Shefali S. Kulkarni

Report: A Decrease In Teen Pregnancies, But Disparities Remain

KHN Original

The good news: Teen pregnancies are at their lowest rate in nearly 40 years, resulting in fewer abortions and births, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization focused on sexual and reproductive health. The report shows that about 7 percent of U.S. teen girls between the ages of 15 to 19 were […]

Taking Another Shot At The Flu Vaccine

KHN Original

Despite nearly 20 years of recommendations that health workers get flu shots, the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that less than 64 percent of them do. Consumer and business groups met in Washington Thursday to show their support for a recommendation from the National Business Group on Health […]

Bipartisan Report Highlights Gaps, Recommendations For Health IT

KHN Original

It’s been three years since Congress approved a nearly $30 billion plan to digitize health care records, yet much of the health care industry is still drowning in paper, a coalition of policymakers from the left and right said Friday. The Bipartisan Policy Center released a 43-page report detailing the gaps in health IT implementation–the biggest […]

Gym Memberships In Medicare Advantage Plans Cater To Healthy Seniors

KHN Original

Despite federal regulations that prohibit health insurance plans from cherry-picking their beneficiaries, some Medicare Advantage plans may be doing just that, only indirectly. A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that when Medicare Advantage plans alter their benefits to include perks like gym memberships, they tend to attract healthier seniors. That […]

Survey Finds One In Five Americans Juggling Medical Bills

KHN Original

Americans continue to struggle to pay their medical bills, and even the 2010 health care overhaul may not ease their financial burden. A new survey from the Center for Studying Health System Change and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows the percentage of American families having difficulty paying their medical bills did not increase from 2007 […]

Obama Marks World AIDS Day With Funding Increases

KHN Original

President Barack Obama marked World AIDS Day by announcing a $50 million funding boost for U.S. HIV/AIDS programs. “We’re committing an additional $15 million for the Ryan White program that supports care provided by HIV medical clinics across the country,” the president said. An additional $35 million will go to state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, […]

Medical Journal Reaches Out To iPhone Generation

KHN Original

The QR code — that funny-looking square bar code popping up on billboards, magazines and business cards — is now on the pages of medical and health care journals. In October, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) began incorporating the two-dimensional scannable code on at least one study every issue. When scanned with […]

Commonwealth Fund President Stepping Down In 2012

KHN Original

Karen Davis, the president of The Commonwealth Fund since 1995, announced today that she plans to leave her post at the health care foundation by the end of  2012. “It’s a decision I feel really good about,” she said. “I’ve been at the fund for 20 years … and I feel like I made the […]

Puzzling Out How To Help States With Hard-Hit Medicaid Budgets

KHN Original

One of the biggest problems governors face during a recession is this: When the economy is going down, Medicaid enrollment is going up. So states have more people in their Medicaid program, but less tax revenue to pay for them. It is what economists call counter-cyclical. Washington is sensitive to the problem. During the most […]

Panel Proposes Cures For Health IT Ills

KHN Original

For all of the federal government’s enthusiasm to move the health care system into electronic medical records —  in tandem with the implementation of the health care law — the widespread use of information technology for patient care still raises some concerns, according to a new report today from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The IOM’s 197-page report, requested by the […]

Immigrant Populations Growing — In More Ways Than One

KHN Original

America seems to be detrimental to the health of Hispanic immigrant populations — and the longer they are here the worse it is. New data show that as they settle into American lifestyles, Hispanic immigrants are diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes and obesity at almost the same rate as those born in the U.S.  Hispanic immigrants who […]

Threat Of Medicaid Cuts Sparks Latino Social Media Push

KHN Original

Today is the last day Senate and House committees will be able to give their deficit-reduction recommendations to the bipartisan super committee, which has been assigned the task of cutting federal spending $1.2 trillion to reduce the deficit. While Democratic state officials reached out in person to the 12-member committee this week, Jennifer Ng’andu, the deputy […]

Researchers Press For More Action On Health Disparities

KHN Original

As Susan Dentzer, the editor in chief of the journal Health Affairs, was opening a public briefing today on a special issue dedicated to the state of health care disparities in the country, she warned the audience members they “might need a strong dose of Valium” to handle some of the bleak assessments of the racial […]

Federal Employee Health Premiums Announced

KHN Original

As health plan enrollment season gears up, premiums for federal employees and retirees will increase on average about 3.8 percent – less than half of the increase they saw last year. Last year, plan costs increased an average of 7.3 percent. But an official at the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) said today that […]

Minority Trauma Patients Are More Likely To Die At ‘Minority’ Hospitals

KHN Original

Dr. Adil Haider, a trauma surgeon and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, thought trauma would be the one medical area free from racial disparities — emergency rooms don’t check insurance, and they are required to treat anyone who comes through their doors. “With trauma, you call and the ambulance comes. We think […]

Poll: Texas Ranks High In Uninsured, Once Again

KHN Original

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the number of uninsured residents. New survey data from Gallup and Healthways shows 27.2 percent of Texans reported being uninsured in the first half of 2011 — the highest percentage of any state in the U.S.  But that’s nothing new for the Lone Star State, which has had this […]

Bacteria Uniformly Present On Much Hospital Attire

KHN Original

Is it time to ditch the white coats? A recent study suggests that doctors might want to hang up their iconic white coats and long sleeves to prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria. Dr. Yonit Weiner-Well and his colleagues, sampled uniforms of 135 physicians and nurses at the Hebrew-University—Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. They found […]