Health Highlights: Aug. 12, 2007

In effect, the loss of the money will cause the hospital to close, local health officials told the wire service. The hospital's emergency room, which is often the first place sick or injured people from the neighborhood go, shut down Friday night.

"We brought every resource to bear, but in the end it just wasn't enough, fast enough," Dr. Bruce Chernof told the A.P. King-Harbor will remain open as an outpatient clinic to treat people with routine illness or injury, he added.

The problem with the hospital has festered for years. Herb Kuhn, acting deputy administrator for the U.S. Centers of Medicare and Medical Services, told the A.P. that an inspection last month found "conditions at the facility have placed the health and safety of patients at great risk."

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More American Seniors Have Drug Coverage

Many more American seniors now have prescription drug coverage, according to a University of Michigan (U-M) study that also found that poor seniors are as likely to have coverage as rich seniors.

The study found that more than 90 percent of people age 65 and older had drug prescription coverage in 2006, compared with 75 percent in 2004, The Ann Arbor News reported.

The findings are based on data from interviews with a nationally representative sample of 10,175 older adults.

Some critics have said the U.S. Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is confusing. But the authors of this study said the plan, introduced in 2006, has increased drug coverage for seniors, especially for those who most needed help, The Ann Arbor News reported.

The study was presented Thursday in Washington, D.C. at a conference sponsored by the Social Security Administration and the Retirement Research Consortium.

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