Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
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?
All of the cyberattacks, which also targeted Allina Health and Regions Hospital in Minnesota, were part of a ransomware attack on a cloud computing company called Blackbaud.
California authorities shut down the prison’s dental clinic, citing its role in spreading coronavirus in the facility.
The state auditors will look at how health officials collect and report data about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, in an effort to promote consistency.
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.
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 employees say they must choose between their paychecks and their health or that of their families. Returning to work with symptoms also risks infection among the patients they are meant to heal.
Half of the money the Trump administration gave dialysis companies was collected by Fresenius, an international juggernaut with a robust balance sheet, a KHN analysis has found.
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.
These workers rely on public assistance — and, sometimes, a side gig to get by.
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic topics and others.
“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.
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.
As health workers were dying of COVID-19, federal work-safety officials filed just one citation against an employer and rapidly closed complaints about protective gear.
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.
The shortages are so dire that nursing homes and other health centers are going to extraordinary lengths for masks, gowns and essential materials.
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.
The Federal Communications Commission has accused two Texas men, John Spiller and Jakob Mears, of trying to sell consumers fake health insurance plans from major carriers such as Aetna and Cigna.
From changing their intake procedures to utilizing robots, hospitals are re-thinking the way they operate after learning some hard lessons in the pandemic. Other hospital news focuses on federal aid distribution and painkiller shortages.
Editorial pages focus on these pandemic issues and others.