Cost and Quality

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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Despite Intense Scrutiny, Doctors Still Receiving Astronomical Sums From Drug and Medical Device Companies

KHN Morning Briefing

An analysis by ProPublica reveals that more than 2,500 physicians received at least half a million dollars apiece from drugmakers and medical device companies in the past five years alone. More than 700 of those doctors received at least $1 million. In other news on the health industry, costs and insurance: workers’ benefits, refunds from insurers, out-patient surgery policies, universal coverage, and more.

Warren Feels The Heat As Rivals Pile-On Over Her Alleged Hedging On ‘Medicare For All’ Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

The latest Democratic debate on Tuesday night highlighted the rising popularity of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the polls as many of her rivals went on the attack. Most notably South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who struck a more aggressive tone than in previous debates, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is fighting for her place in the 2020 presidential race, had sharp words for the scope of Warren’s health plans. “I don’t understand why you believe the only way to deliver affordable coverage is to obliterate private plans,” Buttigieg said. Klobuchar joined in with, “At least Bernie’s being honest here and saying how he’s going to pay for this, and that taxes are going to go up.”

Alarmed By Rash Of Rural Hospital Closures, Georgia Lawmakers Wonder If Financial Management Classes Are The Answer

KHN Morning Briefing

Nearly 60 rural Georgia hospitals must ensure their board members, CEOs and chief financial officers complete at least eight hours of classes by the end of next year or risk being fined and losing a valuable state tax credit. In other health industry and insurance news: dropped mergers, new partnerships, legal woes, DNA tests, surprise costs, and more.

EPA Updates Lead Standards For Drinking Water But Stops Short Of Pricey Safety Measures Advocates Want

KHN Morning Briefing

The new proposal extends the timetable for replacing lead pipes, but it also includes new requirements that schools and day care centers be tested for lead. And, if elevated lead levels are found, customers must be told within 24 hours, not the current standard of 30 days. Environmental activists, however, say the moves would not make up for the relaxation of standards in other areas.

Dozens Of Georgia Hospitals Hit With Medicare Readmission Penalties

KHN Morning Briefing

Under programs set up by the Affordable Care Act, the federal government cuts payments to hospitals that have high rates of readmissions and those with the highest numbers of infections and patient injuries. Media outlets take a look at how hospitals in Georgia, Connecticut and Montana fared.

Cascade Of Inquiries Into Deaths At VA Facilities Threatens To Undermine Progress Of Long-Troubled Agency

KHN Morning Briefing

The deaths at a West Virginia medical center have brought renewed scrutiny into the VA’s quality control. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he is incredulous that hospital leaders in Clarksburg took so long to put the pieces together. “You mean to tell me that for nine months you didn’t know what was going on in your hospital?” Manchin said. “Either you didn’t care, or there was a lack of competency.”

Recordings Paint Picture Of Hospital Driven To Keep Vegetative Patient Alive For Year To Avoid Federal Scrutiny

KHN Morning Briefing

ProPublica reports on the case of Darryl Young, who never woke up from heart transplant surgery at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Sept. 2018. Audio recordings reveal conversations of how his medical team strategized to keep him alive over concerns about the transplant program’s survival rate. Other hospital news comes out of Maine, California, Georgia and Colorado.