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Henry L. Davis

Henry Davis is the health care reporter for The Buffalo News.


Patients on benzodiazepines, a group of tranquilizers that includes Valium and Librium, will be required to get new prescriptions every month in order to get refills because of new state regulations aimed at monitoring and limiting misuse of the commonly prescribed drugs.The Health Department rules will take effect Sunday despite criticism from physicians and patients…

Maggie Cash-Hayes calls it home care in reverse.Instead of sending a nurse or health aide to the home of an elderly person, her program sends the elderly to the homes of people paid to help care for them.The official name is foster family care. And Ms. Cash-Hayes, the program's director at Catholic Charities of Buffalo, says it works well for all involved: the elderly…

Medical costs, hospital stays and injury complications are reduced if doctors operate immediately on fractures rather than delay, according to a Buffalo researcher's study.The study should confirm for any medical doubters the benefits of doing multiple fracture surgery with teams of surgeons, rather than delaying the surgery over a few days while the patient's wounds …

Independent Health Association has received state approval for an average increase of 7.65 percent in premiums for its 111,000 customers, effective Jan. 1, officials of the health maintenance organization said Thursday.The state Insurance Department made no basic changes in the organization's overall rate increase proposal, said Jodi H. Miller, corporate director of a…

The organization representing interns and residents at the Erie County Medical Center repeated its request Thursday for the county to increase its offer of a 4 percent pay hike."We feel frustrated," Dr. Jose G. Perez-Brache, president of the Buffalo Housestaff Association, said during a public hearing.Buffalo's salaries are less than those offered at the State Univers…

The state Insurance Department has approved a 22.7 percent average increase in premium rates for Blue Shield of Western New York.The overall average increase in rates remains unchanged from what Blue Shield sought in November, when state officials asked the company to file for an increase months before it had planned to do so. Blue Shield had intended to wait until th…

Uncontrollable cost increases, millions of patients who are uninsured or lack adequate coverage and flaws in the quality and appropriateness of care are the three key problems facing the health-care industry, a local health official told business leaders Thursday.Health care now accounts for more than 11 percent of the nation's gross national product, said John E. Fri…

Three projects that will add 142 adult psychiatric beds in Western New York cleared a hurdle Thursday when local officials recommended they be approved next week by the regional health planning agency.When in full operation within about two years, the proposed psychiatric facilities should greatly ease the local shortage of beds and high occupancy rates at a time when…

Hundreds of AIDS patients with limited incomes will have an alternative to institutionalization thanks to legislation approved this year, according to the project director of the State Senate majority task force on AIDS."The legislation will allow AIDS patient to receive their care at home, and we believe the average case will be less expensive than if the patient rec…

The county's STOP-DWI program is looking for a handful of high school students interested in Staying Alive.Staying Alive, in this case, is the name of a new program aimed at preventing teen-age deaths and disabilities caused by drinking and driving. Students will spread the message to their peers.Students and faculty advisers from 16 schools will gather from 2 to 4 p.…

God's work is evident among the rolling hills and meandering streams of this valley.Dirt roads slice through pine forests and fields filled with dairy cows and the dried-out stalks of the year's corn crop. Horse buggies clip clop past white houses, the day's laundry hanging from clotheslines to dry. Friends greet each other with a "Hello, neighbor," and stores stay cl…

Today is World AIDS Day, and members of the Niagara Frontier AIDS Alliance say they hope it doesn't come and go unnoticed in Buffalo."We're the only organization in this city doing something about it," said David Dearie, one of the alliance members who helped form the group six months ago.The alliance is a grass-roots organization of people with acquired immune defici…

After Pat DePrima's mother suffered a brain injury eight years ago, she devoted herself to increasing the community's awareness of the needs of people with head injuries.Wednesday, Ms. DePrima got a preview of how her work paid off when Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna opened its new, but still unfinished, $2.7 million Head Trauma Rehabilitation Unit to the …

The federal government is expected to approve, as early as this week, a test to screen the nation's blood supply for a rare but deadly AIDS-related cancer virus.The test should become available almost immediately and will increase the cost of collecting blood at blood banks.It also will place Cellular Products Inc. of Buffalo in prime position to capture a large share…

Proposed budget cuts in the county's Health Department will mean less access to health care for the area's poor, according to the Civil Service Employees Association.A CSEA position paper contends that budget cuts in the county's four health centers and its home health care program will open a "Pandora's box" of medical costs and problems for taxpayers.Under the 1989 …