Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Although Johnson & Johnson posted better than expected earnings, its sales fell short of estimates. Some of the company’s most lucrative medicines face competition from generics and biosimilars. Other news on the health industry focuses on short-term plans, mergers, a teeth-straightening business, a hospital’s efforts to retain patients, and more.
“They don’t really do much new, and they don’t refer at all to healthcare or use any healthcare-related examples,” said Douglas Ross, a veteran antitrust attorney. The guidance update from the agencies comes as concerns mount over the growing consolidation of hospitals and physician practices. In other news on the health industry and costs: Medicare payments for acupuncture, an interview with the Gates Foundation CEO, the cost of teeth aligner treatment, and more.
Two starkly different pictures were painted of the parent of the patient at the heart of a lawsuit against Boston Children’s Hospital. Other hospital news comes out of Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina.
The web-based standard FHIR — pronounced “fire” — could hasten the day when we can view our full medical histories on a smartphone screen. Tech giants are hungry for a piece of the pie, but obstacles remain.
Tech companies are eager to get into health care, but low engagement rates and drop-offs plague efforts to get the general public to buy into digital health options. In other health and technology news: tech giants’ access to hospitals, rules for artificial intelligence, and wearable devices.
The push to allocate supplemental funds comes as the island reels from a series of catastrophic earthquakes this month while still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The Trump administration announced earlier this week that it would release billions in aid that it held up since last year, but officials say Puerto Rico has to agree to increased oversight for the funds.
Last year, Juul was going full-speed ahead on expansion, but the vaping outbreak and other setbacks have caused the company to reevaluate. Vaping news comes out of New Hampshire, as well.
UnitedHealth executives said they added 370,000 Advantage members during the open enrollment period that ended Dec. 7, which reflects growth of about 140% over the prior annual enrollment period. As the program grows in popularity, insurers clamor for a piece of the lucrative marketplace.
The tool, which is free, asks users to enter information about their age and gender, then more details about their cancer diagnosis, and then they can see what the survival rates look like for similar patients. In other health and technology news, the American Medical Association wants to connect doctors and startups and a study finds doctors are spending too much time on their electronic devices.
Currently, Livongo gets blood sugar data from its members with diabetes only a handful of times a day, and even the most disciplined patients prick their fingers at inconsistent and irregular times. One goal of integrating Dexcom’s device is to standardize the data flowing into Livongo.
Lower-priced models are emerging on the scene as both doctors and patients look to cut out complications of the health system. In other health care cost and industry news: a site-neutral payment lawsuit, value-based care, the health costs of eviction, and more.
Google has long seen health data as a natural extension of its stated mission to organize information, but many people are wary about the company’s efforts. In other health and technology news: Facebook’s preventive health tool, Apple and the CES show, and a probe into Fitbit.
Last week a judge gave Verity Health permission to close the doors of the old St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles. Throughout the decades, the mission of the hospital to serve the most needy remained consistent, and thus it struggled financially. In other hospitals news: out-of-network billing, health care prices, psychiatric care, emergency departments, and more.
There are countless high-tech gadgets that can flood users’ with information, but what of that data is actually useful? That’s one of the main questions facing health experts who are trying out all the goodies at the big annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Hospitals are closing their doors with startling frequency, leaving vulnerable patients with no help in sight. Already this week, the bankrupt owner of St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles said it plans to shut the facility after a failed sale attempt, and it looks like there’s only going to be more pain to come in the future.
It’s standard practice to analyze the samples while the patient is still under, but new artificial intelligence helps brain surgeons do so in two to three minutes rather than the half-hour it used to take. In addition to speeding up the process, the new technique can also detect some details that traditional methods may miss.
Screening women when they present to the hospital for conditions that make them vulnerable to complications such as substance abuse disorder or obesity could avoid issues during labor, experts say. Hospital news comes out of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Missouri, Georgia, and Michigan.
For years, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, one of California’s largest nonprofit hospitals, has been spending less on charity care than other nonprofit hospitals in the state. Now it is expanding eligibility for free and discounted medical care.
Opinion pages focus on these health topics and others.
These Christian nonprofit groups offer far lower rates because they are not classified as insurance and are under no legal obligation to pay medical claims. But many of those who buy into them don’t fully realize that their claims don’t have to be met and are left facing sky-high medical bills alone. In other health care cost and insurance news: geographical disparities in prices and medical debt.