Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
A new state law limits what consumers owe if they’re transported by an air ambulance that’s not part of their insurance network to the amount that they’d be charged if they used an in-network provider. But the law won’t protect millions of consumers whose health plans aren’t regulated by the state.
A New York City woman, worried that her sore throat might be strep, got swabbed at her doctor’s office. The sample was sent to an out-of-network lab for sophisticated DNA tests ― with a price tag similar to a new SUV.
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has agreed with a lower court that a key piece of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. But it is sending the case back to the lower-court judge to decide how much of the rest of the law can stand. Also, Congress is leaving town after finishing work on a major spending bill that includes many changes to health policy. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
The Texas Medical Board bowed out of the rule-making process for a new law protecting consumers from surprise medical bills. Advocates hailed the new rules written by the state insurance regulators.
A legislative compromise on how to curb unexpected out-of-network medical bills has made recent progress. But many insiders expect work to continue into 2020.
The House passed legislation that would give federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave. The measure appears headed for passage in the Senate, and President Donald Trump has promised to sign the measure into law. Meanwhile, House and Senate lawmakers have a tentative deal on surprise medical bills, but don’t count on a compromise just yet. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News join guest host Mary Agnes Carey of KHN to discuss this and more. And for “extra credit,” the panelists offer their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Introducing a new segment on “An Arm and a Leg” podcast: “Can They Freaking Do That?!?” We take your most vexing medical bill questions and hunt down information and experts who can help.
The annual accounting of national health spending is out. And the 2018 health bill for the U.S. was $3.6 trillion, consuming nearly a fifth of the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, Congress is nearing the end of the year without having finished either its annual spending bills or several other high-priority health items. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month.”
A California law, which took effect in July 2017, protects consumers who use an in-network hospital or other facility from surprise bills when cared for by an out-of-network doctor. But physicians say the law has allowed insurers to shrink networks, limiting access to those doctors who have contracted with the patients’ insurance plans.
Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans is halfway over and, so far, the number of people signing up is down, but not dramatically. Meanwhile, Congress and President Donald Trump can’t seem to agree on what to do about teen vaping, drug prices or “surprise” medical bills. And Democrats lurch to the left on abortion. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more health news.
Texas passed a bipartisan law against surprise medical billing, but advocates warn that a proposed rule could severely weaken it, continuing to allow surprise bills outside of emergencies.
After Tom Saputo underwent double lung transplant surgery in 2018, he was stunned by a surprise bill of more than $11,000 for the 27-mile air ambulance ride to the hospital. State and federal proposals would crack down on extreme air ambulance charges, including a new California law that will limit how much some patients pay for air ambulance rides.
A USC-Brookings analysis finds that the New York plan to resolve disputes between providers and insurers without leaving patients on the hook might actually be driving up costs in the system.
The Democratic presidential candidates have hit hard on health care, but generally the debates have centered on what kind of system candidates propose. The candidates’ ideas on many other issues, such as mental health and gun safety, have attracted much less attention.
The president’s directive, which he said is designed to give beneficiaries more choices in their health care, could lead to higher costs for seniors. Final rules are to be written by the Department of Health and Human Services.
After a test to rule out cancer, Brianna Snitchler faced a $2,170 facility fee for the hospital’s radiology room used that day.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Tennessee wants to convert its Medicaid program to a block grant. But is its plan legal? Meanwhile, Congress continues to struggle with legislation to rein in prescription drug prices and surprise medical bills. This week, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Rovner also interviews Dr. Marty Makary, author of the new book “The Price We Pay” about why health care costs so much.
Nearly 2 million more Americans were uninsured in 2018 than in the previous year, according to the Census Bureau’s annual report. Plus, the Trump administration announced plans to ban flavored vape liquids, and Congress is back and working to address high prescription drug prices and “surprise” medical bills. This week, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Almost 80% of Americans support efforts in Congress to protect patients from bills that come from doctors or hospitals that were outside their insurance network.