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February 26, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON -- Most Americans would rather pay more for a health insurance plan that allows them to get treatment from a wide range of doctors and hospitals, a new survey finds. But in a finding that could prove important for President Obama's health law, working-age consumers who don't get health benefits through an employer favor health plans with narrower provider networks that cost less. These are the consumers that the Obama administration is hoping will sign up for coverage this year on the new online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. Many health plans offered by insurers on these marketplaces feature what are called narrow networks that limit which hospitals and physicians patients can see. These plans also typically charge lower premiums.
February 18, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - A protracted political battle over California's medical malpractice law may be coming to a new front: the voting booth. For decades, trial lawyers and consumer groups have railed against limits on certain damages in malpractice cases, arguing that such restrictions deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes. Insurance companies, doctors and other healthcare providers have been equally vigorous in defending the law, saying it is crucial to controlling costs and maintaining the availability of care.
February 9, 2014 | Lisa Zamosky, Zamosky is the author of a new book, "Healthcare, Insurance, and You: The Savvy Consumer's Guide."
Americans love their doctors. But Michele Monserratt-Ramos says love isn't always enough. When it comes to choosing a medical professional, she says, information is power. As a patient advocate and Torrance-based activist for open records, she stresses the need for consumers to look beyond a doctor's resume and consult the many sources that are available, often online. Consider, for instance, valuable information that can sometimes be found in civil and criminal court records -- typically open to the public.
February 8, 2014 | By Philip Hersh
SOCHI, Russia - About three hours before the Olympic caldron was lighted Friday night, media at the Fisht Olympic Stadium received a list of names of the past Russian Olympians who would be the final torchbearers. The list had five names. There were six final torchbearers. The missing name was that of Irina Rodnina, the three-time Olympic figure skating pairs champion who joined three-time Olympic champion hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak in igniting the caldron that will burn in the Olympic Park until Feb. 23. Given the controversy that has erupted over Rodnina's selection for that role, was the omission an attempt to delay criticism?
February 6, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - In a rare bipartisan agreement, congressional leaders have settled on a plan to fix Medicare's system for paying physicians, potentially ending years of uncertainty that often held up fees for doctors who care for the nation's senior citizens. The proposed fix still must be paid for, requiring lawmakers to come up with as much as $150 billion in savings from elsewhere in the budget. But there is optimism on Capitol Hill that the federal government will finally replace a dysfunctional 17-year-old system designed to control Medicare spending by limiting annual increases in physicians' reimbursements.
February 6, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
SAFED, Israel - The 9-year-old Syrian boy with no legs wheeled himself down a bright hospital corridor, stopping to accept a pain pill from one nurse and a high-five from another. He has been here for a month, ever since a Syrian government warplane flew low over his village and dropped a bomb that killed two of his cousins and blew apart his lower limbs. Both legs had been amputated by an overworked doctor in an improvised clinic in a cellar. The next day, the boy's grandmother took him and several other injured family members to the Golan Heights border half an hour away and asked the Israeli soldiers on the other side for help.
February 5, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO - More than four years after a 52-year-old psychiatric patient was left with a broken neck for five hours on the floor of her room at Metropolitan State Hospital, the physician responsible for her care has agreed to give up his license, according to the state medical board. Dr. Ngoc Le Tuyen, of Fountain Valley, who goes by Tuyen Le, agreed to surrender his license rather than fight an accusation filed last summer by the board. It alleges that Le was incompetent, unprofessional and "grossly negligent" in his treatment of Diane Rodrigues at the Norwalk psychiatric facility.
February 4, 2014 | By a Times Staff Writer
An 87-year-old driver pulling into a handicapped parking spot inadvertently hit his accelerator and crashed into a medical office in Santa Ana early Tuesday, injuring a patient and her physician. Santa Ana police said the driver intended to hit the brake pedal but pressed the accelerator instead, veering down a small grassy slope before slamming into the Diamond Medical Office at 999 N. Tustin Ave. The patient and her doctor suffered minor injuries from flying glass and other debris when the Lexus crashed through a large glass wall before coming to a stop halfway into the medical office.
February 4, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After overcoming website glitches and long waits to get Obamacare, some patients are now running into frustrating new roadblocks at the doctor's office. A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business. Experts have warned for months that the logjam was inevitable. But the extent of the problems is taking by surprise many patients - and even doctors - as frustrations mount.
February 2, 2014 | By Richard Diana
In 2008, I attended a reunion for Miami Dolphins players who had played in the 1983 or 1985 Super Bowls. I was eager to go. It had been 25 years since I took off my pads and helmet for the last time, and since then, I'd had little contact with most of my former teammates. My path to the NFL started at Yale, where I was an All-American running back. However, after a season with the Dolphins, which included playing in Super Bowl XVII, I left football for medical school back at Yale, followed by an orthopedic residency and fellowship.
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