Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
The ruling makes it easier for providers and plan members to prove that the plans impede competition by offering insurance coverage in exclusive markets.
Editorial pages focus on these health care topics and others.
Experts say there are certain infection types–such as pneumonia or C. diff–that aren’t showing any progress. Meanwhile, health care executives weigh in on what a politically divided Congress will mean to the hospital industry. And other hospital news comes out of Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas.
The latest-generation bed’s sensors could also detect movement that would alert providers if the patient was falling out. The transformation of a low-tech medical staple reflects how much the hospital is undergoing a digital makeover.
Although the nation spent $3.5 trillion on health last year, federal economists found that the increase in health expenses did not exceed the growth in the overall economy.
Patient advocates say the state’s new staffing regulations are a good start toward better protecting the frail, but the nursing home industry contends they’re too burdensome.
A new analysis of preliminary data by Modern Healthcare raises concerns.
The cigarette industry has for years used price increases to boost revenue and profits despite falling cigarette volumes, but that decline has sped up in recent months. Now Altria, the U.S. cigarette market leader, is looking to branch out before it goes down on a sinking ship.
Under the law, when the Justice Department strikes an agreement with companies, the deal must be cleared by a federal judge to provide a layer of oversight for those negotiations. In the CVS-Aetna case specifically, that means Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia can decide whether the agreement Justice struck with CVS and Aetna on their Medicare Part D businesses addresses anti-competitive issues. If he finds it does not, the companies can either appeal or renegotiate.
Instead of continuing the trend of passing on the burden of higher costs to employees, some companies are looking to address the underlying reasons for the spending. Among other strategies, some organizations are bypassing insurers and negotiating deals with hospitals directly and a growing number are offering their own clinics. Meanwhile, experiments that work to improve a patient’s social factors, such as housing, are finding big savings.
The idea that “death panels” will decide when people on Medicare should be cut off from live-saving services has often been used against Democrats, but this weekend Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) countered that that principle already exists in the current health care system. “They are companies + boards saying you’re on your own bc they won’t cover a critical procedure or medicine,” she tweeted. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez also expressed frustration that Congress can offer cheap health care benefits to its own members yet “would deny other people affordability that they themselves enjoy.”
Medicare instructs inspectors to look for staffing inadequacies in homes that report suspiciously low numbers of registered nurses and weekend workers.
Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia raised the prospect of not deciding on the deal until the summer, or perhaps rejecting it, before setting another hearing for Monday. CVS, meanwhile, countered that “it’s commonplace for acquisitions to close before this final step in the process is complete.”
Do sales reps in the operating room lend helpful expertise or inflate already bloated costs? Depends on whom you ask.
In this episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Ollstein of Politico and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News discuss the impact of House Democratic leadership elections and their impact on health policy; as well as efforts by the Trump administration to address high drug prices and ensure the safety of medical devices. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Jay Hancock about the latest “Bill of the Month.”
The app enables doctors to choose which supplies to recommend, then email the list of products to a patient. Privacy experts are expressing concern that patients could unwittingly share personal and potentially sensitive health information with Amazon. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group is riding high after debuting a platform to streamline medical record data despite Amazon’s announcement it would be entering the landscape.
CVS faces a heavy lift in uniting two complicated companies with very different business models and approaches, but company leaders are optimistic that the merger will cut health care costs and improve consumers’ experience. The deal has been working its way through state and federal regulators for the past year, and finally gained the last go-ahead needed from New York this week.
The new Amazon software can read digitized patient records and other clinical notes, analyze them and pluck out key data points to help identify cost-saving opportunities, Amazon said. It’s just the most recent move by a big technology company to get in on an industry that is nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy.
Some experts though said the higher vapor in the new products could potentially make the pods even more addictive, increasing the risk particularly to young people, whose developing brains are more susceptible to the addictive qualities of nicotine.
Balancing innovation, regulation and a symbiotic relationship with the medical industry it oversees is a tricky task for the agency. The Associated Press takes a look at the FDA’s push for quick approvals and how that may have lead to problems with current devices on the market.