Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health care policy stories each week, so you don’t have to.
Small hospitals and patients in rural areas have been hit hard by the boom in high-deductible health plans. Often when a patient arrives at a rural hospital needing critical care, the person is stabilized and transferred to a larger facility. But bills from the first site of care generally get applied to the patient’s deductible. When patients can’t afford their deductible, the smaller hospital winds up eating the costs.
Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of the book “Crooked,” says chronic low back pain is not a medical condition. Nonetheless, that complaint sends millions of Americans down a path of expensive imaging tests, ongoing therapies and invasive surgery — all with limited effectiveness for many patients. In a conversation with “An Arm and a Leg” podcast host Dan Weissmann, Ramin shares her journey of back pain and recovery.
Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and his Camden Coalition appeared to have an answer to remake American health care: Treat the sickest and most expensive patients. But a rigorous study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the approach doesn’t save money. “We built a brilliant intervention to navigate people to nowhere,” Brenner tells the “Tradeoffs” podcast.
For years, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, one of California’s largest nonprofit hospitals, has been spending less on charity care than other nonprofit hospitals in the state. Now it is expanding eligibility for free and discounted medical care.
Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, sat down for a rare interview with KHN senior correspondent Sarah Varney. They discuss her views on President Donald Trump’s plan for sustaining public health insurance programs, how the administration would respond if Obamacare is struck down by the courts in the future and her thoughts on how the latest “Medicare for All” proposals would affect innovation and access to care.
American marijuana has a reputation for being the best in the world. But the federal prohibition on marijuana makes shipments across state lines or overseas a pipe dream. While U.S. firms expect the restrictions to drop in the coming years, they are stuck operating within state borders. That’s left Canadian cannabis growers to dominate the export market, with U.S. firms falling further behind each year.
Every country provides and pays for health care differently. Yet surveys show the U.S. health system covers fewer people and costs more than the systems of most other industrialized countries. Are there international systems that the U.S. could emulate or borrow from? On this special episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner interviews international health experts Gerard Anderson of Johns Hopkins and Christopher Pope of the Manhattan Institute.
As happens when the tech industry gets involved, hype surrounds the claims that artificial intelligence will help patients and even replace some doctors.
Every year — for decades — the Buehler family and friends have organized a softball tournament in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area to raise money for someone with big medical expenses. In 2019, the group helped forgive $1 million in medical debt.
Because of a little-known federal exemption program, death data about heart devices sits in inaccessible FDA files that can take up to two years for the public to see under open-records laws.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
The federal government funneled billions in subsidies to software vendors and some overstated or deceived the government about what their products could do, according to whistleblowers.
The aptly named Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly provides services funded by Medicaid and Medicare that range from medical and mental health care to hot lunches, recreation, transportation and haircuts. California’s newest PACE center opened recently in San Diego County.
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.
Sutter Health will pay $575 million to settle a high-profile antitrust case filed by California’s attorney general. In addition, it has agreed to end a host of practices that the state alleged unfairly stifled competition.
After the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, new taxes and regulations decimated an ad hoc network that had donated cannabis for medical purposes to patients who could not afford it. A recent law seeks to revive the network, but hurdles remain.
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.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., sued thousands of patients for unpaid medical bills. Journalist Wendi Thomas wrote about it. Months later, the hospital dropped 6,500 lawsuits.
The administration’s proposed rule to allow states to bring in prescription medications isn’t expected to provide immediate relief.