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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Despite Intense Scrutiny, Doctors Still Receiving Astronomical Sums From Drug and Medical Device Companies

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An analysis by ProPublica reveals that more than 2,500 physicians received at least half a million dollars apiece from drugmakers and medical device companies in the past five years alone. More than 700 of those doctors received at least $1 million. In other news on the health industry, costs and insurance: workers’ benefits, refunds from insurers, out-patient surgery policies, universal coverage, and more.

Kaiser Permanente Ratifies New Contract With Union Representing About 57,000 Of Its Health Care Workers

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“Our new contract recognizes the skill and dedication we bring to our work, and the guaranteed raises and protected benefits give us the peace of mind to focus on caring for our patients,” Jessica Rodriguez, an emergency department technician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. In other health industry and insurance news: union negotiations in Wisconsin, benefits for families of law enforcement officers, the retiree health care landscape, and more.

A Kansas Judge With No Law Degree Holds The Futures Of City Residents With Medical Debt In His Hands

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In the midst of a soaring crisis over health care costs, the debt collection court in Coffeyville, Kansas is emblematic of a larger problem that’s been getting national attention. Providers, like hospitals, are suing some of the sickest clients, who are losing everything they own because they needed care. In other industry and insurance news: stocks, Amazon employees’ coverage, antitrust suits, and more.

Women Fill Many Lower-Ranking Positions In Health Care Industry. Yet They’re Notably Absent From Executive Offices.

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It’s “not because they don’t want the positions, it’s not because they don’t work hard enough, it’s not because they’re not qualified for the positions,” says Julie Silver, a physician and director of Harvard’s leadership course. But at the very early stages of health careers, opportunities for mobility decline, in part because of strict credential requirements for jobs in clinical care and patient management. In other health industry news: Amazon’s efforts to control health spending on employees, Johnson & Johnson’s legal woes, executive pay at big insurers and more.

Alarmed By Rash Of Rural Hospital Closures, Georgia Lawmakers Wonder If Financial Management Classes Are The Answer

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Nearly 60 rural Georgia hospitals must ensure their board members, CEOs and chief financial officers complete at least eight hours of classes by the end of next year or risk being fined and losing a valuable state tax credit. In other health industry and insurance news: dropped mergers, new partnerships, legal woes, DNA tests, surprise costs, and more.

More Face-To-Face Time Again: Doctors Wanting Quality Time With Patients Hail Success Of Remote Virtual Scribes Taking Notes

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Tending to electronic health records interferes, many doctors say, with the time they actually spend with patients. But at Massachusetts General Hospital that might be changing as doctors test new technologies allowing doctors in remote locations to take notes instead. News on medical technology is on doctor chats, telemedicine fraud, and an anticipated IPO, as well.

Federally Funded Obria Prescribes Abstinence To Stop The Spread Of STDs

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Obria, a Christian medical chain, was awarded federal family planning funds for its California clinics for the first time this year. Clinics receiving Title X funds are expected to treat and prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Obria’s prohibition against condoms means its prevention efforts rest on abstinence, even as STD rates surge.

In Free-Wheeling Speech, Trump Attacks Democrats’ Health Plans, Alleges Drug Makers Are Behind Impeachment Efforts

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President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of mainly senior citizens at The Villages, Fla. The official White House event was structured around the signing of an executive order designed to strengthen the Medicare Advantage program but had many of the characteristics of a campaign rally as the president pledged to protect the Medicare program from what he described as “socialist destruction.”

Study Finds Surprising Increase In Heart Valve Infections For Hospitalized Patients

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The study showed hospital-acquired heart valve infections have increased as the number of community-acquired heart valve infections have declined. Meanwhile, news outlets report on the recent penalties levied on hospitals with high rates of readmissions and new data looking at hospitals’ lowered profitability.

Trump Expected To Detail His Vision For Improving Medicare Advantage Programs Thursday

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In a speech scheduled in Florida, the president will try to draw a contrast between his plans for Medicare and the expansions that Democrats are considering. The administration is also close to choosing Dr. Stephen Hahn to head the Food and Drug Administration, sources tell Stat. In other news, a proposal to add wellness programs to the health insurance marketplace is drawing criticism and some health industry groups are pushing to be included in a pilot program to promote telemedicine.

Kaiser Permanente, Unions Reach Contract Deal To Avert Strike

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The four-year agreement, which covers 85,000 employees in seven states and the District of Columbia, must still be voted on by workers. It would raise wages, offer new education programs and curb outsourcing of some jobs.

A Look At What Health Items Are In The House Democrats’ Stopgap Spending Bill

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Among other things, the bill would extend funding until November for the community mental health services demonstration program, would extend the matching rate for Medicaid funding for U.S. territories and would delay the reduction in the allotments for Medicaid disproportionate share hospitals.