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 "Department of Labor":

"… traordinary rebuke to a doctor at one of America's top hospitals, the U.S. Department of Labor has informed about 1,100 coal miners that their claims for black lung bene …"

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 "Dallas":

"… according to McCallum, a co-founder of CenseoHealth, who retired from the Dallas-based home visit company last year. McCallum stressed that home visits sh …"

Health insurers have their way with regulators

By Fred Schulte

Billions in Medicare Advantage overpayments likely gone for good.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… which operates in more than a dozen states and is owned by insurance giant Aetna. Within a week of the decision, the company freed up $133 million it had h …"

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 "Department of Labor":

"… or Public Integrity/ABC News investigation continued this week as the U.S. Department of Labor warned its officials to view with skepticism any X-ray readings by a Johns …"

Medicare Advantage made simple: a glossary

By Fred Schulte

Definitions for lesser-known terms relating to Medicare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "diseases":

"… e visits also can be profitable for the health plans when they uncover new diseases that raise a patient’s risk score— even if the health plan provides no …"

"… ulation that would have banned home health assessments which uncovered new diseases but didn’t lead to any more treatment. Retrospective Chart Reviews:&nbs …"

"… s” electronic patient medical files looking for evidence of unrecognized diseases that could boost risk scores and Medicare payments. CMS has proposed that …"

"… Plans: These are Medicare Advantage plans that enroll people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and take other steps to manage their care. …"

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 "Mine Safety and Health Administration":

"… udy — in a report released this week. The rule, proposed by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration in 2010, remains under review at the White House’s Office of Management …"

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 "diseases":

"… breathing problems. In the 1990s, the industry fought attempts to include diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis in the definition of black lung, …"

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 "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention":

"… tors consulted by the Center, including an expert on histoplasmosis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, doctors noted, in cases with masses as large as the ones Wheeler oft …"

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 "chronic kidney disease":

"… al Consortium of Investigative Journalists has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pac …"

"… nd for PAHO, which in 2011 rejected a proposal by El Salvador to recognize chronic kidney disease in agricultural workers as a distinct new form of illness and designate it …"

"… disease, and contended that agrochemicals are the primary culprit. Today, chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of hospital deaths in El Salvador, the PAHO resolutio …"

"… aid. “The science advanced together with political advocacy. People with chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes are people who are not recognized, who are exclu …"

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 "disease":

"… ing down on pesticides as a potential cause of a mysterious form of kidney disease killing agricultural workers. In El Salvador, the congress approved a ban …"

"… second nation to ban top-selling pesticides for a potential link to kidney disease. Meanwhile, in India, new research from Harvard University and the state …"

"… f Investigative Journalists has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease, CKD, is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pa …"

"… ause of the parallel epidemics. Following its emergence in the 1990s, the disease was widely ignored by authorities even as it devastated impoverished rural …"

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 "chronic kidney disease":

"… two years, the Center for Public Integrity has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is killing thousands of agricultural workers along Central America …"

"… esearch of the disease, created a multidisciplinary internal task force on chronic kidney disease in Central America, and pledged to help fund a national survey by El Salva …"

"… ide, including in countless areas not affected by this distinctive form of chronic kidney disease. The El Salvador sample of CKD patients from Ciudad Romero — the commun …"

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 "co-chair":

"… that are made in screening, treatment and access to care,” Jeanne Rizzo, co-chair of the committee and president of the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Fu …"

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 "disease":

"… ern the chemicals are helping fuel a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease devastating its north central region.In September, in Mystery in the Field …"

"… the Center for Public Integrity explored how a rare form of chronic kidney disease is killing agricultural workers in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. S …"

"… pesticides and chemical fertilizer contribute to increase non-communicable diseases,” Rajapaksa said, referring in oblique terms to the politically controv …"

"… factors” for the ailment – which they have named CKDu, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology. Despite prior warnings from the WHO to reduce farmers …"

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 "disease":

"… n sense,” with no connection to national security.Coburn also noted that disease victims and medical specialists have pressured the Pentagon into spending …"

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 "physician":

"… med to be an abundance of disease among female workers.Keith, Brophy and a physician put together a health questionnaire, which was circulated at five plants. …"

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 "disease":

"… le to mine data from millions of patients to discover better ways to treat disease and improve the nation’s overall health, which requires computers to lin …"

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 "spokesman":

"… ade in the report and will address those at that time.” Donald White, a spokesman for the inspector general’s office, said that the issue “is on the rad …"

"… e willing to upcode,” according to the court filing. Methodist hospital spokesman Duane Funk said the hospital has yet to be served with the suit and would …"

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 "chronic kidney disease":

"… s strain of illness tormenting the area. For more than a decade, a rash of chronic kidney disease has been striking down the villagers of this remote agricultural belt in t …"

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 "chronic kidney disease":

"… rom PRI's "The World."  …"

"… and night.”Sampath is among the youngest victims of a broad epidemic of chronic kidney disease sweeping north central Sri Lanka. Its victims are mostly male agricultural …"

"… ion, the usual causes of the illness. The government and WHO call it CKDu: chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology.Winding path to answersCKDu emerged in Sri Lanka’s n …"

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 "chronic kidney disease":

"… tery: their kidneys are failing, and no one knows why.A mysterious form of chronic kidney disease — CKD — is afflicting thousands of people in rural, agricultural commu …"

"… ization data. In Sri Lanka, the WHO says at least 8,000 people suffer from chronic kidney disease of unknown cause, though other sources put the number more than double tha …"

"… tronomical 9.45 mg/dL — more than seven times higher than normal. He had chronic kidney disease, advanced into its late stages.Rajaratna’s illness is part of an epidemi …"

"… ministry and WHO.The government has even come up with a name for it: CKDu, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology.Since 2009, the health ministry and WHO have embarked …"

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 "disease":

"… ia. A Center for Public Integrity-NPR investigation in July found that the disease has returned amid widespread cheating on required dust sampling by some mi …"

"… ied to stop the mine safety agency from updating its rules to address this disease. The GAO’s report shows that the latest line of attack was groundless an …"

"… f results you’d hope for with this approach,” she said.The increase in disease, the association contends, is confined to pockets of central Appalachia an …"

"… he rock surrounding coal seams that can cause a faster-progressing form of disease.The association has previously criticized some of the coal mine dust studi …"

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 "Mine Safety and Health Administration":

"… ystem to manipulate dust sampling results for decades.In 2010, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration proposed a rule that would close some loopholes, though it would still lea …"

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 "Mine Safety and Health Administration":

"… ves."We can't get a regulation out to save our souls," said former federal Mine Safety and Health Administration staffer Celeste Monforton, who now studies workplace health issues and adv …"

"… e fewer samples, because of budget and staffing constraints at the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. Main urged MSHA to scrap the proposal and start over."We believe that MSH …"

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 "United Mine Workers":

"… sis of citations, Watzman argued. Dennis O’Dell, safety director for the United Mine Workers of America, said the few problems with the monitors are “little things t …"

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 "disease":

"… only widely available test for prostate cancer, a potentially devastating disease.”The current debate surrounds the value of the test, but the cost of the …"

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