Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Insurance Focused on Virtual Visits? The Pros and Cons of a New Twist in Health Plans
New, often lower-cost plans capitalize on the convenience of telemedicine — and patients’ growing familiarity with it. But consumers should weigh costs and care options before enrolling in a “virtual-first” plan.
Telemedicine Abortions Offer Cheaper Options but May Also Undermine Critical Clinics
A change in FDA rules during the pandemic has let women receive the drugs needed for a medical abortion by mail after a telemedicine appointment. While some abortion rights advocates hail the move, others note that these services, which are often cheaper than going to a clinic, could siphon away patients needed to keep those brick-and-mortar facilities operating.
Telehealth’s Limits: Battle Over State Lines and Licensing Threatens Patients’ Options
Televisits took off during the worst days of the pandemic, but states are now rolling back the temporary rules that facilitated them. That’s adding fuel to debates about states’ authority over medical licensing.
New Moms Latched On to Remote Breastfeeding Help. Will Demand Wane as Pandemic Fades?
The pandemic forced new parents to find help with breastfeeding online. Now, some offerings are remaining virtual to help expand access to lactation support.
The Pandemic Made Telemedicine an Instant Hit. Patients and Providers Feel the Growing Pains.
Patients seem to like remote visits, and health care providers now depend on them. But outages, freezing and other glitches cost time and money, and compromise quality of care.
Calming Computer Jitters: Help for Seniors Who Aren’t Tech-Savvy
Millions of older adults want to be comfortable going online and using digital tools to enhance their lives. But many need help. A number of groups around the country offer assistance.
Doctor on Call? Lawmakers Debate How Much to Pay for Phone Appointments
Phone visits became an option for many Medicare and Medicaid patients during the pandemic. Now policymakers are deciding whether they’re worth the money.
Covid Was a Tipping Point for Telehealth. If Some Have Their Way, Virtual Visits Are Here to Stay.
Pressure is mounting on Congress and the Biden administration to make permanent pandemic-inspired rules that fueled telehealth growth. Some fear fraud and ballooning costs.
Doctors Tell How to Make the Most of Your Telehealth Visits
Public health restrictions put in place during the pandemic are loosening, meaning it’s OK to go back to your doctor’s office. But will virtual visits remain an option?
Readers and Tweeters React to Racism, Inequities in Health Care
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
No-Cancel Culture: How Telehealth Is Making It Easier to Keep That Therapy Session
No-shows for behavioral health appointments have been a long-standing problem, with up to 60% skipped. Now telehealth, fueled by the pandemic, makes it easier for people dealing with depression and other mental health issues to make it to their appointments at a time when such care is in high demand. But teletherapy creates other challenges.
5 Things to Know About Health Care Changes in Montana
The covid pandemic drove major changes to Montana health policies, including the permanent expansion of telehealth regulations, a pullback on local public health officials’ authority and the easing of vaccination requirements for workers and students.
Telemedicine Is a Tool — Not a Replacement for Your Doctor’s Touch
The pandemic has demonstrated that virtual medicine is great for simple visits. But many new types of telemedicine promoted by start-ups more clearly benefit providers’ and investors’ pockets, rather than yielding more convenient, high-quality and cost-effective medicine for patients.
Virtual Care Spreads in Missouri Health System, Home to ‘Hospital Without Beds’
In 2015, St. Louis-based Mercy health system opened what officials called the world’s first “hospital without beds.” Since the pandemic, Mercy has incorporated telehealth throughout its system, part of a national acceleration in virtual care that proponents laud but critics say is happening too fast.
The Boom in Out-of-State Telehealth Threatens In-State Providers
Health provider conflicts, fraud and access disparity temper the covid telehealth revolution.
Children’s Hospitals Are Partly to Blame as Superbugs Increasingly Attack Kids
A growing body of research shows that overuse and misuse of antibiotics in children’s hospitals is helping fuel superbugs, which typically strike frail seniors but are increasingly infecting kids. And the pandemic is making things worse.
Telemedicine or In-Person Visit? Pros and Cons
The volume of virtual medical appointments has exploded during the pandemic as patients and doctors have sought to avoid infection through in-person visits.
Bridging the Miles — And the Pandemic — Teledentistry Makes Some Dentists Wince
Teledentistry allows dentists to remotely review records and diagnose patients’ teeth over video. Some smile about its promise, while others see the potential for cutting corners. And it faces hurdles to widespread adoption.
HHS Plan to Improve Rural Health Focuses on Better Broadband, Telehealth Services
The proposal details a wide-ranging agenda to remedy the gaps in health care and myriad challenges in rural America. In addition to more telehealth options, it includes shifts in hospital payments and expanded funding for school-based mental health programs.
Listen: Will Telemedicine Outlast the Pandemic?
KHN’s Julie Rovner appears on WDET’s “Detroit Today” to discuss the future of telemedicine.