Stories about: Cost of healthcare

Massachusetts requires insurance companies to cover hearing aids for children

Paul and Nathan were born with hearing loss

Naturally, Lisa Adams was worried when she found out her twin infant sons, Nathan and Paul, were born with moderate hearing loss. She became even more concerned when her children’s audiologist, Amal Awdeh, AuD, explained how poor hearing during such a critical time in development could severely impact their budding language skills.

But Adams was quickly comforted when Awdeh explained how far hearing aid technology had come in recent years—with the right equipment, medical and educational teams supporting them—the twins’ speech would most likely develop just fine.

Paul and Nathan were fitted with hearing aids on loan from Boston Children’s Hospital, a practice that allows doctors to find the perfect match of hearing aid to patient before anything permanent is obtained and fitted.

(Click here to support the Caroline Bass Fund at Boston Children’s, which helps fund our loaner hearing aid project. Please write Caroline Bass Fund in the ‘designation’ section.)

 

As toddlers the twins had loaner hearing aids

After a year Paul and Nathan’s growth was consistent, and doctors were pleased with the progress they were making with the loaner aids, so Adams took her sons to be fitted for their own hearing aids. The visit went well, right up until it was time to process payment.

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How Boston Children’s reduces radiation exposure

The medical journal The Lancet recently released a study that reports that children who get multiple computed tomography (CT) scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia.

While the news may alarm parents, it’s something Boston Children’s Hospital has been aware of for some time. In fact, Boston Children’s has for years been at the forefront of a movement to reduce the levels of radiation exposure to young patients.

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Soda’s tax-free status: right or oversight?

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg isn’t sugarcoating his views on soda. Citing sugary drinks as a leading cause of obesity, Bloomberg is pushing for legislation that would ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts in the Big Apple.

Under Bloomberg’s proposed law, any sugary drink larger than 16 fluid ounces—smaller than many single serving soda bottles—would be banned at any establishment regulated by New York’s health department. Grocery stores, convenience stores and vending machines wouldn’t be affected.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are proposing new legislation regulating sugary drinks as well, though less drastic than their peers in New York. Currently, food products in Massachusetts are exempt from the state’s standard 6.25 percent sales tax. Governor Deval Patrick is suggesting that soda and candy no longer be exempt from that tax, and the additional money raised—estimated at $51 million each year—go towards new and existing health programs to help combat obesity. Representative Kay Khan (D-Newton), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children and Families, is also proposing a similar legislation.

“The proposal is in the public’s best interest,” says David Ludwig, MD, PhD, who has led the way in researching the link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity at the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital. “It will reduce exposure to unhealthy food products while raising much-needed funds for obesity prevention and other necessary public measures.”

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Boston Children’s expert appears in The Weight of the Nation documentary

Tonight at 8 pm, HBO will debut a four-part documentary series, The Weight of the Nation, an unflinching look at the severity of the obesity crisis in America, and its crippling effect on our nation’s health and economy.

HBO and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences have joined forces to bring together the nation’s foremost experts on weight and weight loss for a frank and educational look at obesity in America. The series explains how weight became such an issue in this country and provides answers for how we can get to a healthy weight by overcoming the forces that drive us to eat too much and move too little.

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