I-Team In-Depth

Recent Stories

Autism Treatment For Under-Threes Is Key, But Diagnosis Is Tough

Autism

Most children with autism are well past their fourth birthday by the time they’re diagnosed with the condition, according to new government data. Their parents and teachers may have raised red flags earlier, but it takes months or years to confirm suspicions with a formal diagnosis.  And therapy rarely starts without one. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Hospital Mergers Raise Concerns Over Patient Costs

Yale-St. Ray's Hospital

Hospital administrators in Connecticut who have been involved in the unprecedented streak of mergers and consolidations often tout the financial benefits and efficiencies of such moves. But as the number of independent hospitals in the state dwindles – with more than half of the 29 acute-care hospitals now operating in networks with other hospitals or out-of-state partners – experts and advocates worry that the consolidations will reduce competition in the market and give hospitals more leverage to raise prices.  Adding to their concerns is a proposal by a private company to convert four non-profit hospitals to for-profit entities. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Hypertension: Disparities Widen For Black Women

Hypertension

Hypertension rates among women in all eight Connecticut counties increased from 2001 to 2009, with disparities widening for African American women compared to whites and Hispanics, according to a C-HIT analysis of data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. In fact, nearly one out of every two African American women living in Connecticut suffers from hypertension, a life-threatening condition that can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, research shows. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Restraints, Seclusions Target Students With Autism, New Report Shows

Restraint graphic

Children with autism were the most frequently subjected to restraint or seclusion in Connecticut schools in the 2012-13 school year, according to a new state report that tallied more than 33,000 incidents of physical restraint or seclusion in public schools and private special education programs.

The report from the state Department of Education shows that autism was the primary disability among special education students subject to “emergency” restraint or seclusion, with 40.4 percent of all such incidents involving a child with autism. Autism also accounted for nearly half of all cases in which children were put in seclusion as part of their individualized education plans, or IEPs. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Over-The-Counter Drugs: A Prescription For Confusion

DrugTeaser

At Able Care Pharmacy & Medical Supplies in Enfield, Ashraf Moustafa often tries to avert disasters involving drugs displayed on his store’s shelves. Moustafa, the pharmacy manager, recently spoke to an elderly woman seeking ways to treat dark blue patches on her arms. Instead of suggesting any remedies, he asked the woman what medicines she was taking and discovered that she was dangerously mixing over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs with aspirin and the prescription blood thinner, Plavix. He sent the woman to the hospital, fearing that she was suffering from internal bleeding. “People have the impression that if a drug is approved for over-the-counter use, then it must be much safer than prescription medicine,” Moustafa says. “That’s when trouble happens.”

(more…) Continue Reading →

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State’s Child Care Oversight: Minimal Monitoring, Lax Enforcement

chitinfographickids

On its website, the Tumble Bugs Day School in Norwalk boasts a “highly experienced, nurturing” staff who serve infants and toddlers in a “stimulating setting.”

But a review of state Department of Public Health records shows the child care center has had numerous complaints and citations in recent years for lapses in supervision that have injured and traumatized young children. In 2010, the center failed to notify parents when a balancing board fell on a toddler. The same year, DPH cited the center for failing to take action against a staff member who restrained a toddler on a cot by “holding down his head and body” and then falsely reported that a scratch on the boy’s face was an accident. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Undocumented Immigrants To Strain Safety-Net Hospitals

HospitalCareCosts

Undocumented immigrants are expected to make up a larger share of Connecticut’s uninsured population next year, putting new financial pressures on safety-net hospitals that provide emergency care to everyone, state and national health experts predict. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Most CT Hospitals Face Medicare Penalties For Quality Measures

Nurse administers drugs

More than two-thirds of Connecticut hospitals will face Medicare penalties for lagging clinical-care measures in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, with smaller hospitals including Johnson Memorial, Windham and New Milford losing the highest percentage of reimbursement. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Middle-Age “Senior Moments’’ Just Part Of Aging

memoryGraphic

Everyone occasionally struggles to remember a name, blanks out on an appointment or forgets why they walked into the other room. But somewhere around age 40, those “senior moments” start to take on a new seriousness. They suddenly seem like scary signs of aging, perhaps harbingers of major memory loss to come. (more…) Continue Reading →

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