• iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- With dramatic increases in shootings and homicides in Chicago in recent years, more and more patients are being taken to hospitals with traumatic injuries. However, a new study finds that many patients with traumatic injuries are being taken to hospitals not designated to handle these type of wounds.Nearly one in five patients who should be taken to a designated level 1 trauma center from 2009 to 2013 were instead taken to local community hospitals in the Chicago area that are not fully equipped to deal with these traumatic cases, according to a new study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.The city has long struggled with a lack of hospitals that are level 1 trauma centers, meaning they are designated specifically for the most serious types of traumatic injuries. If a hospital is a level 1 trauma center, it must meet a variety of requirements so that it can be "capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury -- from prevention through rehabilitation," according to the American Trauma Society.Patients with life-threatening injuries, such as a penetrating injury in the torso or any injury that impairs breathing, are supposed to be taken to a level 1 trauma center immediately or stabilized at a local community hospital before being quickly moved to a level 1 trauma center for further care.Chicago has four level 1 trauma centers in the city limits and 19 in Cook County, which encompasses the city. However, in the southern parts of the county, there are few level 1 trauma centers, despite increasing rates of violence in the area, the study noted."The lower third of county, which holds 700,000 people, has no trauma unit," Lee Friedman, a co-author of the study and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, told ABC News.Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health examined hospital databases to understand how 9,886 patients with gunshot wounds were treated at various hospitals from 2009 to 2013. They found 4,934 patients with injuries severe enough that they should have been taken to a level 1 trauma center.However, of these patients, 884, or 17.9 percent, were "undertriaged" or initially taken to a hospital not designated to handle these types of injuries, the study found. Once those patients were at the community hospitals, the researchers found 90 percent were not transferred to a level 1 trauma center designated to care for severe injuries.While the study was not designed to discover how these patients got to the hospital, Friedman said during their research they heard from many physicians that the injured were being driven in by family or friends in search of care."People are being self-transported to these community hospitals. ... It's not a failure of EMS," Friedman said. "It's people saying, 'Let's get this person to [any hospital].'"Friedman and his co-authors concluded that there should be better coordination among hospitals and support for these hospitals in areas with high levels of violence. Hospitals not designated as trauma centers are facing additional burdens for caring for these patients without the financial support they would get if they were designated as a lower-tier trauma center, Friedman noted."They're unrecognized as level 3, level 4 trauma units," said Friedman, explaining these hospitals were not getting recognition for treating these traumatic injuries. "What this study is showing is that even in a really efficient system, there is room for improvement."Dr. Marie Crandall, of the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida, wrote in an accompanying commentary in JAMA Surgery that more research needs to be done to understand how these findings could be applied.It's possible that the "undertriaged" patients may have been shot in the hand or food, in which case it could be appropriate to have them treated at a local hospital that is not designated for traumatic injuri
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — With President-elect Donald Trump pledging to "repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many have been looking for signs of what a replacement plan might look like. One clue may be a plan proposed in 2015 by Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, who faces his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.Price, who has been a longtime critic of the ACA, is a member of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, which is made up of congressional members who are doctors and focuses on developing “patient-centered” health care policy. He also served for several years as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a large and influential conservative House caucus.A year after the ACA passed, Price released a statement calling the law "a costly and misguided encroachment of government that will destroy jobs and drive our nation further toward a fiscal crisis."He characterized the law as "failing" and argued that it should be replaced."The purpose of health reform should be to advance accessibility, affordability, quality, responsiveness, and innovation," Price said at the time. "None of these are improved by Obamacare. They are threatened by Obamacare because the goal of this law is to expand authority for the government, not opportunity and choices for the American people."Price's Proposal to Repeal the ACAIn 2015, Price introduced a bill called the Empowering Patients First Act of 2015 in the House.In the legislation, he proposed an increase in the amount people could contribute to their health savings accounts, expanding tax-deductible contributions and allowing the accounts to pay some primary care fees.The proposal also included a requirement that HHS would "provide a grant to each state for high-risk pools or reinsurance pools to subsidize health insurance for high-risk populations and individuals."High-risk health pools could be used to give people who are often challenged in finding affordable insurance, due to pre-existing conditions, age or other factors, another outlet to find insurance outside their employer-based coverage.Prior to the ACA, many states had high-risk pools to cover residents who otherwise would not be insured because of pre-existing conditions. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that state high-risk pools often had significantly higher premiums and likely included just a fraction of people who needed coverage.Under the ACA, insurance companies are mandated to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and prohibited from charging them higher premiums. Insurers also cannot charge women more than men.Price's proposed legislation calls for individuals to receive tax credits to help pay for medical coverage. The plan increases the tax credits as a person ages, with a top level of $3,000. Tax credits, tax deductions and authorized funds in this plan could not be used to fund most abortions.Under the ACA, federal tax subsidies are given based on income up to a certain level based on the state.Federal protections for pre-existing conditions would be weakened, but not entirely eliminated under Price's 2015 proposal. Insurance companies could potentially charge up to 150 percent of standard premiums for two years, if the individual has not had continuous health insurance for the last 18 months.His plan also proposed allowing individuals to opt out of government health care programs like Medicare or Medicaid and receive a tax credit instead. Medicare patients would be able to pick doctors outside the Medicare system without penalty.Additionally, the bill proposed a transfer of power to states to govern health insurance laws, which could possibly eliminate current federal pre-existing condition rules in favor of giving states incentives to pass their own laws governing the protection.The 'Better Way' ProposalPrice has also publicly supported Representative Paul Ryan's call for repealing and replacing the ACA
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A growing number of people are putting the "AH" in "namaste," thanks to a new workout: Beer Yoga.Apparently having got its start at Burning Man in the States, Mashable reports the idea quickly spread back to the spiritual birthplace of beer, Germany, where hipsters in Berlin quickly began organizing classes. From there, it spread to Australia.According to Berlin-based BierYoga's website, the class is the, "marriage of two great loves—beer and yoga," and, "Both are centuries-old therapies for mind, body and soul." "BeerYoga is fun but it's no joke," founder and yogi Jhula writes. "We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness."
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  • Ingram Publishing/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorIt’s common for mothers to undergo ultrasounds during pregnancy. They’re used to look inside the uterus and check development of the baby. But a new study out of the U.K. shows that complementing those ultrasounds with an MRI is even more effective at spotting abnormalities in the baby’s brain. The study of nearly 600 pregnant women showed ultrasounds accurately detected problems 68 percent of the time. But when combined with an MRI, that accuracy jumped to 93 percent. Here’s my take: There are many types of tests that pregnant women undergo but it’s important to remember that imaging tests like sonograms or MRIs are not perfect. And while they can describe the structure of fetal organs, they can’t tell us how those fetal parts will function.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak is bringing his exclusive "Legsanity" workout to a special GMA live stream."This workout is all about toning, tightening, sculpting an incredible lower body," he told GMA. "The lower body is the foundation of the whole body. Without strong legs, there is no strong body."Pasternak, a best-selling author and Fitbit Ambassador, is leading a workout live-streamed on ABCNews.com/live and on the GMA Facebook page Wednesday. Fitbit is a sponsor of Good Morning America.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(AURORA, Ill.) — Illinois brothers Jose and Ivan Favela are used to sharing the spotlight: They announced their engagements on the same day, they married their wives, side by side, in a joint wedding ceremony, and on Sunday, they both welcomed their first-born children, ABC-owned station WLS reported."He said, 'You're going to be an uncle.' I was telling him, 'You're going to be an uncle too,'" Jose Favela told WLS.The baby boys, Rodrigo and Josue, were born just steps away from each other in neighboring hospital rooms at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois. The newborn cousins were not due on the same day, the family said.The infants' mothers were thrilled, WLS reported. "I'm happy for them, and us too," said Sarai Duran. Added Elvia Chaidez, "I guess we just have to enjoy it. A big party all the time."This is not the first time that first cousins have been born there on the same day, the hospital said, but given the brothers' shared history, this situation was especially serendipitous, WLS reported.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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