Black lung disease surges to highs not seen since the '70s, research shows

By Chris Hamby

The likely culprit: a failure by coal mining companies to use readily available tools to control the dust that lodges in miners' lungs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… y hard in a triangular region encompassing southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia. In these areas, thick deposits of coal largely …"

Black lung claims by 1,100 coal miners may have been wrongly denied

By Chris Hamby

Black lung opinions by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins should be assumed to lack credibility, senators are told at a hearing.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate subcommittee":

"… reds of cases and other evidence repeatedly proved him wrong.   The Senate subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety invited Wheeler or a representative fro …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "UnitedHealth Group":

"… ify conditions that remain undiagnosed.” Terence Ohara, a spokesman for UnitedHealth Group, which owns the company, declined to address the financial impact of the v …"

"… its help create a “trusting and engaging relationship” with patients. UnitedHealth Group, which counts more than 3 million seniors in its Medicare Advantage plans, …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Cigna":

"… d they can lose money when risk-based payments don’t cover their costs. Cigna Healthcare of Arizona, for example, disputed the audit finding that it was …"

"… an $23 million for 2007. Calling the audit standards “fatally flawed,” Cigna said it actually lost about $800,000 that year treating the 100 patients w …"

Labor Department issues warning about Hopkins doctor's findings on black lung claims

The U.S. Department of Labor warned its officials to view with skepticism any X-ray readings by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… pkins University doctor who virtually never diagnoses black lung, a deadly disease that afflicts coal miners. The news organizations reported last fall that …"

"… claims for federal benefits, had never found the most severe form of the disease among more than 1,500 claims. Johns Hopkins suspended its black lung X-ray …"

Medicare Advantage made simple: a glossary

By Fred Schulte

Definitions for lesser-known terms relating to Medicare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ronic diseases such as diabetes and take other steps to manage their care. …"

"… any doctor they want and buy insurance policies to cover any gaps in what Medicare will pay for. Doctors bill Medicare for each service they provide. Medica …"

"… nce policies to cover any gaps in what Medicare will pay for. Doctors bill Medicare for each service they provide. Medicare Advantage: Nearly 16 million seni …"

"… dicare will pay for. Doctors bill Medicare for each service they provide. Medicare Advantage: Nearly 16 million seniors have joined about 700 insurance plans …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… sal to lower coal miners’ exposure to the dust that can cause black lung disease is supported by substantial scientific evidence. That’s the conclusion …"

"… on the status of the rule, but noted, “Miners continue to get black lung disease.” A 2012 Center for Public Integrity-NPR investigation detailed how, af …"

"… Integrity-NPR investigation detailed how, after years of steady decline in disease rates following landmark 1969 legislation, the prevalence of black lung ha …"

Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Sri Lanka orders ban on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, citing kidney disease outbreak; Monsanto said the evidence is unproven.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… Dr. Catharina Wesseling. …"

"… reas with heavy metals in the drinking water is causing the chronic kidney disease. Roundup is the top selling herbicide in the world, and Monsanto said the …"

"… tium of Investigative Journalists has examined a mysterious form of kidney disease that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers in Central Ameri …"

"… carried out by medical specialists and scientists has revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate,” Special Projects Minister S.M Chandras …"

A century of denial on black lung

By Chris Hamby

A congressman's words 44 years ago, citing the coal industry's efforts to limit its liability for black lung, resonate anew.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… a century ago and continues today. Despite widespread reports of a unique disease afflicting coal miners dating to the 19th Century, the industry and the do …"

"… til 1969. Much the same approach that hampered initial recognition of the disease has been used more recently to limit the range of illnesses that fall unde …"

"… the toxic mineral present in much rock in mines — was the sole cause of disease, making it almost impossible for most coal miners to prove their claims of …"

"… nd 1960s, when compelling evidence emerged that coal dust also could cause disease, the industry argued that only the most advanced form — complicated coal …"

Johns Hopkins medical unit rarely finds black lung, helping coal industry defeat miners' claims

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

A surprising force has helped industry defeat black lung benefits claims for ailing miners: Johns Hopkins University.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diseases":

"… finding tuberculosis or histoplasmosis more likely. Though tests for both diseases came back negative, Hall lost. Keith Darago initially won twice. Three do …"

"… a reader is supposed to mark their size and shape, and then explain which diseases seem more or less likely. When he reads X-rays for coal companies, howeve …"

"… eaders interpret X-rays the way Wheeler does and that others over-diagnose diseases. “It’s pretty frustrating sometimes when we hear of people that do wel …"

"… uch cases, Wheeler attributed the masses in miners’ lungs to these other diseases on two-thirds of X-rays. Asked if he stood by this record, Wheeler said, …"

Money, research target mystery kidney disease in Americas

By Sasha Chavkin

Escalating a search for the cause of a mysterious kidney disease, health ministers from the Americas target money and research to CKD.

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ks a significant turnaround for PAHO, which in 2011 rejected a proposal by El Salvador to recognize chronic kidney disease in agricultural workers as a distinct …"

"… .’s agenda and U.S. delegates were unaware of the ailment’s severity. El Salvador has since led a campaign by Central American nations demanding greater att …"

"… . Today, chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of hospital deaths in El Salvador, the PAHO resolution said. Dr. Carlos Orantes, director of El Salvador’ …"

"… in El Salvador, the PAHO resolution said. Dr. Carlos Orantes, director of El Salvador’s national research and treatment programs for the disease, compared the …"

Countries target pesticides as suspected link to rare kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Governments from El Salvador to Sri Lanka explore the role of pesticides in a malady killing laborers, as other scientists eye heat stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nicaragua":

"… continue to sicken and die. Ezekiel Ramirez, a former sugarcane worker in Nicaragua who suffers from CKD, expressed his frustration with the lengthy debate ov …"

New urgency targets mysterious kidney disease in Central America

By Sasha Chavkin

In El Salvador, health ministries formally recognize a kidney disease killing laborers — and vow deeper scrutiny of its causes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "World Health Organization":

"… ths increasing more than threefold since 1990, according to an analysis of World Health Organization data. In El Salvador, CKD has become the leading cause of hospital deaths …"

"… there, conducted by the Sri Lankan health ministry in partnership with the World Health Organization, documented elevated levels of cadmium and arsenic contained in agrochemic …"

U.S. report urges deeper look into breast cancer's environmental links

By Jim Morris

A new federal report urges enhanced research into potential environmental triggers of breast cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… — broadly defined — must play a major role in the etiology of the disease.” Yet only a fraction of federal research funding has gone toward exami …"

In Sri Lanka, new steps target mysterious kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

In Sri Lanka, the president vows controls on chemicals potentially linked to chronic kidney disease, as hospitals take steps for patients.

Excerpts from this story referencing "World Health Organization":

"… s.Following years of official research, the Sri Lankan health ministry and World Health Organization declared in June that low level exposures to the heavy metals cadmium and …"

Pentagon spending for non-military programs assailed

By R. Jeffrey Smith

How exactly do defense officials spend $629 billion a year, anyhow?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Defense Department":

"… rom 2000 to 2009 — has prompted some scientific researchers to treat the Defense Department’s budget like a piggybank for questionable projects.He mentions the Offi …"

"… a blind eye on spending: ‘It’s OK to cut spending anywhere except the Defense Department.’”Apparently referring to claims by House Republicans and Mitt Romney …"

Study spotlights high breast cancer risk for plastics workers

By Jim Morris

Researchers cite breast cancer risks in Canadian plastic auto parts factories — with potential implications in the U.S. and beyond.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Cancer Institute":

"… s Cancer Panel, an advisory committee in the United States attached to the National Cancer Institute, reported in 2010 that “the true burden of environmentally induced cance …"

IMPACT: Administration official asks for Medicare billing review

By Fred Schulte

Administration official wants to know if electronic health records are causing Medicare over-billing

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… from millions of patients in the hope of discovering better ways to treat disease and cut costs.But the push for better quality medicine is facing off again …"

Top House Republicans demand suspension of electronic medical records program

By Fred Schulte

Top House Republicans want program suspended until government demands that systems communicate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coordinator":

"… rgy health subcommittee chair Wally Herger, R-Calif.The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which runs the incentive program, did n …"

OPINION: Documentary captures what's wrong with U.S. health care

By Wendell Potter

Documentary 'Escape Fire' captures what's wrong with U.S. health care.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… hat address only the symptoms but not the underlying causes of illness and disease, and not paying for prevention. Because of those perverse incentives, we h …"

Growth of electronic medical records eases path to inflated bills

By Fred Schulte

Billing software helps medical professionals document higher fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Coordinator":

"… control and billing integrity. The administration’s Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which is spearheading the drive, declin …"

In India, verdant terrain conceals clues to a fatal kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Andhra Pradesh":

"… riking down the villagers of this remote agricultural belt in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. In some villages, the disease has impacted from 24 to 37 percent o …"

"… ad karma, full of suffering.”Since their deaths, the state government of Andhra Pradesh has established new programs that assist Uddanam’s victims. A statewide …"

"… y Dr. Ravi Raju Tatapudi, a leading nephrologist who served three years as Andhra Pradesh’s director of medical education.But almost all of the area’s nephrolog …"

"… oor-to-door surveys in Uddanam for the Harvard study and grew up nearby in Andhra Pradesh, said the heat was so overwhelming one day, he had to stop and lie down wh …"

In Sri Lanka, breakthroughs, setbacks and a spiritual touch

By Sasha Chavkin and Anna Barry-Jester

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… World."  …"

"… lth Organization announced in June that they identified a key cause of the disease in Sri Lanka: chronic exposure to arsenic and cadmium, likely consumed in …"

"… chronic exposure to arsenic and cadmium, likely consumed in food.Yet in a disease that has confounded experts across continents, even potential breakthrough …"

"… kidney damage so severe it had reached its terminal phase: end stage renal disease. Healthy his entire life, he suddenly became feverish and too sick to work …"

As kidney disease kills thousands across continents, scientists scramble for answers

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "World Health Organization":

"… ths increasing more than threefold since 1990, according to an analysis of World Health Organization data. In Sri Lanka, the WHO says at least 8,000 people suffer from chronic …"

"… e country, and estimates of the number of patients range from 8,000 by the World Health Organization to nearly 19,000 in a tally based on hospital records compiled by independ …"

GAO report supports science behind black lung rule

By Chris Hamby

Research supports proposal to reduce coal miners’ exposure to dust that causes deadly disease, a GAO report found.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… he very specific questions posed by Congress.”  …"

Traceability elusive in global trade of human parts

By Kate Willson and Mar Cabra

The paper trail following human remains is not foolproof — in some cases, infected tissue can be impossible to track down.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… from bone, skin, tendon and other tissues taken from the dead could spread disease to the living — putting patients who receive tissue implants in den …"

GOP seeks to kill black lung reform

By Chris Hamby

House Republicans have inserted language in a budget bill that would kill a proposed rule to protect coal miners from deadly dust.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… lic Integrity has highlighted the need for more effective ‘black lung’ disease prevention efforts as there has been a resurgence of the disease among coa …"

"… k lung’ disease prevention efforts as there has been a resurgence of the disease among coal miners.”The Center-NPR investigation found that, after decade …"

"… flicting younger miners with a more severe, faster-progressing form of the disease. The system for monitoring miners’ exposure to dust is riddled with loop …"

Dust reforms stymied by years of inaction

By Ken Ward Jr.

For more than a quarter-century, government efforts to end black lung have hit brick walls

Excerpts from this story referencing "Celeste Monforton":

"… souls," said former federal Mine Safety and Health Administration staffer Celeste Monforton, who now studies workplace health issues and advocates for workers and the …"

Black lung surges back in coal country

By Chris Hamby

Despite decades-old law, cheating, legal loopholes expose miners to deadly dust.

Excerpts from this story referencing "disease":

"… the past 30 years, he’s gotten a monthly check to compensate him for the disease that steals his breath — the old bane of miners known as black lung. In …"

"… trolled. Almost half of miners who worked at least 25 years contracted the disease. Amid strikes throughout the West Virginia coalfields, Congress made a pro …"

"… their 30s. Donald now has the most severe, fastest-progressing form of the disease, known as complicated coal workers’ pneumoconiosis. James and the oldest …"

"… d-won 1969 law, Congress demanded that dust be controlled and new cases of disease be prevented. The idea was that, even if black lung didn’t disappear, th …"

Federal panel advises against prostate cancer screen for men

By Gordon Witkin

Panel says prostate cancer screen that was subject of Center probe does more harm than good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Cancer":

"… reening procedures — including the PSA test — is probably unnecessary. Cancer screening tests are widely overused, the probe found, in part because doct …"

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