Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Wastewater Surveillance Has Become a Critical Covid Tracking Tool, but Funding Is Inconsistent
Dashboards that rely on positive covid test results reported to local health departments no longer paint a reliable picture of how covid is spreading in an area. Some experts say wastewater surveillance is the most accurate way to measure viral activity. Meanwhile, some wastewater labs face funding shortfalls.
The $18,000 Breast Biopsy: When Having Insurance Costs You a Bundle
An online calculator told a young woman that a procedure to rule out cancer would cost an uninsured person about $1,400. Instead, the hospital initially charged almost $18,000 and, with her high-deductible health insurance, she owed more than $5,000.
After Wiping Out $6.7 Billion in Medical Debt, This Nonprofit Is Just Getting Started
Nonprofit RIP Medical Debt buys up unpaid hospital bills plaguing low-income patients and frees them from having to pay.
Community Health Centers’ Big Profits Raise Questions About Federal Oversight
Nonprofit federally funded health centers are a linchpin in the nation’s health care safety net because they treat the medically underserved. The average profit margin is 5%, but some have recorded margins of 20% or more in three of the past four years.
To Retain Nurses and Other Staffers, Hospitals Are Opening Child Care Centers
More than two years into the pandemic, parents face a child care crisis. That’s why some hospitals are considering starting child care centers to address recruitment and retention troubles.
A Nearly Century-Old Maternity Home for Teens in the South Makes Plans for Expansion
Homes for pregnant girls may seem like a vestige of the past. But they still exist and, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on abortion, may become more necessary.
The Push for Abortion Lawmaking After ‘Dobbs’ Is Unique, Legal and Political Experts Say
The surge of calls for special legislative sessions to pass abortion laws is an unusual occurrence in modern U.S. history, according to experts — one caused by the Supreme Court’s decision to give states more power to regulate abortion.
Listen: Julie Rovner Rehashes the ‘Roe’ Decision
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
States Extend Medicaid for New Mothers — Even as They Reject Broader Expansion
Most of the dozen states that haven’t fully expanded eligibility for Medicaid have extended or plan to extend the postpartum coverage window for new mothers. That could mean improved maternal health, but it’s only part of the puzzle when it comes to reducing the number of preventable maternal deaths in the U.S.
Upended: How Medical Debt Changed Their Lives
People talk about the sacrifices they made when health care forced them into debt.
Tras Uvalde, cirujanos de trauma detallan los horrores de las masacres, y reclaman cambios
En estos años, la profesión médica ha desarrollado técnicas como la rápida evacuación de pacientes para salvar a un mayor número de víctimas de tiroteos. Pero traumatólogos cirujanos entrevistados por KHN dicen que incluso esas mejoras solo pueden salvar a una fracción de los pacientes cuando son heridas infligidas por rifles de tipo militar.
Trauma Surgeons Detail the Horror of Mass Shootings in the Wake of Uvalde and Call for Reforms
Trauma surgeons say that the weapons used in mass shootings are not new but that more of these especially deadly guns are on the street, causing injuries that are difficult to survive.
Addressing the ‘Trust Factor’: South Carolina Researchers Tackle Health Disparities Using Genetics
A new genetic research project underway in South Carolina aims to reduce health disparities between Black and white residents — such as cancer and cardiovascular disease rates — that have long ranked among the nation’s worst. But researchers face the challenge of recruiting 100,000 participants who reflect the diversity of South Carolina. And history isn’t on their side.
Few Eligible Families Have Applied for Government Help to Pay for Covid Funerals
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse many families up to $9,000 in funeral expenses for loved ones who died of covid-19. But fewer than half of eligible families have applied, while others have run into application problems.
As Overdoses Soar, More States Decriminalize Fentanyl Testing Strips
Georgia may soon join a growing list of states decriminalizing the use of fentanyl testing strips. Bans of the strips — on the books in about half of states, experts say — stem from laws criminalizing drug paraphernalia adopted decades ago. But the testing devices are now recommended to help prevent overdose deaths.
Frente al patio de comidas: sistemas de salud abren consultorios y clínicas en centros comerciales
En todo el país, 32 centros comerciales albergan servicios de atención médica en al menos parte de su espacio. Son amplios, fáciles de navegar y tienen amplios estacionamientos.
Shopping for Space, Health Systems Make Over Malls
Dying malls have turned out to be good places to care for the living. During the pandemic, mall-to-medicine transitions accelerated, with at least 10 health systems moving in where retail has moved out.
Profit Strategy: Psychiatric Facilities Prioritize Out-of-State Kids
Nearly all psychiatric residential treatment centers for children in South Carolina operate as for-profit businesses — some backed by private equity — and many prioritize out-of-state kids because it’s better for the bottom line. The scramble to secure treatment for children and teenagers has become so competitive that South Carolina will spend millions more each year as of April 1 to keep out-of-state patients from flooding the state’s treatment facilities.
Never-Ending Costs: When Resolved Medical Bills Keep Popping Up
A bill one family considered paid wrongfully resurfaced, resurrecting painful memories. It’s a scenario that’s not uncommon but grievously unsettling.
Patients’ Perilous Months-Long Waiting for Medicaid Coverage Is a Sign of What’s to Come
The pandemic crisis has overwhelmed understaffed state Medicaid agencies, already delaying access to the insurance program in Missouri. As the public health emergency ends, low-income people nationwide could find it even harder to have coverage.