Side Effects Public Media

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Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Boxes are piled high in Anne Hickman’s hallway. Family photos peek out from behind the stacks in her one-bedroom Indianapolis apartment.

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Jake Harper / Side Effects

It was a scheduling mishap that led Kourtnaye Sturgeon to help save someone’s life. About four months ago, Sturgeon drove to downtown Indianapolis for a meeting. She was a week early.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” she said.

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Jake Harper/ Side Effects Public Media

New research finds that fentanyl is far more common than heroin in overdose deaths in Indianapolis and that blacks are particularly affected.

In 2017, nearly half of the people who died from an overdose in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, had fentanyl in their system. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Opioid Overdoses May Be Seriously Undercounted

Mar 21, 2018
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Jake Harper / Side Effects

In a refrigerator in the coroner’s office in Marion County, Indiana, rows of vials await testing. They contain blood, urine and vitreous, the fluid collected from inside a human eye. In overdose cases, the fluids may contain clues for investigators. 

Weighing The Legal Odds Of The Latest ACA Challenge

Mar 5, 2018
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Pete Souza / wikimedia commons

Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill has joined 19 other states in a legal challenge against the Affordable Care Act. Experts say some parts of the argument may be more legally effective than others.

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Repeal Obamacare / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nobamanomas/

Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill is one of 20 state officials lobbing a new attack at the Affordable Care Act.

If successful, the lawsuit could mean the end of federal support for Indiana’s Medicaid expansion, which is funded through the Affordable Care Act.

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Flickr

The Indiana Task Force on Public Defense is touring the state to hear from attorneys, social workers, and citizens about strains on the public defense system.

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Steve Pivnick / US Air Force

Indiana Medicaid will now cover residential treatment, detoxification and peer recovery services. The federal government approved the expanded coverage earlier this month as part of the Healthy Indiana Plan’s Medicaid waiver extension.

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Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Members who fail to renew coverage under Indiana’s Medicaid program will be subject to a six-month suspension period. That’s despite previous notice in 2016 from the federal government that the state can’t enforce such lockouts.

After hearing testimony last week, Indiana Senate lawmakers Wednesday made significant changes to a bill that would have resulted in more people facing termination of their parental rights.

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Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government has granted a one-month extension to Indiana’s Medicaid program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, which was set to expire this month.

This buys time for the state and federal government to finalize details of how the program works, according to a press release from Gov. Eric Holcomb's office. 

Epidemiologists traditionally have depended on what people say to discover how disease spreads. But in investigating Indiana's recent HIV outbreak, the CDC tracked what the virus says — by looking at its DNA.

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Jacob Sippel / US Navy

After letting funding lapse for 114 days, the United States has reached an agreement for funding CHIP, the federally-run health insurance program for children and pregnant mothers.

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PIXABAY

A potential law before the Indiana Senate would require written parental consent for sexual education in schools.

Critics say the bill would limit student access to evidence-based programming.

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calvinnivlac / Flickr

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee on Wednesday threw its support behind a bill that would require Indiana physicians to check the state prescription database — called INSPECT— before prescribing powerful drugs, including opioids. 

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J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

On Friday, Kentucky became the first state with federal approval to implement a so-called work requirement for Medicaid recipients. The commonwealth is one of ten states, including Indiana, that have requested approval from the federal government for such a provision.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced it will support state policies that require people to work for their Medicaid coverage. Ten states —including Indiana and Kentucky — have submitted proposals to add a so-called work requirement to their Medicaid plans.

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CREATIVE COMMONS/PIXABAY

Indiana spent more money on anti-smoking programs this year than last. But it’s still a lot less than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.

How To Get Hospitals To Check A Patient's Drug History? Make It Easy.

Dec 11, 2017
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Samantha Horton / Side Effects Public Media

Doctors move fast in the ER. Every second counts. That’s why Dr. Gina Huhnke is excited about a new way to quickly check her patients’ history with narcotics. She’s the emergency department director of Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville.

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AJ Mast for Side Effects Public Media

When Ronson Rowley was a teen, he said he used to sneak into a nightclub called the Ten Bar. “It was the only black gay club here in Indianapolis,” he recalled. One night he ran into his uncle.

“He looked me dead in the face,” he recalled. “And [he] said what are you doing here? I said, the same thing you’re doing here.”

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Gretchen Frazee / WTIU News

At the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Conference in Indianapolis,  U.S. Surgeon General and former Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adam called for racial equity in addressing the opioid epidemic.

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LAbaseballFan / Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is investigating the pharmaceutical company Alkermes for its marketing and lobbying efforts used to “artificially boost sales” of its addiction drug, Vivitrol.

On an afternoon in August at the Indiana State Library, a stately limestone building usually home to genealogy conventions or history lectures, the Indiana chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, laid out a very distinctive welcome mat emblazoned with a familiar leafy plant.

The White House announced late Thursday night the federal government will no longer provide cost sharing reductions for Affordable Care Act insurance plans. Indiana insurers — at least the two still left on the exchange — had been bracing for the news.

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Wikimedia Commons

Homicides, mainly gun deaths, are the biggest contributor to premature death among black Americans.  Yet despite this harsh statistic, there’s very little research on the issue, according to a new study from Indiana University’s School of Public Health in Bloomington.

A group of 12 contiguous U.S. states in the Midwest and South has the highest rate of adult tobacco use in the nation. If taken as a country, this group would rank among those with the highest smoking rates in the world.

This is according to a report released by Truth Initiative last week. Indiana is one of these twelve states, along with neighboring Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

New Project Brings End-Of-Life Planning To Nursing Homes

Sep 28, 2017
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Samantha Horton / WNIN/Si

The Indiana State Department of Health awarded a three-year $332,360 grant to the University of Southern Indiana for research into advance care planning in 15 nursing homes in Southwest Indiana.

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AJ Casey / AJKC LLC

One day in August 2016, 83-year-old Albert Fink crashed his 2012 BMW sedan into a tree, on a curve on Indiana State Road 46 just outside of Bloomington.

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cgpgrey.com

The GOP’s latest Obamacare overhaul proposal could significantly reduce funding for state Medicaid programs and turn expansion plans — including Indiana’s HIP 2.0 — on their heads.

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Evan Walsh

On a rainy day in Austin, Indiana, Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, drives around in a white SUV. Medical supplies are piled high in the back of the vehicle: syringes and condoms, containers for used needles, over-the-counter medications.

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