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Health

Did You Get the Coronavirus Vaccine, or Are You Planning To?

With approval from the Food and Drug Administration now in hand, Pfizer is shipping doses of its coronavirus vaccine this week to hospitals around the country.Health care workers have already started getting the shots, and most nursing home residents will start getting them next week. Other priority groups — likely a combination of essential workers, people 65 and older and those with high-risk medical conditions — will probably get access at some point in January.Reporters at The New York Times who are writing about the vaccine would like to hear about your experience getting it — or trying to. We would also like to know whether getting a vaccine changes your day-to-day behaviors or attitude about going out in public and interacting with others.We will not publish any part of your subm...

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Business

This Addiction Treatment Works. Why Is It So Underused?

“In the drawings, I did pretty good,” said Eric Alick, 63, of Philadelphia, who completed a contingency management program for cocaine addition at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz V.A. Medical Center in Pennsylvania. “I might get three ‘good jobs’ in a row, but then, bingo.”Among the things he bought with his rewards were a new drill set for his job as a handyman, perfume for his wife and coffee and meals for homeless veterans whom he had met in the hospital cafeteria.One problem with contingency management, evidence suggests, is that people have less success staying abstinent after the treatment ends. For that reason, Richard Rawson, a researcher at the University of Vermont who has studied meth addiction for decades, believes it should be used indefinitely, just as medications for opi...

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Health

A Chance to Expand Medicaid Rallies Democrats in Crucial North Carolina

If low-income registered voters cast ballots at the same rate as higher-income voters in 15 states that went to Mr. Trump in 2016, including North Carolina, they would match or exceed his margin of victory in those states, the study found. And for many, access to health care has been an elusive goal, often with devastating consequences.In an interview, Dr. Barber said the coronavirus pandemic had turned that lack of access into a crisis.“Covid has forced the conversation about health care,” he said. “There’s no way you cannot talk about it.”Dr. Barber is quick to remind his audiences in North Carolina that Senator Tillis helped lead a successful effort in the legislature to pass a law prohibiting Medicaid expansion in 2013, when he was the speaker of the House of Representatives. The Po...

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Business

This Addiction Treatment Works. Why Is It So Underused?

“In the drawings, I did pretty good,” said Eric Alick, 63, of Philadelphia, who completed a contingency management program for cocaine addition at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz V.A. Medical Center in Pennsylvania. “I might get three ‘good jobs’ in a row, but then, bingo.”Among the things he bought with his rewards were a new drill set for his job as a handyman, perfume for his wife and coffee and meals for homeless veterans whom he had met in the hospital cafeteria.One problem with contingency management, evidence suggests, is that people have less success staying abstinent after the treatment ends. For that reason, Richard Rawson, a researcher at the University of Vermont who has studied meth addiction for decades, believes it should be used indefinitely, just as medications for opi...

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World

Forgotten on the presidential campaign: schools in crisis.

For months now, the extraordinary challenges of schooling during the coronavirus pandemic have dominated life in communities large and small across the United States, yet the topic has not been at the forefront of the presidential campaign.Communities are battling over whether and how to reopen schools closed since March. Superintendents are warning of drastic budget cuts on the horizon. Teachers’ unions are calling for standardized tests to be canceled for a second straight year. And millions of children are learning remotely — with little known about the long-term effects on their intellectual growth.Yet none of this has been a big campaign talking point for either President Trump or former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.“It should really be a pivotal topic,” said Kisha Hale, princ...

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Business

Trump Program to Cover Uninsured Covid-19 Patients Falls Short of Promise

“Either hospitals code inconsistent with ICD-10 rules,” said Tom Nickels, an executive vice president of the hospital association, referring to the diagnostic codes that hospitals use for billing, “or they don’t get paid even though the patient is clearly getting treated for Covid.”Harris Health, a two-hospital public system in Houston, did not bill the federal fund for 80 percent of the roughly 1,300 uninsured Covid-19 patients it had treated through mid-July because many of them also had other medical problems — most often, sepsis, an overwhelming reaction to infection that causes blood-pressure loss and organ failure. In other cases, “an underlying health condition was the primary reason for hospitalization, but was exacerbated by the Covid-19 disease,” Bryan McLeod, a spokesman, sai...

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