health care

Colorado's "Right to Try" Law: A Lifeline or False Hope?

Colorado’s new “right-to-try” law, signed in May, allows terminally ill patients access to investigational drugs without federal approval. Similar legislation is being considered in other states. Supporters call it a ray of hope for people with few alternatives, while skeptics argue that the hopes could be false and the suffering worsened. The US Food and Drug Administration already has compassionate-use mechanisms in place, but action at the state level is a first. What are the clinical and ethical implications of Colorado’s action? Are states usurping federal authority? What are the rights of dying people here?

Elliot Gerson, Joe Garcia, Diane E. Meier

Mountain Edition - May 22nd, 2014

May 22, 2014

Residents in the Roaring Fork Valley have been the target of recent scams. We’ll have the latest.

Will tourists flock to mountain communities this summer? One resort analyst thinks so.

And, fire season is already underway in the Western U.S. Fire officials tell Roaring Fork Valley residents now is the time to get ready.

A former director of the Colorado State Lottery is entering the race for Congress...but, he’ll need more than just a scratch ticket to win the job in Washington.

Aspen Valley Hospital is in the middle of its switch from paper files to electronic patient records.

Finally, Governor Hickenlooper made law a pair of measures this week that tighten rules around marijuana.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Marci Krivonen

While hospitals across the country work to transition from old-fashioned paper records to electronic data, some doctors in Aspen have already “gone digital.” Aspen Valley Hospital is in the middle of this conversion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Family Health Centers

Last month, several people raced to sign up for health insurance before the March 31st deadline. Many of those patients qualified for the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program. Turns out, more people signed up for Medicaid than for private insurance in the tri-county area that includes Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle Counties. Now, doctor’s offices that handle these patients are trying to keep up. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Pitkin County Tackles Pricey Health Insurance Problem

Apr 15, 2014
Creative Commons/Flickr/401(K) 2012

Pitkin County staff and elected leaders will meet with the State’s top insurance official this week about pricey health insurance. A Kaiser Health News report says Colorado’s “rating area eleven” that covers Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield and Summit Counties, is the most expensive insurance market in the country. Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock says they’d like to see solutions.

www.gailschwartz.org

With about five weeks left in Colorado’s legislative session, lawmakers are going over the budget, looking into fighting wildfires and voting on internet access for rural areas. State Senator Gail Schwartz is involved with these efforts. She’s a democrat from Snowmass Village and Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen sat down with her on Sunday. Here is their entire conversation.

connectforhealthco.com

The deadline for most Coloradans to get health insurance in 2014 is less than two weeks away and, efforts to get people covered is ramping up. Connect for Health Colorado will hold events in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Rifle over the next two weeks. 

Officials with the state-run health insurance exchange says 100,000 people have already purchased plans on their website and they expect a surge of interest as the deadline gets closer.

Pitkin County Sees Spike in Medicaid Enrollees

Feb 26, 2014
Creative Commons/Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller/U.S. Army

The Affordable Care Act is helping low income residents in the Roaring Fork Valley get health insurance. That’s according to officials who oversee programs for the poor. More people are signing up for Medicaid and others are purchasing insurance plans from the state exchange. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

In Pitkin County, the number of Medicaid patients jumped 20 percent since October. So, 90 more people are seeking care from doctors who will take them.

Mountain Edition - January 30th, 2014

Jan 30, 2014

With just eight days until the Olympics start in Sochi...the Aspen community sends off four local athletes who will compete.

Health care prices in the Valley have been rising for years. Now, a handful of local employers are trying to improve worker’s health--and bring down costs.

Basalt’s setting a path for its future...in a non-traditional way. It’s using a method called “crowd-sourcing” to gather input on urban planning.

A new group in Aspen wants to make it easier for young people to stay in Aspen. City council approved the Next Generation Advisory Commission this week.

And, as Colorado’s population grows, the state’s water supply can’t keep up. A Basalt organization is involved in a statewide water plan.

Terrain parks are ubiquitous at ski resorts around the country. Now, there’s an effort to make them safer.

Finally, Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace is heading to the Olympics. The freeskier is recovering from injuries...but, says he’s ready to compete.

Dr. Robert Eckel served on the panel which issued new guidelines on heart health and spoke at The Aspen Meadows last weekend. The evening was moderated by Dr. Ann Mass.

Martie Edwards

Five big employers in Aspen are joining forces to improve health care in the Valley. They’re part of a new group, the Valley Health Alliance, which enlists the help of doctors, hospitals, and other health-related professionals. The idea is to help bring down skyrocketing costs--while making sure employees get better care than before. To learn more, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with Martie Edwards, Interim Executive Director of the Valley Health Alliance, and Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

 

 

feministing.com

Recorded live at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen, Colorado on Tuesday January 28th, 2014.

Two new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, on cardiovascular risk assessment and cholesterol management, have caused considerable controversy. Dr. Robert Eckel, who chaired the guidelines section on lifestyle management lead the panel.

Hosted by Dr. Ann Mass featuring Aspen area cardiologists Dr. Gordon Gerson and Dr. Marcus Howell & Dr. Robert Eckel.

Join Us for a Live Show on Heart Health

Jan 14, 2014
feministing.com

Join Aspen Public Radio for a special live radio show with Dr. Robert Eckel, and local cardiologists, Dr. Gordon Gerson and Dr. Marcus Howell on heart health. Moderated by Dr. Ann Mass.

Tuesday, January 28. Noon - 1pm.

Red Brick Center for the Arts, Rehearsal Space.

$15/person ($10/person for APR members).

Aspen Valley Hospital Welcomes New CEO

Jan 8, 2014
Aspen Valley Hospital

Aspen Valley Hospital welcomed a new CEO last week. Dan Bonk started work at the small, non profit hospital on January 2nd. Before arriving in Aspen, Bonk was an executive at Wisconsin’s largest health care system, Aurora Health Care. The 30-year health care veteran talked to Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen about moving the hospital’s expansion forward and dealing with controversy.

Office of Governor John Hickenlooper

    Governor John Hickenlooper says he could get involved with bringing down health insurance prices. That could have a real impact for residents of the Roaring Fork Valley and other mountain towns. Garfield County asked the state's top official earlier this month to intervene with high premiums. The County believes Colorado officials did a sloppy job earlier this year when coming up with prices. But some experts say the state didn't make any mistakes.

Elise Thatcher

Garfield County wants Governor John Hickenlooper to intervene with the state's new health insurance rules. The county has some of the highest premiums in Colorado under new guidelines, which are part of the Affordable Care Act. The state agency in charge of the new rules recently visited communities around the state to explain why premiums are so high. But Garfield County officials remain unconvinced.

The New Health Care Reality

Nov 26, 2013

About three years ago, a relative of mine went to the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital with stroke-like symptoms.  He did not have health insurance because of a pre-existing condition and he did not have the ability to pay for emergency health care, but the hospital treated him nevertheless.  Following a battery of tests, he was discharged from the hospital with a hefty bill.  The hospital gave him three choices:  pay the bill immediately in a lump sum and get a 20% discount; pay the face amount of the bill in installments over a period of a year; or declare himself a charity case a

Explainer - Colorado Health Exchange

Oct 8, 2013

If you thought the debate over health care reform was complicated to follow the shopping experience for health insurance may be equally hard to understand.  First of all the prices people will encounter vary.  Aspen Public Radio's Roger Adams went shopping for policies on the Colorado Health Exchange - Connect For Health Colorado.

Interactive: How Much Will "Obamacare" Cost You?

Sep 25, 2013

Would like to know how the Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare" is going to affect your health care? Check out this calculator from NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation:

Hope on the Horizon: New Strategies for the Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

One out of three individuals may be affected by Alzheimer’s Disease by the age of 80. Leading research scientists have hope, however, that this most insidious illness might reverse itself.

Howard Fillit & Ezekiel Emanuel

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