Health

A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.

That is because pharmacists say their contracts with drug plans often contain "gag orders" forbidding them from volunteering this information.

Vermont lawmakers are creating a way to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. But how will the system ultimately work?
eyegelb / iStock

Vermont is embarking on an ambitious experiment to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs by importing cheaper medications from Canada. State lawmakers and the governor passed the proposal into law in mid-May, but the details - and federal approval - still need to be worked out. How will the plan actually work?

One out of five Americans say they personally know someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new report about the economic well-being of U.S. households.

The Federal Reserve report, based on a national survey, also found that exposure to opioid addiction was twice as likely among whites, regardless of education level, as among African-Americans.

"Vermont Edition" hears from agencies that prepare individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder for a career.
wildpixel / iStock

According to the CDC, about one child in 60 is identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. We'll discuss the unique challenges individuals with ASD face as they enter the workforce after graduating from high school and college.

In today’s brave new world of genome analysis, law enforcement has just used genetic testing to track down a long sought serial killer.

The Project ECHO telemedicine program lets teams of specialists work with primary care physicians to bring their expertise to patients in rural areas.
Intel Free Press / Wikimedia

Patients in rural Vermont seeking treatment for pain often face time-consuming travel to large regional hospitals and long wait times to see specialists. Now UVM's medical school is using a new telemedicine program to connect those specialists with primary care practitioners in rural areas to help patients get better care more quickly.

Matt Lloyd is scheduled to donate a kidney to his wife, Brandi, who has a genetic condition that leads to kidney failure.
Courtesy Brandi and Matt Lloyd

Tuesday, May 15, 2018, is a day that Brandi and Matt Lloyd have been waiting for a long time.

That's the day the couple, from Mooers, New York, are scheduled to undergo surgery. Matt will go first and have one of his kidneys removed. Then Brandi's surgery will follow.

Her diseased kidneys will be removed and Matt's donor kidney will be placed in her body. If all goes well, they should each have one functioning kidney by the end of the day and be on their way to recovery.

A former New Hampshire Supreme Court chief justice is visiting schools in New England to talk about the darkest time in his life. Usually he ends up hearing from students about some of their dark times, too.

The former justice, John Broderick, wants to encourage people to talk about mental illness, so he tells the story of his oldest son.

“He was a really talented artist and so he spent a lot of time in his room with the door closed, at his desk, drawing. Today I would describe it as withdrawing,” Broderick says.

Julie Ste. Marie in her classroom with student, Avery Sevigny
Julie Ste. Marie, courtesy

Twenty-one thousand Vermonters, many employed by Vermont school districts, have had problems with the health reimbursements they are supposed to receive from their employers.

As the incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses rises, we're talking about the growing risk and what may happen next.
Erik Karits / iStock.com

The CDC is warning of a spike in tick-borne diseases nationwide. Here in Vermont, Lyme disease is a huge and growing problem, and increasingly, other tick-borne illnesses like anaplasmosis and Powassan virus are a threat as well.

Walmart announced Monday it is introducing new restrictions on how it will fill opioid medication prescriptions in all of its in-store and Sam's Club pharmacies.

The Vermont House has approved a bill that would make all employees eligible for six weeks of paid leave at 80 percent of their salary.

LGBTQ Vermonters can face unique challenges and needs in rural areas.
ukayacan / iStock

Vermont has been seen as a leader in equal rights for LGBTQ people, but queer Vermonters living in rural areas can face unique challenges, from accessing healthcare to aging well as a queer senior to finding support networks. We're talking about the needs and experiences of LGBTQ Vermonters in rural communities. 

Lyme disease was once unheard of in western Pennsylvania, where Barbara Thorne, now an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time as a kid.

Thorne knew that if black-legged ticks are infected with bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, they can transmit Lyme to people and, that if untreated, symptoms can range from fever, fatigue and a rash, to serious damage to the joints, heart and nervous system.

21,000 Vermonters, many employed by Vermont School Districts, have had problems with the health reimbursements they are supposed to receive from their employers.

Millard Cox, of Ripton, speaks at a public hearing in the Vermont Statehouse in January. Cox is among the health care reform advocates urging the Legislature to adopt a publicly funded system for universal primary care.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

It’s been more than three years since then-Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his pledge to create a universal health care system in Vermont, but advocates are working this session to reignite the embers of the single-payer flame.

Former first lady Barbara Bush’s announcement that she was opting for “comfort care” in lieu of treatment for the chronic diseases that would end her life certainly got people’s attention.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

With a vote of 141 to 2, the Vermont House has given its strong support to a bill that's designed to significantly reduce the cost of expensive prescription drugs.

courtesy of Vermont Department of Health

The number of people getting diseases from ticks and mosquitoes in the United States has more than tripled from 2004 to 2016 according to the latest report from The Centers for Disease Control.

PIlls on a tabletop.
Tomas Nevesely / i-stock

Several dozen Vermont towns are taking part Saturday in a national project to collect unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. 

Pages