Public Health News For Indiana

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An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

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Children who are on Medicaid in Indiana and need inpatient mental health services are typically allowed three days in a facility. Health care workers need to request permission to keep them longer. But many say that three days isn't enough, and that those requests are often rejected by insurers.


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We asked you, our listeners and readers, to share  your concerns with healthcare costs. And the results are in. 

Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Communities across the Midwest have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. But there's still a lot of misunderstanding about how opioids affect our bodies. A new and unusual museum exhibit is tackling this issue. 

Sam Horton/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Farmers across the Midwest are facing tight profit margins and rising healthcare costs. And that means some hold off getting medical treatment or forgo health insurance altogether. In response, some state farm bureaus are trying to fill that gap by creating their own group health plan.

When Heather Woock was in her late 20s, she started researching her family history. As part of the project she spit into a tube and sent it to Ancestry, a consumer DNA testing service. Then in 2017, she started getting messages about the results from people who said they could be half-siblings.

"I immediately called my mom and said, 'Mom, is it possible that I have random siblings out there somewhere?'" Woock says. She remembers her mom responded, "No, why? That's ridiculous."

Natalie Krebs / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government recently raised the smoking age to 21 to help curb teen vaping.  Some are applauding the decision as a win for public health. Others worry it was a knee-jerk reaction.

An "open tank" e-cigarettes sits on the counter at Mason Odle's vape store, Just Vapor. These larger, open tank systems are exempt from FDA regulations on flavors.
Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Just a few weeks ago, some Midwest state legislatures were aiming to raise the legal age for smoking. But Congress moved first, setting a new national age limit of 21. Now, some anti-smoking advocates say that’s not enough. 

All IN: The First Season of “Sick”

Jan 6, 2020

The first season of the podcast “Sick,” produced by Side Effects Public Media at WFYI, dives into the story of a fertility doctor in Indiana who spent years deceiving his patients, recently discovered due to the growing popularity of mail-in DNA tests.

Why Latinos Are Less Likely To Seek Healthcare

Dec 20, 2019
Photo by Annacaroline Caruso/Side Effects

Hispanics are the least likely racial and ethnic group to see a doctor when they have health problems. That’s according to a study by the Census Bureau. There are several barriers that discourage some from that community from seeking medical attention in the U.S.

Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting.
Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Indiana has applied for a 10-year extension of its Medicaid health insurance program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan. This fairly routine move sparked passionate public commentary on Tuesday afternoon. 

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