Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
The hospitals say that complying with the rule, which requires employees to compensate workers when there are last-minute schedule changes, would mean a collective $30 million loss. Meanwhile, Chicago-area chains have been reconfiguring themselves to become specialty hospitals. Other hospital news comes out of California, Massachusetts and Kansas, as well.
Blue Cross’s payment program gives doctors a fixed amount of money to take care of their patients. When doctors stay on budget and improve care, they can earn bonuses. If not, they can be penalized. “This contributes to a growing sense that smarter ways of paying for health care are going be to an important part of the solution to rising health care costs,” said Katherine Baicker, dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
The Department of Veterans Affairs sent out one rejection letter to each of the 208,272 applicants in 2016 before purging them from the backlog, despite requests that the agency send an additional letter.
More than half of the facilities analyzed in a new report met the expected staffing level less than 20% of the time. In other news on nursing homes, a look at the poorest performing of Tennessee’s facilities.
The number of taxpayer-backed nursing homes with serious deficiencies highlights the federal government’s spotty history of monitoring for-profit facilities. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s mortgage insurance program is a vital financial lifeline to the nursing home industry, but some people contend that the program must do more to ensure better business practices.
The closings continue a trend for the state that has lost 30 nursing homes in the past 18 months. The attorney general is investigating the recent closings that are forcing hundreds of vulnerable Medicaid patients to be uprooted. News on nursing homes comes from Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan, as well.
The federal government now estimates that a record 50 million rural Americans live in what it calls “health care shortage areas,” where the number of hospitals, family doctors, surgeons and paramedics has declined to 20-year lows. A look at a pop-up clinic in Tennessee shows just how bad that reality is for the people living it.
Some patient advocates say your doctor’s notes offer insights you might never hear from your physician, putting patient and provider on the same page.
A New York Times investigation recently revealed North Carolina Children’s Hospital doctors’ concerns that their patients were dying even after simple surgeries. UNC administrators previously denied that there were any problems affecting patient care in the heart surgery program, but following the report the North Carolina secretary of health opened an investigation into the hospital.
“Too often, women and members of other groups underrepresented in science are conspicuously missing in the marquee speaking slots at scientific meetings and other high-level conferences,” National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins said in a statement. Collins challenged other scientific leaders to take a similar pledge.
Dr. Kate Goodrich, chief medical officer with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that the attention on the issue “has amplified a very important national dialogue on nursing home quality.”
Residents of Summit County, Colorado, were fed-up with high health care costs, so they formed an alliance that might actually lower their premiums 20 percent for next year. The Colorado Sun has their story. Other news from the health industry focuses on who will take a hit from automation in the industry.
People who buy insurance on their own may have little notice when something goes amiss. It’s a quirk in health policy at the heart of the next episode of ‘An Arm and a Leg’ podcast.
The list was provided by CMS and released by Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. The 400 facilities have similar problems to a small list released by the government, but these were withheld from the public. “We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” Casey, a Democrat, and Toomey, a Republican, said in their report.
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to help an estimated 850,000 Californians pay their health insurance premiums and would fund his plan with a tax penalty on people who don’t have coverage. If he succeeds, California would be the first state to subsidize middle-income people who make too much to qualify for federal financial aid.
The Gallup poll found that older Americans especially ranked health care as their top issue. High costs are likely to come into play in the 2020 election.
The New York Times looks at what went wrong with Rosewood Care Centers, and how the program it relied on is a dangerous vulnerable spot for the federal government.
The New York Times obtained unfiltered recordings of conversations between doctors at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital about concerns that their patients seemed to be faring much more poorly after surgery than they should be. “I ask myself, ‘Would I have my children have surgery here?’” said Dr. Blair Robinson. “In the past, I’d always felt like the answer was ‘yes’ for something simple. … But now when I look myself in the mirror, and what’s gone on the past month, I can’t say that.” The turmoil at UNC underscores concerns about the quality and consistency of care provided by dozens of pediatric heart surgery programs across the country.
Millions of Californians are vulnerable to hefty surprise medical bills from their trips to the emergency room. Now, state lawmakers are considering a measure to cap how much out-of-network hospitals can charge privately insured patients for emergency care, which could serve as a model for other states.
The Republican’s legislation, prepared with Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on Alexander’s health committee, would be an ambitious lift because it also deals with prescription drug patents, health transparency and vaccine messaging.