Latest Morning Briefing Stories

As Baby Boomers Age, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Needs Are Skyrocketing

KHN Morning Briefing

New companies are trying to fill the demand where taking an Uber or Lyft just won’t cut it. Many patients opt to skip appointments when they can’t find a ride, and those no-shows are costing billions in lost revenue. In other health industry news: Rite Aid has an uncertain future after calling off unpopular merger; the Cigna-Express deal has passions high; and Amazon is considering opening health clinics for its employees.

‘End Family Fire’: Advocates Want To Curb Children’s Deaths From Accidental Shootings By Giving The Problem A Name

KHN Morning Briefing

“Just like the term ‘designated driver’ changed perceptions about drinking and driving, the term ‘Family Fire’ will help create public awareness to change attitudes and actions around this important matter,” said Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In other public health news: online dating, dementia, sperm count, suicide, and heart health.

As Exhausting As Hospice Work Is, These Caregivers Describe Their Roles As Sacred, Deeply Fulfilling

KHN Morning Briefing

At the nonprofit Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, which serves 1,200 dying patients daily, many employees and volunteers have great job satisfaction and readily answer a common question: “How do you work here?” In other public health news: Alzheimer’s, HIV outreach, hip replacement research, all-plant burgers, carcinogenic chemicals and racial profiling.

Results From Promising Alzheimer’s Trial Are ‘Encouraging’ But Fall Short Of Massive Hype Around Drug

KHN Morning Briefing

The drug showed success with patients who had the highest dosage for over 18 months, but there will need to be more studies before experts get really excited. “I don’t know that we’ve hit a home run yet. It’s important not to over-conclude on the data. But as a proof of concept, I feel like this is very encouraging,” said Dr. Reisa Sperling, director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Having 5 Or More Babies Increases Women’s Chance Of Being Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s By 70 Percent

KHN Morning Briefing

The study also found that women who had experienced one or two incomplete pregnancies were much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than women who had never been pregnant. In other public health news: study backs up assumptions that children of lesbians have no difference in adulthood than others; CDC warns about another food-related illness; heart failure is on the decline but still more likely to strike women; and more.

Hospitals Scramble To Find Alternatives To Medications As Drug Shortages Persist

KHN Morning Briefing

Hospitals and ER departments nationwide are coming up short when they need drugs such as morphine. “So many substances are short, and we’re dancing every shift,” said Dr. James Augustine, a doctor in Cincinnati.” In other public health news: palliative sedation, glaucoma, gaming addictions, ovarian cysts, emphysema and more.

Amid Years Of Dashed Hopes Over Alzheimer’s Breakthroughs, Study Linking Common Virus To Disease Fans Hope

KHN Morning Briefing

A new study suggests that certain viruses could kick-start an immune response that might increase the accumulation of amyloid, a protein in human brains which clumps into the telltale plaques of Alzheimer’s. Scientists are being very cautious to warn that this might not prove anything, but it’s one of the few developments the field has seen in decades.

As Long-Serving Public Official, VA Nominee Entrenched In ‘Swamp’ Trump Once Said He Wanted To Drain

KHN Morning Briefing

But many say that’s a good thing. “The president is beginning to understand that in order to deal with the swamp, you have to have some people who understand how the swamp works,” said Trent Lott (R., Miss.), a former Senate majority leader. “The idea that anybody who has worked in Washington shouldn’t be involved in Washington is absolutely the wrong way to go.” Robert Wilkie is expected to be approved to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Why Middle-Age Suicides Have Become A Chronic Problem In America

KHN Morning Briefing

Experts talk about the problems that arise around midlife — such as health issues, social isolation and financial stress — that are playing a role in the sharp uptick of suicides the country is seeing in those who are middle-age.