Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Hospitals strike deals with financing companies, generating profits for lenders, and more debt for patients.
In August, Congress approved a $35 cap on what seniors will pay for insulin, but that change came too late to add to the online tool that helps Medicare beneficiaries compare dozens of drug and medical plans. Federal officials say beneficiaries who use insulin will have the opportunity to switch plans after open enrollment ends Dec. 7.
Oregon has become the first state to allow kids to stay in the government health care program from birth to age 6, no matter if their household income changes. California, Washington, and New Mexico are pursuing similar policies.
Although control of Congress was still undecided Wednesday, Republicans seemed poised to take power in the House, while the fate of the Senate remained too close to call. Economic issues were at the top of voters’ minds, but abortion access also played a large role in their decisions.
The nation’s largest private health system, HCA Healthcare, has faced years of scrutiny over its share of emergency room patients who are admitted to the hospital. And now U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey, is calling for a federal investigation, prompting an escalating defense by the hospital system, based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Centene, the largest Medicaid managed-care company in the U.S., has thrown more than $26.9 million at political campaigns across the country since 2015, especially focused on states where it is wooing Medicaid contracts and settling accusations that it overbilled taxpayers. Among its tactics: Centene is skirting contribution limits by giving to candidates through its many subsidiaries.
In September, a popular pandemic benefit expired: free school lunch for all children attending public schools. Some states are stepping up to try to keep the free food available, and it is on the ballot next week in Colorado.
Complaints about misleading health insurance marketing are soaring. State insurance commissioners are taking notice. They’ve created a shared internal database to monitor questionable business practices, and, in the future, they hope to provide a public-facing resource for consumers. In the meantime, consumers should shop wisely as open enrollment season begins.
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Montana has been a national model for how employers could gain control and transparency over medical bills. Upcoming changes to its model have health care price experts wondering whether the state is making improvements or losing focus.
Smoke- and ash-filled air can trigger or exacerbate severe respiratory conditions. But the medical specialists who treat these illnesses are often scarce where they are most in need.
Montana is one of the latest states seeking to increase oversight of nonprofit hospitals’ giving to ensure they justify their tax-exempt status.
On top of fearing for their children’s lives, new parents of very fragile, very sick infants can face exorbitant hospital bills — even if they have insurance. Medical bills don’t go away if a child dies.
Texas is at least the 12th state to settle with St. Louis-based Centene Corp. over allegations that it overcharged Medicaid prescription drug programs.
The gay community is disproportionally affected by the monkeypox outbreak, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says public health efforts should prioritize gay and bisexual men. But in the South, some LGBTQ+ advocates fear that this is not happening consistently. They say they are having to take matters into their own hands in the absence of a coordinated response from state governments.
The codes used by U.S. medical providers to bill insurers haven’t caught up to the needs of trans patients or even international standards. Consequently, doctors are forced to get creative with what codes they use, or patients spend hours fighting big out-of-pocket bills.
Medicare and Medicaid pay “look-alike” health centers significantly more than hospitals for treating patients, and converting or creating clinics can help hospitals reduce their expenses.
The National Weather Service is now gauging heat risk in a way that better suits Colorado as summers in the Centennial State get hotter and longer.
More than two years into the pandemic, hospital budgets are beginning to crack. One of the biggest drivers of financial shortfalls has been the cost to find workers.
Inflation hasn’t hit Americans like this in decades. And families living with chronic diseases have little choice but to pay more for the medicine, supplies, and food they need to stay healthy.