Latest Morning Briefing Stories

‘We Never Give Up’: When Illnesses Are Mystifying, Researchers In The Undiagnosed Disease Network Look For Answers

KHN Morning Briefing

Doctors in 12 clinical centers pull out all the stops to try to find a diagnosis and treatment for thousands of patients looking for miracles. Public health news also focuses on a mosquito-borne virus worse than Zika; the Dunning-Kruger effect; the poor’s smoking rates; race and Alzheimer’s disease; stroke risk; the birth of a podcast; the future of newborn DNA testing; what it’s like to have nut-allergies; the upside of breakups; and good news about braces.

Baby Boomers Are Aging Alone More Than Any Generation In U.S. History, And It’s Creating A Looming Public Health Crisis

KHN Morning Briefing

Researchers have found that loneliness takes a physical toll, and is as closely linked to early mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than six alcoholic drinks a day. Loneliness is even worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive. In other aging news: exercise, strengthening your brain, and poverty.

What’s New With The Latest Apple Watch?

KHN Morning Briefing

News outlets examine the various features of this watch, including a separate app released by Apple Thursday that will display the wearer’s heart rate when he or she puts a finger on the watch crown for 30 seconds.

Administration Officials Deny Steering Patients Toward Private Medicare Plans, But Emails Tell A Different Story

KHN Morning Briefing

“Get more benefits for your money,” says one message sent to Medicare beneficiaries. “See if you can save money with Medicare Advantage,” says another. While private plans boast of providing superior-quality care, the evidence is mixed. And experts are worried that the material being sent out by the government doesn’t present the negatives of the plans. Other Medicare news focuses on nursing homes and enrollment.

High Demand But Low Wages: How Workers Who Care For Aging Patients Struggle

KHN Morning Briefing

Work as a caregiver can be physically demanding and complex, but people in the field often have to take two jobs to make ends meet. “We’re limited in what we pay because of reimbursements,” Paul Randolph, intake supervisor at Excel Home Care, tells The Wall Street Journal.

After Years Of Political Bickering Over Medicaid Expansion, Choice Will Go Directly To Voters In Four Red States

KHN Morning Briefing

The measures are being watched closely as a method to expanding Medicaid in states with resistant legislatures. Ballot initiatives “are so powerful because they strip away from the partisanship and the tribalism that dominates so much of our politics,” said Jonathan Schliefer, executive director of The Fairness Project. “When it comes to health care, the biggest gap isn’t between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between politicians and everyone else.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post fact checks campaign ads that claim Republicans will get rid of Medicare.