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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

‘It Was Beautiful’ Once Upon A Time, Now LA Hospital Becomes Latest Casualty In Financially Uncertain Landscape

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

The Quiet Crisis Of Rural Hospital Closures

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

AI Helps Brain Surgeons Quickly Assess Tissue Samples While Patient Is Still On The Table

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Desperate Americans Turn To Cost-Sharing Ministries, But There’s No Legal Guarantee Their Claims Will Be Covered

KHN Morning Briefing

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.

Google AI System Proves As Good At Detecting Breast Cancer As Expert Radiologists–Sometimes

KHN Morning Briefing

Even though the promising results excited many experts, there were still times when doctors beat the machine. “I think this is a testament to how difficult the task is and how weirdly good humans are at it, even with some of the best data in the world,” said Ziad Obermeyer, of the University of California, Berkeley. In other health technology news: smart watches, a reality check on the potential of artificial intelligence, misleading ads about an HIV prevention drug, and more.

Johnson & Johnson’s Court Victories Start To Stack Up As Jury Clears Company Of Responsibility For Woman’s Cancer

KHN Morning Briefing

The verdict is Johnson & Johnson’s eighth trial victory in talc cases this year, its fourth win since October and its second triumph last week. The scorecard is a reversal of earlier cases where the company was getting battered. In other health industry and insurance news: J&J acquires remaining stake in Verb Surgical; Cigna partners with Prime Therapeutics; Mayo Clinic taps IT vet for digital business; and more.

Health Industry Scores Big In Spending Bill, But Consumers Were Left In The Cold

KHN Morning Briefing

Congress’ decision to repeal three health law taxes was a huge win for the industry, but consumer protection issues — like surprise medical bills — were not included. Meanwhile, advocates hope that the data that might come from the gun violence funding included in the spending bill for the first time in decades will make a difference in swaying lawmakers in the future.