All Feature Reports

Carlton Scott is 63. Sitting at his kitchen table at the house he owns in Prairieville, near Baton Rouge, he says he worked at a chemical plant for 30 years before he retired. He found out last fall that his company was scaling back his retiree benefits.

“’Round October they wrote me a letter saying, in December we’ll no longer be covered,” he says.

It’s been more than 20 years since passage of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time for medical or family reasons without losing their jobs. Some advocates and politicians say it’s time to plug a big hole in the law by requiring that workers get paid while they’re on leave.

Imagine walking into an emergency room with an awful rash and waiting hours to see a doctor until, finally, a physician who doesn’t have specific knowledge of your condition gives you an ointment and a referral to a dermatologist.

Business groups praised a proposed new rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission clarifying how employers can construct wellness programs, but consumers advocates said the new policy could harm workers.

The EEOC published the long-awaited rule Thursday.

In an effort to make comparing hospitals more like shopping for refrigerators and restaurants, the federal government has awarded its first star ratings to hospitals based on patients’ appraisals.

It’s just the crumb of a muffin but Martha Galvis must pick it up. Lips clenched, eyes narrowed, she goes after the morsel, pushing it back and forth, then in circles, across a slick table top.

New Yorkers without health insurance have until the end of the month to get coverage. Officials from the state’s health exchange want uninsured individuals with tax penalties to sign up.

The state health department is asking tax preparers to remind their clients of the Special Enrollment Period.

IUDs and implants are the most effective forms of birth control for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC now recommends health care providers offer it to teen patients.

Rochester is one of the communities scheduled for an upcoming forum on heroin and opioid addiction. The State Senate task force will also meet  in several other communities to examine the issues created by increased heroin abuse which officials say is causing hundreds of deaths in communities across the state.

Dr. Robert Wachter is a long-time patient safety advocate who has written extensively about the trends affecting quality and safety in health care. Wachter, associate chair of the University of California-San Francisco department of medicine, years ago coined the term “hospitalist” and predicted the rise of that profession.