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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

Tampons, Pads And Politics Mesh In New Push For Access To Menstrual Supplies

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As a national movement for better access to menstrual products gains steam, “period equity” activists in Colorado are finding the path to change isn’t straight. Although Denver last summer repealed sales taxes on menstrual products and the state now requires supplies to be provided in prisons, an effort to repeal the statewide sales tax on the products failed. So, activists assemble supply kits to donate to those who need them.

For 2020, California Goes Big On Health Care

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California lawmakers are proposing ambitious health care ideas, from creating a state generic drug label to banning the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. Even though Democrats control state government, they’re likely to face pushback from powerful health care industry groups like hospitals. 

Homeless Californians Adapt To Camp Sweeps And ‘The Caltrans Shuffle’

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Communities across California, frustrated with the growing number of homeless people living on public property, have tasked police and sanitation workers with dismantling encampments they say pose a risk to health and safety. The routine cleanups have spawned another public health concern: the loss of the displaced people’s personal possessions, including medicines.

Reduce Health Costs By Nurturing The Sickest? A Much-Touted Idea Disappoints

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Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and his Camden Coalition appeared to have an answer to remake American health care: Treat the sickest and most expensive patients. But a rigorous study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the approach doesn’t save money. “We built a brilliant intervention to navigate people to nowhere,” Brenner tells the “Tradeoffs” podcast.

Taking The Cops Out Of Mental Health-Related 911 Rescues

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Denver is considering adopting a new 911 alternative used in Eugene, Ore., that allows mental health and medical professionals, not police officers, to respond to some emergency calls, saving money and de-escalating situations with mentally ill people.

Why Hospitals Are Getting Into The Housing Business

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Hospital systems now invest in housing to help some of their most frequent patients. This allows them to safely discharge patients who otherwise would have no place to go, freeing up beds for sicker patients and saving the hospitals money.

Finding Homeless Patients A Place To Heal

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California hospitals must comply with a new state law that requires them to try to find a safe place for homeless patients upon discharge. But hospitals say doing so isn’t as easy as calling a shelter and securing a cot.

California Hospitals See Massive Surge In Homeless Patients

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Homeless patients accounted for about 100,000 visits to California hospitals in 2017, marking a 28% increase from just two years earlier. Health officials attribute the surge to the overall rise in California’s homeless numbers and the large proportion of people living on the streets with mental illness.

As Medicaid Costs Soar, States Try A New Approach

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New programs, known as ACOs, reward hospitals and physician groups that hold down costs by keeping enrollees healthy. The health care providers are asked to address social issues — such as homelessness, lack of transportation and poor nutrition — that can cause and exacerbate health problems.