Health Care | Nashville Public Radio

Health Care

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Nils Wommelsdorf / via Flickr

Fentanyl has quickly surged to become a leading killer drug in Tennessee, spiking 70 percent between 2016 and 2017. That's according to new overdose statistics put out by the Health Department this week.

Public health officials are redoubling their warnings.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Dozens of zebra finches are learning to sing inside makeshift recording booths in a Vanderbilt lab. Adult and baby birds are paired up to live together, and some have more difficult living conditions than others. The idea is to study how struggling for survival can impair the learning process and how to get around it.

Courtesy of Debbie Martens

Last year set another record for overdose deaths in Tennessee. The state's health department released the latest figures Monday that showed 1,776 fatal overdoses in 2017.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A small slice of the money Tennessee dedicated to the opioid crisis this year is going to a social network developed by a Nashville startup. It's an app designed for people in recovery.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A clinic in North Nashville has expanded its dental department in response to a growing need among people who lack insurance coverage. The manpower and money come from new partners who also see a glaring problem.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Davidson County Sheriff has started construction on a facility that will force the local criminal justice system to change how it treats people with a mental illness.

But at its official groundbreaking this week, the sheriff admitted he still has some convincing to do.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Southern doctors seem to be overlooking a key genetic test for underserved patients with breast and ovarian cancer. A new study published by a Vanderbilt researcher finds very few women get this recommended blood screening, even though they have insurance coverage through Medicare.

courtesy Cohen Clinic

A military-focused mental health clinic in Clarksville has been so in demand during its first three months that it's on track to becoming the busiest for a new nonprofit. Cohen Veterans Network has been starting sites around the country focused on post-9/11 veterans.

Rates for individual health insurance plans in Tennessee will drop even more than expected next year, after the Trump Administration reversed plans for cutting payments to insurance companies.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, for example, will have average rates that are nearly 15 percent less than this year.

Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti / U.S. Army

A contract stalemate between Tennessee's largest health insurer and anesthesiologists in Nashville could start causing headaches for patients at the end of the month. The standoff reveals the local effects of physician consolidation.