Director, Dr. Steve Keener and hopefully hear from Ms. Leland herself. Is West Nile Virus ready to strike our region? Find out when Charlotte Talks.

A new report estimates one in four North Carolinians under the age of 65 have a health condition that could lead them to be denied insurance coverage. In some counties that rate is closer to one-in-three. An advocacy group that commissioned the report calls it a compelling argument for the Affordable Care Act. 

A Charlotte-based company known for helping everyday inventors take their big ideas mainstream has partnered with the region's largest hospital system in hopes of saving lives, rather than just making life easier. 

BCBSNC To Help 750 Docs Go Digital

Sep 28, 2011

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Wednesday said it will spend $15 million helping independent physicians and free health clinics go high-tech. 

Nearly every day, Army recruiters say someone like Jeffrey Morgan walks into their office: "The recruiter said 'What can I help you with today?' And I told him, flat out, 'I wanna sign up,'" remembers Morgan. "And he said 'Well, uh, first thing you need to do? Lose weight.'" 

Flu Shot Update

Nov 8, 2005

(11/08/05) If you've been looking for a flu shot but haven't been able to find one you're not alone. Many drugstores and supermarkets have had to cancel or postpone their flu shot clinics because their shipments of vaccines never arrived. WFAE's Jaime Bedrin spoke with Dr. Stephen Keener with the Mecklenburg County Health Department and asked him to explain the shortages.

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