Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Chicago Safety Net Hospitals Say They Won’t Survive Under ‘Fair Workweek’ Ordinance

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

A Decade-Old Experiment To Control Massachusetts’ Health Care Costs Is Actually Paying Off

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Some Of Worst-Run Nursing Homes In Country Are Taxpayer-Backed With Mortgages Insured By HUD

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Hundreds Camp Out Overnight At Rural Town’s First-Come, First Serve Clinic In Sign Of Just How Many People Have ‘Fallen In The Gap’

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Children’s Hospital To Halt Complex Heart Surgeries Following Shocking Report On Increase In Patients’ Deaths

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Senators Release Names Of Nearly 400 Nursing Homes With ‘Persistent Record Of Poor Care’ That Are Not Publicly Identified

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

‘This Is Beyond Horrifying’: When Even Low-Risk Children Were Dying After Surgeries, Doctors Couldn’t Keep Quiet Any Longer

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Lawmakers Push To Stop Surprise ER Billing

KHN Original

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.