Health

Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

Michele Skalicky

Opioids, both prescription and illicit, are the main driver of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   More than 33,000 people died in the United States in 2015 from opioid overdoses, the latest year for which numbers are available. 

Greene County had 97 overdose deaths in 2015, and, of those, 61 were opioid-related.

CoxHealth

Students in several area schools will soon be able to get a medical diagnosis without leaving the school building.  A Missouri Foundation for Health grant will allow CoxHealth telemedicine to be used in six elementary schools with the goal of reducing absenteeism. 

Over a three-year period, mobile telehealth carts will be placed in schools in Cassville, Forsyth, Monett, Mountain Grove, Ozark and Reeds Spring.  That will allow kids to be seen at school via video for acute ailments such as sore throats, chronic coughs and the flu.

Kate Cohn
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Jan. 31 marks the open enrollment deadline for citizens needing health insurance through the federal Marketplace. While the process has become more streamlined since it first launched, a likely repeal of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is bringing many questions from enrollees.

CoxHealth Monett
CoxHealth Monett

CoxHealth says it’s opening a new urgent care facility in Monett in January that aims to better serve area residents.

The 2,600 square foot facility, according to the hospital, is a resource for ailments that can’t wait for a traditional doctor visit, but aren’t severe enough for a trip to the emergency room.

“The focus of this facility is to bridge a gap between people needing same-day appointments and our physician offices,” said Darren Bass, president of Cox Monett, in a statement. “We want to be an addition to the exceptional care our primary care physicians provide.”

CoxHealth

Missourians now have another option when it comes to seeking treatment for minor illnesses.  CoxHealth has expanded its telemedicine service, DirectConnect, to individuals.  Previously, it had been offered only to employers.

Bridget O’Hara, product manager at Cox, said it’s an affordable option for those who need care—each “visit” is $49—and she said it frees up space in the ER and urgent care.

According to O’Hara, the service is easy to use.  She compares it to using Skype or Face Time.

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