Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Regenexx, which runs a string of clinics, says stem cell injections can save employers a lot of money, but critics say there’s no proof.
On average, 16% of inpatient stays and 18% of emergency visits left a patient with at least one out-of-network charge, most of those came from doctors offering treatment at the hospital, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
A legislative package from Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would handle surprise medical bills by having insurers pay them the “median in-network rate,” meaning the rate would be similar to what the plan charges other doctors in the area for the same procedure.
Doctors routinely order MRIs, but the price patients pay can be unpredictable. Hear how one determined woman scanned her options to find the best deal.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is scheduled next week to mark up a massive legislative package on curbing health costs, but some of the details remain unresolved, including what formula to use to pay doctors and hospitals involved in surprise medical bills.
A new state law says hospitals and insurers will have to work it out among themselves when they can’t agree on a price — instead of sending huge bills to patients. “Bill of the Month” patient Drew Calver galvanized attention on the issue after he told his story to KHN, NPR and “CBS This Morning.”
Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents said it is very important for candidates to discuss health issues. But they are sharply divided among the goals of lowering costs, increasing access, protecting the Affordable Care Act or moving to a “Medicare for All” plan, a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported.
A service called neuromonitoring can cut the risk of nerve damage during delicate surgery. But some patients are receiving unexpected and large bills for the service.
The median cost of an air ambulance bill is more than $36,000 and seldom covered by insurance, sparking many consumer complaints. Yet none of the proposals introduced or circulating in Congress to fix surprise medical bills address these services.
Lawmakers and patients want to eliminate “surprise” out-of-network medical bills. Hospitals, doctors and insurers say they want to eliminate them, too, but their opposition to one another’s proposals could complicate legislative efforts. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus the latest in news about reproductive health and health care sharing ministries.
An unexpected hospital bill can bust the family budget. That leaves lots of people with bills they can’t pay. Turns out, that’s a crisis for hospitals too, and some are getting creative about collecting debt.
Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. But you’re not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power. “An Arm and a Leg” is a podcast about these issues, and its second season is co-produced by KHN.
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to help an estimated 850,000 Californians pay their health insurance premiums and would fund his plan with a tax penalty on people who don’t have coverage. If he succeeds, California would be the first state to subsidize middle-income people who make too much to qualify for federal financial aid.
KHN correspondent Rachel Bluth appeared on “PBS NewsHour Weekend” to talk with host Megan Thompson about the continuing problem of surprise medical bills and how the issue is playing on Capitol Hill.
In a mission of forgiveness, churches around the country are buying up medical debt for pennies on the dollar then erasing the debts of strangers. Since the start of 2018, at least 18 churches nationwide have abolished more than $34 million burdening America’s most debt-ridden patients.
More than half of Americans contacted about an overdue bill said it related to medical debt. A federal agency has proposed new guidance for what debt collectors are allowed to do when pursuing many types of overdue consumer bills, including medical debt. But some consumer advocates have panned the effort.
Hospitals are eager to get particular specialists on staff because they bring in business that can be highly profitable. But those efforts, if they involve unusually high salaries or other enticements, can violate federal anti-kickback laws.