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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

‘To Err Is Human’ Initiative Set A Goal Of Curbing Preventable Medical Errors 20 Years Ago. But Hospitals Are Still Struggling.

KHN Morning Briefing

“Everyone sat up and said: ‘Wow, we’re not very good. Not only are we very expensive, we kill a lot of people,’ ” recalled Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at University of California at San Francisco, who who has written about patient safety issues for years. Many of the report’s ambitious goals, such as creating a reliable system of measuring errors, have yet to be realized. In other news on hospitals: debilitating lawsuits, financial struggles at rural facilities, infant deaths from contaminated equipment, and more.

Kiosks Offer Unmanned Telehealth Clinics With Basic Pharmacy Meds, But Will Patients Actually Use Them When They’re Sick And On The Go?

KHN Morning Briefing

The stations that are equipped with tools like blood pressure cuffs and could help people deal with minor health issues like colds can potentially be set up just about anywhere people might need them like airports. Currently, some medical centers and drug stores are testing them out. News on health technology is on data breaches involving 300,000 patients in October, as well.

Trump Rule That Visa-Seekers Must Prove They Can Pay For Health Insurance Temporarily Blocked By Judge

KHN Morning Briefing

“Facing a likely risk of being separated from their family members and a delay in obtaining a visa to which family members would otherwise be entitled is irreparable harm,” wrote Judge Michael Simon in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon of the Trump administration’s policy that would require new immigrants to show proof of health insurance or the means to afford it.

Amid Vaping Crisis Altria Takes $4.5B Hit From Juul Investment, Faces FTC Probe Over Executive Shake Up

KHN Morning Briefing

The tobacco giant wrote down its investment in Juul by more than a third, acknowledging that it hadn’t anticipated the regulatory pitfalls confronting the e-cigarette market. Altria hoped to tap the vaping market in the face of declining smoking rates and cigarette sales in the United States. Now the company is under investigation by the FTC over its role in the resignation of Juul’s former chief executive and his replacement by an Altria executive. Meanwhile, the total number of vaping-related lung disease cases continues to climb.

Lawsuit From Fired Juul Executive Claims Company Knowingly Shipped 1 Million Tainted Nicotine Pods

KHN Morning Briefing

Siddharth Breja, a former senior vice president of global finance for Juul, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday based on claims that he was retaliated against for raising concerns about the contaminated shipment. Breja describes a “reckless” and “win-at-all costs” culture at Juul, primarily driven by the company’s former CEO, Kevin Burns, who was replaced in a management shake-up last month. A Juul spokesman said in a statement that the claims are “baseless.”