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Kaiser Health News

Doctors are uneasy as Colorado collects providers’ diversity data

Research shows that when patients see health providers who share their cultural background, speak the same language, or mirror their experiences, their health care outcomes improve


Climate change may push Colorado, the U.S. toward the “Goldilocks Zone” for West Nile Virus

West Nile killed 11 people and caused 101 cases of neuroinvasive infections — those linked to serious illness such as meningitis or encephalitis — in Colorado in 2021, the highest numbers in 18 years


The case of the $489,000 air ambulance ride from Colorado to North Carolina

Sean Deines and his wife, Rebekah, were road-tripping in Wyoming. But while visiting his grandfather in a remote part of the state, Sean started to feel very ill.


Calls in Denver, across U.S. to overhaul methadone distribution intensify, but clinics resist

Patients who take methadone, a synthetic narcotic used to treat opioid addiction, must jump through more hoops than perhaps any other patient group in the U.S. due to rules dating back five decades


Demand for service dogs unleashes a “Wild West” market

Organizations charge from $15,000 to $40,000 for a fully trained service dog. None of that cost is covered by health insurance.


Marshall fire and omicron surge prompt Colorado to offer special enrollment period for health insurance

The special marketplace enrollment period will go through March 16 and is open to all uninsured Coloradans


As hospitals fill up, paramedics — like those in Gunnison — spend more time moving patients, less on emergencies

Gunnison Valley Health Paramedics have a 4,400-square-mile service area. It is more than twice the size of Delaware and is the largest response zone for an ambulance service in all of Colorado.


With federal COVID sick leave gone, workers feel pressure to show up at work

Paid sick leave is an essential tool — like testing, masks and vaccines — in the effort to prevent COVID-19 infection and keep workplaces safe. Few states have programs. Colorado is one of them.


Schools, pediatricians look to make up lost ground on non-COVID vaccinations

Only 41% of Black children who were 18 months old were up to date on vaccinations in fall of 2020, compared with 57% of all children of that age.


Western boom cities like Denver see spike in harmful ozone

Ozone levels in Colorado’s Front Range, along the eastern edge of the Rockies, are among the highest in the country — and this summer were the worst on record there


From sewers to golf courses, cities like Pueblo see green with federal COVID relief dollars

States received $195 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act. They had gotten other stimulus funding in earlier relief packages, including the CARES Act last year.


A Colorado clinic’s prescription for healthier patients? Lawyers.

Every day in Commerce City, four lawyers join the physicians, psychiatrists and social workers at Salud Family Health Centers’ clinic, where mending legal ills is as important for health as diet and exercise.


Your COVID game plan: Are stadiums safe?


Bus stop by bus stop, Denver-area health officials microtarget vaccine hesitancy

A mobile clinic in the East Colfax neighborhood is part of a new push by Denver-area public health officials to find the neighborhoods where vaccinations lag behind state or county averages


How an Aurora doctor breaks norms to treat refugees and recent immigrants

Dr. P.J. Parmar designed the Mango House clinic to survive on the Medicaid payments that many doctors across the U.S. reject as too low


Wildfire smoke drives people in low-vaccinated areas indoors, raising outbreak fears

Smoke and unrelenting heat have driven people to seek refuge at libraries, movie theaters, museums and other indoor venues


Two new medical schools are opening in Montana. But does the western U.S. really need them?

Rocky Vista University, which has a campus in Colorado, is one of two organizations planning new Montana medical schools. People who provide hands-on experiences for students worry the state doesn't have enough clinical opportunities to support the flood of new students.


Rural ambulance services in mountain communities are in jeopardy as volunteers age and expenses mount

In rural America, it’s increasingly difficult for ambulance services to respond to emergencies. One factor is that emergency medical services are struggling to find young volunteers to replace retiring EMTs


How a rural Colorado town without a pharmacy is crowdsourcing to get meds

With no local access to prescription drugs, Walden residents are taking advantage of anyone’s trip to bigger cities to pick up medications for the rest of the town


Colorado farmworkers could get easier access to medical care under new “bill of rights”

Agricultural workers living in employer-owned housing can have trouble getting health care. It’s a symptom of bigger gaps in worker protections that the pandemic spotlighted, say proponents of a newly passed Colorado bill for farmworker rights.

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