Health Care

As a growing number of newborns are being born addicted to narcotic painkillers, Texas lawmakers are considering measures to combat the costly problem.

Texas documented 1,009 Medicaid-covered babies born in 2013 suffering from sudden withdrawal from prescription opioids, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, The Austin American-Statesman reported an 18 percent increase since 2011.

Medicare has begun punishing 721 hospitals with high rates of infections and other medical errors, cutting payments to half of the nation's major teaching hospitals and many institutions that are marquee names.

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center — many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

The federal government unveiled data Tuesday detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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