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Medicare Websites Add New Quality Ratings For Consumers

KHN Morning Briefing

The data has been added to the sites where people can compare inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals. Medicare officials also announced that they plan to continue a pilot program aimed at reducing non-emergency ambulance transports.

Podcast: ‘What The Health?’ How Confused Are We?

KHN Original

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.

Seeking A Peaceful Death Amid The Flames

KHN Original

During Northern California’s recent wildfires, dozens of hospice patients who had hoped to spend their last days in the comfort of their homes had to be relocated to evacuation shelters, assisted living facilities and relatives’ homes instead.

In Effort To Slow Opioid Epidemic, Cigna Drops Coverage For OxyContin

KHN Morning Briefing

Instead, the insurer will cover Xtampza ER, which it calls an “oxycodone equivalent with abuse deterrent properties.” In other news on the nation’s drug crisis: federal officials look to Buffalo’s opioid crisis intervention court as a potential model; a Texas county is the latest to sue drug companies for their alleged role in the epidemic; researchers turn to virtual reality for pain solutions; and more.

FDA, Interpol Crack Down On Hundreds Of Websites Illegally Selling Unapproved Drugs

KHN Morning Briefing

The operation targeted more than 500 websites illegally selling unapproved versions of prescription medications, the Food and Drug Administratioin said. Also, a prosecutor in New York teams up with academics to find opioid treatment gaps, and a young man whose overdose left him with irreversible brain damage and shocked the Berkeley campus seven years ago has died.