Blake Farmer

Latest Stories (62)

A company rebounds after learning hard lessons from COVID-19 outbreak

Jun 8, 2020
The virus sickened about a dozen employees at a Nashville tire distributor. Now those workers are trying to put their experience to good use..
The sales team at Dunlap & Kyle sits just outside General Manager Adam Waldrup's office, and most of them contracted COVID-19, with the first confirmed case April 2.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

Congress said COVID-19 tests should be free, but who might end up paying?

Jun 3, 2020
Some major health systems say they are sitting on millions of dollars in billing.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been holding back many bills related to COVID-19 testing for fear of a backlash from patients, who might be surprised that they owe anything.
Blake Farmer/WPLN

Volunteers are making masks to help with COVID-19 shortages. Who will use them?

Apr 3, 2020
Some hospitals are accepting homemade face masks, but they may have limited uses.
Oluwatosin Fagbuyi, a graduate student at Tennessee State University, has been helping keep the school’s 3D printers running, molding headbands as part of a face shield for medical workers.
Blake Farmer/ WPLN

Some wonder whether hospice puts too much of the burden for care on families

Feb 20, 2020
Much of the growth of hospice care in the U.S. has been led by for-profit agencies. That's leading people to ask if there's a better way.
More Medicare patients now die in hospice than not, fueling the growth of an industry now worth $19 billion.
Blake Farmer

The majority of medical students are women, but male heart surgeons still vastly outnumber female

Dec 31, 2019
Ninety-four percent of practicing thoracic surgeons are men — and that’s an improvement on recent years.
Dr. Amber Edwards at work.
Blake Farmer

Juul struggles to secure research on the effects vaping has on health

Sep 16, 2019
With vaping under intense scrutiny and a deadline of May 2020 to apply for FDA approval, the company is under pressure.
A man smokes an electronic cigarette.
Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

The battle over who gets to sell pills for cancer treatment

Jul 29, 2019
Doctors are challenging pharmacy middlemen over who can fill prescriptions.
Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Legislation on surprise medical bills would hit physician staffing industry

Jul 1, 2019
Congress is debating multiple proposals that would protect patients from surprise medical bills. But the physician staffing industry is pushing back.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

How virtual reality might help surgeons master new medical devices

Jun 3, 2019
In-person support by sales reps and manufacturers might soon be a thing of the past.
In a simulated exercise, third-year orthopedic surgery resident J.P. Wanner practices making repairs to a dislocated hip on Osso VR's virtual reality platform. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is among a dozen institutions test piloting the technology.
Blake Farmer

Many in the health care industry already lining up to derail 'Medicare-for-all'

Feb 8, 2019
Patients may like the sound of "Medicare-for-all," but for many of the hospitals and doctors who would treat them, it's a nonstarter.
Patients may like the sound of "Medicare-for-all," but for many of the hospitals and doctors who would treat them, it's a nonstarter. 
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images