Crushing Medical Debt

Nearly a quarter of us owe past due medical debt, and hospitals are moving more aggressively to collect. The rise is the result of a tradeoff–Americans have avoided higher health insurance premiums only to be jeopardized by extremely high deductibles and out-of-network costs. Experts explain what unpaid medical debt can mean, how patients can escape its clutches, and how one charity works to buy and forgive debt.

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Hand Washing And Handshake Bans

Some hospital units have set up handshake bans because too few healthcare workers wash hands well enough to keep from spreading germs. The general public is even worse at washing hands, which has caused spread of serious disease. Some experts say handshakes foster important human connections and oppose bans. Experts discuss and describe what it takes to wash hands well enough to be “clean.”

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Bridging The Vax/Anti-Vax Divide

The debate over vaccination isn’t as civil as it once was, and leaves little room for common ground or even discussion. Pro-vaccine advocates often point to science showing safety and effectiveness, but as a noted medical humanities researcher explains, values common among anti-vaccine advocates lead them to reject this science, and both sides need to understand where the disconnect comes from.

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