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DULUTH — When it comes to flu shots, one size doesn't fit all. As in past years, a souped-up vaccination is given to people ages 65 and older in preparation for the 2018-19 flu season, infectious-disease specialists at Essentia Health and St. Luke's in Duluth say. For the first time, though, St. Luke's also is providing a specific vaccination to a slightly younger crowd, those ages 50-64.
ST. PAUL—A lawsuit against Essentia Health over denied coverage for gender reassignment treatment in 2015 has been allowed to proceed. Senior U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank on Thursday, Sept. 20, issued a mixed ruling in the case of Brittany Tovar and Reid Olson v. Essentia Health and HealthPartners. He partially granted insurer HealthPartners' move to dismiss the complaint but denied Essentia's motion.
ESKO, Minn. — Ron Buerkle might not remember what you told him a minute ago. But the 76-year-old Esko man remembers, with poignant clarity, how he and his wife, Deb, reacted more than seven years ago when they learned that he had Alzheimer's disease. "In Mayo," he said, referring to the world-famous Rochester clinic, as he stood up and demonstrated his words in the sitting room of the couple's home. "I went and grabbed her like that (holding his arms in a circle). And we both just cried and cried. And it was awful."
DULUTH, Minn. — Four nurses at a Duluth assisted living facility neglected a resident when they failed to perform CPR after the resident was found unresponsive, a state agency has found. The resident at Chris Jensen Health and Rehab Center died, according to a report by the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Health Facility complaints. The date of death is not listed in the report by special investigator Peggy Boeck, which the agency posted online Tuesday. The investigation concluded July 31 after site visits on June 12-13.
DULUTH—Joe and Dorothy Sayers disagree, slightly, on what their monthly health insurance premium had risen to six or seven years back. It was either $1,600 and slated to rise to $2,300, or it already was $2,300 for themselves and their three daughters. Either way, $2,300 was the breaking point for the couple, who live in Duluth's Lakeside neighborhood. "That's when I said, 'This is enough,'" Dorothy Sayers said during a recent interview.
DULUTH—Benjamin Clarke's bank doesn't make loans, and it doesn't have a drive-through window. He does want deposits, although he's a bit picky about what he'll take. "I really prefer the deer tick," said Clarke, in his office on the third floor of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Duluth campus. "I'm after Lyme disease. It's very particular about what tick it's in."
DULUTH—Almost three years after marijuana was legalized for some medical purposes in Minnesota, some providers, patients and patients' loved ones say the program is frustrating, and the medicine, for many, is unaffordable. "I just think it's so sad why we can't set up a program that someone would find easier than (it is)," said Pat Mullen of Duluth. "They've got to find a way to inform people."
DULUTH — On top of an expected increase in uninsured patients, proposed cuts to a drug discount program would further threaten their bottom line, local hospital officials say. "The change that was proposed ... I think was somewhere between $3 million and $4 million (impact) on St. Luke's," said John Strange, CEO of St. Luke's hospital. At issue is the 340B drug discount program, created by Congress as part of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 to give hospitals that serve low-income populations a price break.
DULUTH—Tyesha Nelson isn't down on medical marijuana, even though it didn't help her with her intractable pain. The 31-year Duluth woman "was placing all my bets on the medical marijuana" to relieve the pain from the rheumatoid arthritis with which she had been diagnosed at age 23, she said on Wednesday, Feb. 28. She had a dose in August 2016, soon after intractable pain was added as an approved condition for treatment with medical cannabis in Minnesota. Not only did it fail to relieve her pain, Nelson said, it "gave me the worst anxiety I ever experienced in my life."
DULUTH—A sexual assault on a patient in Hibbing is among 341 "adverse health events" that occurred at Minnesota hospitals and surgical centers between October 2016 and October 2017, according to an annual report released Thursday, Feb. 22. The events ranged from falls resulting in serious injury to pressure sores to "surgery/other invasive procedure performed on wrong patient," according to the report compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health.