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Twelve companies will offer individual coverage in a qualified health plan through the NY State of Health insurance exchange for 2019, the same number as a year ago, according to the state Department of Health. The open enrollment period starts Nov. 1 and will continue through Jan. 31. More than 95 percent of enrollees in the state's official health plan marketplace wil…

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Baxter International will cut nearly one-third of its workforce at its Orleans County plant. The health care products giant will cut 131 of 421 jobs at the Medina location, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Labor. The cuts are expected to start Dec. 2 and wrap up in the first quarter of 2019. Baxter said it is moving maintenance and repair of i…

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Three of the main health insurers serving the Buffalo Niagara region will raise their average rates for individual plans by 0.6 percent to 13.7 percent in 2019, while a fourth insurer will reduce its rate. The state Department of Financial Services approved the changes after reviewing the carriers' requests for next year's rates. The changes do not apply to individuals …

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Cuba Memorial Hospital is preparing for a leadership change. Andrew H. Boser III will step down as CEO of the Allegany County hospital on Aug. 31. Boser has been the CEO since 1998. "It's time to pursue other interests and let the next generation carry the torch for this hospital," he said in a statement. Cuba Memorial Hospital in 2016 announced an affiliation agr…

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The federal government has awarded Erie County Medical Center a $1.2 million grant aimed at increasing organ and tissue donation. The three-year grant – $400,000 a year – was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration to ECMC's Regional Center for Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care. The funds …

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Erie County Medical Center reported a 3.2 percent increase in the number of patients through the first six months of the year. The total number of patients was 202,536 through June, compared to 196,202 during the same period in 2017, according to ECMC. ECMC reported a 4.5 percent increase in inpatients, a 5.6 percent increase in surgeries, a 1.6 percent in emergency …

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Workers at Sisters of Charity Hospital – St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga represented by Communications Workers of America Local 1168 have reached a tentative labor agreement on a new contract. The majority of the workers are in jobs such as nursing assistants, environmental service workers and food service attendants. A ratification vote is expected in the next several…

Westfield Memorial Hospital has named Valarie Jackson as its president, effective Aug. 13. Jackson was previously vice president of the hospital services division at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, Pa. Westfield Memorial Hospital, in Chautauqua County, is part of the Allegheny Health Network. Jackson's past roles include serving as chief operating o…

Eighty-one employees at an assisted living facility in Orchard Park and a nursing home in Wellsville will be represented by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, following a vote. The employees work at Orchard Brooke Living Center in Orchard Park and Highland Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Home in Wellsville. The workers covered by the vote include licensed practic…

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The state Department of Health says the East Side of Buffalo and western Cheektowaga have elevated cases of six different types of cancer, and it will study the reasons for those trends. A public meeting to launch the study will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 19 at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway. The Health Department is launching cancer st…

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Erie County Medical Center was designated by the state Department of Health as a Level I Adult Trauma Center. The designation followed the American College of Surgeons' verification in April of ECMC as a Level I Trauma Center. "This designation by (state Health Commissioner Howard) Zucker confirms the earlier ACS verification and highlights the special position ECMC …

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At the opening ceremony last month of the new University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Michael Cain told the hundreds of people in attendance that the event marked a “long-awaited reunion.” It was a comment with deep meaning and historical roots for the school and city. From 1893 to 1953, the medical school operated just steps away fr…

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Many of the biggest issues in health insurance in 2018 took root last year: Skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Big changes in the way we pay for health care. The fate of the Affordable Care Act. Here is a breakdown of stories that are likely to develop throughout 2018: Drug costs: Prescription drug prices continued surging in 2017. Spending by the pharmaceutical …