Health & Medical News

The NYS Department of Financial Services has released the rate hikes granted various health insurance companies for 2016, and while the rates are going up, most of them have been cut down from what the firms originally wanted.

For individual customers, insurers had requested on average a 10.4 percent rate hike. The state dropped that more than 30 percent, to 7.1 percent.

In the Small Group Market, insurers requested a rate increase of 14.4 percent. The state cut the rates to 9.8 percent.

A group that advocates for safety in health care says New York hospitals are keeping patients and the public in the dark about their actual nursing staff levels.

The health consumer rights organization New Yorkers for Patient and Family Empowerment is out with a new report outlining how short-staffing in hospitals puts patients at risk.

It's Executive director, Suzanne Mattei, authored the report.

Monroe County will be home to one of five medical marijuana organizations approved by New York State. 

Columbia Care NY LLC will both manufacture and dispense medical marijuana in the county, and will also dispense in New York, Suffolk and Clinton Counties. Columbia care and four other organizations were selected out of 43 companies that applied.

Columbia Care will have both a cultivation facility and a Rochester dispensary at Eastman Business Park, and CEO Nicholas Vita says he hopes to have product on the shelves by January 1, 2016.

Michelle Faust

Community health organizations gathered Thursday at Samuel Torres Park in Northeast Rochester to provide health education. The event coincides with the end of National Latino HIV Testing Month.

The loud music and a bouncy house contrast with a stark statistic: rates of new HIV transmissions among Latinos in the U.S. are 3 times higher than that of Caucasians, according to 2010 numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s the equivalent of one bottle of prescription painkillers for every adult American. Meanwhile, 46 people a day die from an overdose of those same painkillers. That’s why New York State is trying to curb the problem of over prescribing.

Stigma around seeking treatment for mental health problems is a bigger barrier in communities of color. That's according to MaJose Carrasco the director of the Multicultural Action Center at the National Alliance on Mental Illness--or NAMI.

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Representatives from NAMI say they’re fighting isolation many people living with mental illness experience.

The Golisano Foundation will be on hand for the start of the  Special Olympics 2015 World Summer Games on Saturday, with the focus on the health of those with intellectual disabilities.

Ann Costello is Director of the Foundation.

She says  they'll be focusing on delivering health care screenings for thousands of athletes, many of them from developing countries who are seeing a medical professional for the first time.

Costello says others who have conditions that need to be treated will receive the care that they need.

Our social lives in early adulthood can impact our emotional well-being decades later.

That's the finding of 30-year study from the University of Rochester.

In the 1970s and 1980s, a group of 20-year-olds were asked to report on their social interactions as they were happening.  Then, when they were 50 years old, the study participants filled out an online survey about their emotional well-being.

A new study suggests that the increase in the number of children being diagnosed with autism is due, in least in part, to the way that diagnosis is defined. 

The number of U.S. children enrolled in special education programs due to an autism diagnosis more than tripled between 2000 and 2010. 

A new study from Penn State University says that may be because educators traded one diagnosis for another. 

Dr. Susan Hyman, an autism expert at UR Medicine, says this is not a matter of semantics. The right diagnosis means a child will get the best treatment and services. 

Construction of the new Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester has generally been cause for celebration, but some residents had mixed feelings about the transition.

Jacob Noyes has been in and out of Golisano's since he was born. He's sixteen now, but his mom Kerri says his developmental disability made it a little harder for him to understand the move.

"He did have some anxiety, because he's very familiar with the fourth floor of old hospital. And we kept saying, 'You're moving to a new hospital.' And he would say, 'I don't wanna move to a new hospital.' "