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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Lost on the Frontline: Explore the Database

KHN Original

As of Wednesday, the ongoing KHN-Guardian project is investigating 1,256 deaths of U.S. health workers in the fight against COVID-19. Today, we add seven new profiles, including a certified nursing assistant who “rarely got sick” and a cardiologist who checked up on his patients over the phone, even as he was hospitalized for COVID-19. You can explore our interactive database, now containing 209 profiles. It investigates the question: Did they all have to die?

Continued Chaos Around School Reopenings

KHN Morning Briefing

New York public schools delayed opening, the teachers union there steps back from strike vote, some Alaskan schools back off from in-person plan and other news about COVID affecting learning.

Primary Care Doctors Look at Payment Overhaul After Pandemic Disruption

KHN Original

Many physicians were forced to close their offices — or at least see only emergency cases — when the pandemic struck. Because they are generally paid piecemeal for every service, they suffered big losses, leading to layoffs and pay cuts. Some doctors say they now are looking to overhaul the way they get paid.

Hospital Merger in Washington State Stokes Fears About Catholic Limits on Care

KHN Original

Virginia Mason Health System and CHI Franciscan announced plans in July to merge 12 hospitals and more than 250 other treatment sites in the Puget Sound region and the Yakima area. Some patient advocacy groups warn the proposal would jeopardize access to needed services, such as emergency termination of pregnancies, contraception and physician aid in dying.

Texas Academic Medical Center Links Many Health Workers’ Illnesses To Community Contact, Not Workplace

KHN Morning Briefing

“When you’re engaging in all the correct practices, you stay safe,” said Dr. Seth Toomay, chief medical officer for UT Southwestern Health System. “Most of us [at UTSW] feel safer when we’re at work than when we’re out in the community.” News on health workers is on other essential hospital workers at hospitals and nurses face lawsuits, as well.

Study: Patients Often Rank Hospitality At Hospitals Ahead Of Health Care

KHN Morning Briefing

The study of 50,000 patients involving more than 3,000 hospitals found a patient’s hospital recommendation had almost no correlation to the quality of medical care received or patient survival rate. Industry news is on limits on drug coupons in 2021 and lower health plan profits in Michigan, as well.

Insurers Not On The Hook For Diagnostic COVID Tests Mandated By Employers, Administration Rules

KHN Morning Briefing

Insurance companies have been anxious for guidance from the Trump administration on whether there would be patient cost-sharing responsibility for tests required by workplaces as employees return. Under the new guidance, such testing would not be covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Other medical and insurance marketplace developments are also in the news.

18M High-Risk Americans Were Underinsured At Onset Of Pandemic

KHN Morning Briefing

Some of the groups that have been most susceptible to COVID-19 were also the ones with the highest rates of being underinsured or completely uninsured. “In a way lower-income people and racial minorities are in double jeopardy because of the way our healthcare system is financed,” said lead study author Dr. Adam Gaffney.