Health

Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

Mercy Springfield
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Mercy Hospital Springfield and Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities have agreed to pay $34 million to resolve a lawsuit related to physician compensation.

According to a statement issued Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department, the healthcare organization allegedly violated the False Claims Act through improper payments to oncologists.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

“So we’re gonna go ahead and go live… Hey! How we doing?” announces David Stoecker via a Facebook Live session on February 24. There are about a dozen monitoring the feed from a digital device, while a handful of us watch Stoecker in person from inside the Springfield Recovery Community Center.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

In the Missouri capitol building in Jefferson City, Representative Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, has been trying for half a decade to get Missouri to establish a PDMP, or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

That’s an electronic records database that would allow prescribers—doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and anyone who can prescribe narcotics—to pull up on a screen in the exam room that shows what medicines that patient has been prescribed, and when.

Missouri is the only state where medical professionals don’t have the option of using such a database.

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.

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