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Pain From The Government Shutdown Spreads. This Time It’s Food Stamps.

Food stamps for February are being distributed about two weeks early because officials say the federal money to pay for them won’t be available later due to the government shutdown. State and local officials are scratching their heads about what might happen in March if the impasse continues.

Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health articles from the week so you don’t have to.

County By County, Researchers Link Opioid Deaths To Drugmakers’ Marketing

A JAMA study looking at county-specific federal data finds that the more opioid-related marketing dollars spent in a county, the higher rates of doctors who prescribed those drugs, and ultimately, more overdose deaths.

Furloughed Feds’ Health Coverage Intact, But Shutdown Still Complicates Things

Some federal employees face insurance paperwork glitches that affect their health coverage and add pressure to the stress of going without pay.

Call The Midwife! (If The Doctor Doesn’t Object)

Hospitals and medical practices are battling outdated stereotypes and sometimes their own doctors to hire certified nurse midwives. Research shows that women cared for by certified nurse midwives have fewer cesarean sections, which can produce significant cost savings for hospitals.

Navigating Aging

Why Older Adults Should Eat More Protein (And Not Overdo Protein Shakes)

Whether because of illness or inactivity, many seniors need to up their protein game to maintain strength and mobility.

Providers Walk ‘Fine Line’ Between Informing And Scaring Immigrant Patients

Some doctors and clinics are proactively informing patients about a proposed policy that could jeopardize the legal status of immigrants who use public benefit programs such as Medicaid. Others argue that because this “public charge” proposal isn’t final — and may never be adopted — disseminating too much information could create unnecessary alarm and cause some patients to drop benefits.

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