Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
The makers of Aduhelm, a drug approved last month despite concerns raised by experts about its effectiveness, have launched a website and ads designed to urge people who are worried about their memory to ask doctors about testing. But some health advocates say it is misleading because some memory loss with aging is normal.
A year and a half after Sutter Health agreed to a tentative settlement in a closely watched antitrust case, the San Francisco judge presiding over the case indicated she would sign off on the terms, pending agreement on another contentious issue: attorney fees.
With covid cases on the upswing again around the country, partisan division remains over how to address the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Biden administration proposes bigger penalties for hospitals that fail to make their prices public as required. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Tami Luhby of CNN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite stories of the week they think you should read, too.
The July 9 directive addresses the importation of prescription drugs and broader efforts to reduce the high cost of medicines.
Only severely injured patients are supposed to be billed for “trauma team alert” fees that can exceed $50,000.
When patients with common terminal illnesses such as cancer seek permission for compassionate use of therapies in the testing stage, their requests often are approved. But those with more unusual illnesses say drug companies are rarely willing to provide access.
A group of New York senior living facilities offer teens from 10 underserved schools the chance to volunteer and get free training for entry-level health jobs, career coaching and assistance on college prep.
Policies mandating company approval before talking publicly about conditions in hospitals have been a source of conflict over the past year, as physicians, nurses and other health workers have been disciplined for speaking or posting about what they view as dangerous covid-19 safety precautions. The appeals court’s decision could mean that hospitals — and other employers — will need to revise their policies.
Your dutiful columnist tried to make use of a federal “transparency” rule to compare the prices of common medical procedures in two California health care systems. It was a futile exercise.
The pharmaceutical industry argues that large profits are needed to fund extensive research and innovation. But Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, seeking to bolster their effort to let Medicare negotiate drug prices, say major drug companies plow more of their billions in earnings back into propping up their stock and enriching executives and shareholders.
The Biden administration is moving to undo many of the changes the Trump administration made to the enrollment process for the Affordable Care Act to encourage more people to sign up for health insurance. Meanwhile, Congress is opening investigations into the controversial approval by the Food and Drug Administration of an expensive drug that might (or might not) slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Insider and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Marshall Allen of ProPublica about his new book, “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”
A college student never got an answer for what caused her intense pain, but she did get a bill that totaled $18,736 for an ER visit. She and her mom, a nurse practitioner, fought to understand all the charges.
Even after recovering from covid, many patients experience respiratory or other problems and, since this effect of the virus is so unpredictable, medical experts aren’t sure when it is safe to undergo elective surgery. But medical experts are setting up guidelines.
Patients and some lawmakers have long blasted the Medical Board of California for failing to discipline negligent or abusive physicians. But the politically powerful California Medical Association, which represents doctors, has mobilized against the latest attempt to give the board more money and power to investigate complaints.
What’s known as emergency room boarding of psychiatric patients has risen between 200% and 400% monthly in Massachusetts during the pandemic — and the problem is widespread. The CDC says emergency room visits after suicide attempts among teen girls were up 51% earlier this year as compared with 2019.
About three dozen elite health systems are involved in for-profit hospital projects overseas. Though the systems are exempt from U.S. taxes for providing “community benefit,” there’s limited evidence that such business ventures benefit American patients.
Despite a hearts-and-minds campaign and millions spent in incentives, managers struggle to get staffs vaccinated against covid. Some workers have threatened to quit over the pressure to get a shot, which employers can’t afford.
Federal officials say that some of the money changing hands has corrupted doctors and endangered patients.
HCA charges patients an “activation fee” of up to $50,000 for trauma teams at centers located in half its 179 hospitals — and they often don’t need trauma care, an analysis of insurance claims data shows.
Phone visits became an option for many Medicare and Medicaid patients during the pandemic. Now policymakers are deciding whether they’re worth the money.