WXXI AM News

Karen Shakerdge

Reporter/Producer - Health

Karen Shakerdge is a health reporter and producer for WXXI and Side Effects Public Media. From a young anthropology student, to a documentary film producer, to oral historian, and now radio reporter, Karen has been asking people questions about their lives in one way or another for almost 10 years.

The Association of Health Care Journalists recognized her story about liver transplantation with an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Her piece about breast density notification laws received a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Karen has a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Media Studies from The New School and M.A. from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Ways to Connect

A new study finds New York is an outlier in more ways than one when it comes to health care spending.

The latest analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts “Fiscal 50” series looked at state economic trends over a period of 15 years.

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

One day when Amy Plouffe was at work, she felt a sharp pain on the left side of her body.

“The side of my rib cage down to my hip and my leg was very, very sore. It felt like I pulled a muscle or something,” Plouffe said from her home in Bloomfield, New York.

Her doctor gave her a prescription to treat a pulled nerve, but it didn’t help. And then, a couple of days later, she felt something in her right breast.

Residents of Wayne and Ontario counties eligible for nursing home care now have another option to try. ElderONE is a new center in Newark, run by Rochester Regional Health, which operates on a national model called Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly or PACE. There are already three such PACE centers in Rochester.

freeimages.com

People with serious mental illness who have been arrested for misdemeanor crimes are less likely to end up with additional criminal convictions and stay in treatment longer with the right combination of interventions, according to a new study.

New York State Department of Health

How the Republican health care bill could play out would look different from state to state. Some states would pursue waivers, meaning they wouldn’t need to cover certain health services. Others, like New York, are not expected to pursue the option to drop coverage programs – but still, the proposed federal budget cuts may force some difficult decisions.

A tourist from India with measles visited several places in the region on May 11 and May 12, 2017, exposing others to the disease.

Under the American Health Care Act, people would not be penalized for not having health insurance, initially. They would only encounter financial penalty when signing up for insurance after more than 63 days of being without it. By most accounts, this means healthier people are less likely to sign up for insurance.

“That’s one of the big concerns with this Republican health plan, is that you have a combination of ‘you’re not required to buy health insurance when you’re healthy, but you’re allowed to buy it when you get sick,’” says Bill Hammond, director of health policy at the Empire Center. And that, he says, could have unique implications in New York.

stltoday.com

The Medical Society of New York State has decided to ask doctors for their opinions on physician assisted dying.

The medical society, which has about 30,000 members made up of physicians and medical students, has maintained its position of opposing physician assisted dying since 1992.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has updated coverage guidelines for infertility treatment that could be especially significant for single women and same sex couples.

A letter sent to insurance companies clarifies that all patients – regardless of sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity - are entitled to infertility treatment coverage.

The Department of Financial Services has slapped Excellus Health Plans with a $1 million fine for multiple violations of New York insurance law.

For one, Excellus incorrectly denied 1,000 claims for contraceptive coverage, according to the Department of Financial Services, due to “internal system and process errors.”  DFS also found that Excellus failed to pay or deny claims promptly and acknowledge consumer grievances within required time frames.  

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