Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Fentanyl, a significant cause of overdoses and deaths across the country, has begun showing up in California street drugs. State health officials have responded with a bold but controversial policy: paying for test strips so users can check their stash.
Andrey Ostrovsky, who until last month was chief medical officer for Medicaid, quit his job so he could more directly fight the stigma of drug addiction.
“We really do have a lot of responsibility and culpability,” says one hospital official who is part of a working group trying to address the opioid epidemic. Patients have to expect more pain after surgery and understand the risk of addiction, says another doctor.
Studies show promising results for a treatment approach that tackles chronic pain and addiction together, but obstacles stand in the way of this integrated care.
Fatalities are climbing in states that have been flooded by the deadly opioid fentanyl, but are remaining flat — or even falling — in many Western states, where the drug has not yet been as common as other parts of the country.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Even though voters in Maine decided to expand Medicaid through a ballot measure, the law’s fate is still unclear. Gov. Paul LePage says the Legislature must find funds for it without raising taxes. Advocates say the law is on their side and expansion must be implemented.
Vietnam veterans’ wartime experiences — and their lasting psychological toll — can make it harder to treat their physical and emotional pain as they approach death.
Laws in California and most other states allow pharmacists to provide naloxone to patients or their friends without a doctor’s prescription. But many don’t do so, citing lack of demand and awareness among patients, their own fears of insufficient compensation and the challenges of treating opioid users.
Arizona is one of a few states that have declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. There’s no uniformity in what that means from state to state, though, and even within Arizona, there’s a wide divergence of opinion on how best to tackle the problem.
One Indiana addiction specialist doesn’t shy away from telemedicine, but he still requires in-person visits to begin and maintain his patients’ Suboxone prescriptions.
Doctors prescribed powerful opioids for a patient after back surgery but gave her little guidance on how to take them safely. Then, she says, they misdiagnosed her withdrawal symptoms. Some experts say this situation is akin to a hospital-acquired condition.
One Northern California physician is a foot soldier in the fight against a surge of hepatitis C, mainly among young drug users who share infected needles.
Based on research conducted at the University of Michigan’s medical center, a group of surgeons developed a strategy to help post-surgical patients from misusing or abusing their prescription painkillers.
Medicare and insurers struggle to oversee a booming business in testing urine samples. In some cases, pain doctors’ lack of follow-through can turn fatal.
In this episode of “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo and Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Health News discuss some of the under-covered health stories of the past several weeks, including drug price issues, the opioid epidemic and women’s reproductive health.
Following minor surgery, KHN’s consumer columnist sees how easily doctors offer pain pills, fueling epidemic of opioid addiction.
Doctors and pharmacists in Northern California are emulating drug company sales reps with a fresh purpose in mind: They visit medical offices in the hardest-hit counties to change their peers’ prescribing habits and curtail the use of painkillers.
With the nation’s opioid crisis, urine testing has become a booming business and is especially lucrative for doctors who operate their own labs, a Kaiser Health News investigation finds. And dozens of practitioners have earned “the lion’s share” of their Medicare income exclusively from urine drug screens.
In this episode of “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post discuss the start of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, legislative efforts on Capitol Hill on taxes and children’s health insurance, and recommendations of the president’s opioid commission.