Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Patients with advanced cancer and heart disease are among those who have had to have surgeries and other treatments delayed and rescheduled as a high number of critically ill, unvaccinated covid patients strain the medical system.
Democrats have hit a snag in their effort to compile a $3.5 trillion social-spending bill this fall — moderates are resisting support for Medicare drug price negotiation provisions that would pay for many of the measure’s health benefit improvements. Meanwhile, the new abortion restrictions in Texas have moved the divisive issue back to the political front burner. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interview’s KHN’s Phil Galewitz about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment, about two similar jaw surgeries with very different price tags.
A hospital in Bozeman, Montana, is considering whether to add inpatient psychiatric care after a concerted push from mental health advocates. But even if it adds beds, hospitals across Montana provide a cautionary tale: finding enough workers to staff such beds is its own challenge, and some behavioral health units routinely reach capacity.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
Dr. Kingsley R. Chin and SpineFrontier were the subject of a recent KHN “Spinal Tap” investigation.
After months of burnout from the pandemic, hospitals are scrambling to fill nursing and other jobs. Some administrators, particularly in rural areas, are afraid to implement vaccine mandates that alienate their short-handed staffs.
A Seattle patient discovers the hard way that you can still hit a lifetime limit for certain types of care. And health plans can vary a lot from one job to the next, even if the insurer is the same.
The FDA’s formal approval of the first vaccine to prevent covid-19 may or may not prompt doubters to go out and get shots, but it has clearly prompted employers to make vaccination a work requirement. Meanwhile, moderates and liberals in the U.S. House put aside their differences long enough to keep a giant social-spending bill on track, at least for now. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
A raft of startups are charging consumers hundreds of dollars to analyze the microbes in their gut and offer dietary advice based on the results. But scientists say scant research has been done, and as customers of one company have learned the hard way, the experience isn’t always smooth.
Nonprofit hospitals of all sizes have been trying their luck as venture capitalists, saying their investments improve care through the creation of new medical devices, health software and other innovations. But the gamble at times has been harder to pull off than expected.
The man famous for taking on Big Tobacco in the ’90s, and winning, launched a series of ill-fated national lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals. This episode is the first in a series looking at the origins of charity care.
As the delta variant continues to spread around the U.S., the Biden administration is taking steps to authorize covid vaccine boosters, require nursing home workers to be vaccinated and protect school officials who want to require masks despite state laws banning those mandates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House is returning from its summer break early to start work on its giant budget bill, which includes a long list of health policy changes. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
The Silicon Valley giant has been cryptic about its plan for the growing mound of health data available through its iPhones and watches. Health systems have experimented with the company’s health app, but it hasn’t yet become central to treatment.
Doctors tied to professional sports teams share in investment bonanza.
Aggressive sales tactics have allegedly led surgeons to use defective or wrong-size implants, screws or other products on patients, including former Olympian Mary Lou Retton.
Facing bankruptcy, Detroit largely dismantled its public health department in 2012, and the city essentially went two years without a government-run public health system. Five years later, this major American city offers a grim cautionary tale.
Providence, the country’s 10th-biggest hospital chain, says it’s too expensive to upgrade an older hospital, so it will join forces with giant Kaiser Permanente to build a new one.
Community Health Systems, a large, for profit hospital chain, shrank from more than 200 to 84 facilities. It is continuing to sue patients for hospitals that now exist as little more than legal entities.
The Biden administration is weighing how to treat urgent care clinics as part of broad regulations banning surprise, out-of-network medical bills. At the heart of the matter: What counts as an emergency?
Big Bend Regional Medical Center, the only hospital in a sparsely populated region of West Texas, announced that because of a nursing shortage its labor and delivery unit must close for days at a time and patients must go instead to a hospital an hour away.