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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Lawmakers Optimistic About Breaking Stalemate On Stalled Surprise Billing Negotiations

KHN Morning Briefing

While many in Congress are agreed that something must be done to address surprise medical bills, the lawmakers have been split over which of a handful of strategies to choose in moving forward. In other health industry and insurance news: record-high debt, gender pay gaps, state health exchanges, and more.

Startup Seeks To Hold Doctors, Hospitals Accountable On Patient Record Requests

KHN Original

Despite laws requiring that health care providers hand over copies of patient records in a timely fashion, many people have trouble getting theirs. Ciitizen, a Palo Alto, Calif., company that helps cancer patients with the task, recently published a scorecard that rates hospitals, doctors and clinics on their compliance with records requests.

Apple Has Changed The Game For Researchers In Recruiting People For Trials. But Doctors Remain Skeptical.

KHN Morning Briefing

Through Apple’s various products, researchers have been able to run sweeping studies that would have never been possible before. But doctors wonder if it will really lead to improvements in health outcomes. “This is the big question. Is this ‘so what’? Or are we going to learn something meaningful we don’t know yet?” asked Dr. Ethan Weiss, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California. Meanwhile, details continue to come out about “Project Nightingale,” Google’s initiative to collect patients’ health data.

Hospital Group Involved In ‘Project Nightingale’ Defends Actions As Covered Under A Business Clause Of HIPAA

KHN Morning Briefing

Federal regulators have launched an investigation into Google’s “Project Nightingale,” in which the company was amassing health data on millions of patients without their knowledge. Ascension, the hospital group involved in the initiative, said that the project is covered by what’s known as a business associate agreement. Meanwhile, a new study confirms that Apple’s smartwatches are able to accurately detect the most common type of irregular heartbeat.

A Look Back At The Legacy Left Behind Following Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson’s Death

KHN Morning Briefing

Kaiser Permanente Chief Executive Bernard Tyson, one of a few top black executives of major U.S. for-profit or nonprofit corporations, is remembered as an influential voice on issues of race relations and health policy. But his tenure at Kaiser Permanente wasn’t without strife. In other health industry news: a canceled merger, a promotion at UnitedHealth Group, and a possible acquisition.

With ‘Project Nightingale,’ Google Amassing Health Care Data On Millions Of Patients Without Their Knowledge

KHN Morning Briefing

Google launched the initiative with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 hospitals, doctors’ offices and other facilities. The large volume of patient data collected includes lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, and amounts to a complete health history, including names and dates of birth. But privacy experts say the company didn’t break the law.

‘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.