Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
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.
The federal approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has reignited the debate over drug prices and the way the Food and Drug Administration makes decisions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to international health efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And to mark the podcast’s 200th episode, the panelists discuss what has surprised them most and least over the past four years.
Safety-net clinics especially are bracing for how the drugmaker’s policy shift could reduce their budgets and hamstring their ability to provide care to an at-risk population.
Medical subscriptions, a $199 million CEO payday and the race to fix primary care in the U.S. One Medical is betting big that a subscription model can fix primary care. But the firm faces competition from CVS, Target and large hospital systems.
Besides shared culture and values, a Black physician can offer Black patients a sense of safety, validation and trust. By contrast, the impact of systemic racism can show up starkly in childbirth. Black women are three times as likely to die after giving birth as white women in the United States.
Pressure is mounting on Congress and the Biden administration to make permanent pandemic-inspired rules that fueled telehealth growth. Some fear fraud and ballooning costs.
Republicans, Democrats and the public at large agree that prices for prescription drugs are too high. But no one seems to know how to fix it. Vanderbilt University drug price researcher Stacie Dusetzina explains the basics of why drugs cost so much and why it’s hard to do something about it. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss the prospects for policy changes.
In a candid interview, California’s newly appointed attorney general, Rob Bonta, reflects on his progressive roots and says he will pursue a health care agenda centered on the principle that quality medical care is a right, not a privilege.
Covid-19 and dozens of other illnesses now qualify for home treatment under a new federal effort aimed at freeing up hospital beds during public health emergencies.
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.
The state, concerned about the high cost of care at these stand-alone facilities, is offering hospitals more Medicaid money if they convert them to other uses, such as primary care or mental health centers.
Dentists know how to maximize the profits in your mouth. But sometimes it’s outright fraud — to the tune of billions every year.