Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
States are required to set up transportation to medical appointments for adults, children and people with disabilities enrolled in the Medicaid program, and contracts can be worth tens of millions of dollars for transportation companies. But patients say the companies that deliver those rides are showing up late — and sometimes not at all — leaving them in bad weather, disrupting their care and even causing injuries.
On Jan. 1, California started buying prescription drugs for its nearly 14 million Medicaid enrollees, a responsibility that had primarily been held by managed-care insurance plans. State officials estimate California will save hundreds of millions of dollars by flexing its purchasing power, but some health clinics expect to lose money.
Despite state Republican leaders’ rigid opposition to expanding the health program designed for low-income residents, advocates successfully gathered enough signatures to get the measure on the fall ballot.
Add nursing homes to the list of industries jolted by Amazon’s handsome hourly wages. Enticed by an average starting pay rate of $18 an hour and the potential for benefits and signing bonuses, low-wage workers are fleeing entry-level elder care for jobs packing boxes.
California wants to hold nursing homes accountable for the quality of care they provide by tying Medicaid funding more directly to performance. But the nursing home industry, an influential player in the Capitol, is gearing up for a fight.
In January, California’s Medicaid program will begin offering nontraditional services —such as ridding homes of roaches, replacing mattresses and installing air purifiers — to some low-income asthma patients. But the rollout could be chaotic, with insurance companies struggling to identify groups that can deliver the services.
Cerca de 2 millones de californianos padecen esta afección crónica y costosa, y viven en zonas con alta contaminación.
A record number of hospitals closed in rural America last year. For the residents of Cuthbert, Georgia, the loss has meant many problems, including delayed care for emergencies that can turn deadly.
In West Virginia, older residents often go without dental care, and a quarter of people 65 and older have no natural teeth, the highest rate of any state in the country. But a powerful senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, has rebuffed efforts to add a dental benefit to Medicare.
Montana nonprofit hospitals receive millions of dollars in tax exemptions as charities each year in exchange for giving back to their communities. A KHN review found that some of Montana’s richest medical centers are falling behind most state and national hospitals.
Voters in Missouri and Oklahoma approved Medicaid expansion to begin in 2021. But while Oklahoma has enrolled over 200,000 people so far, Missouri has enrolled fewer than 20,000. Why are two such similar states handling the public insurance rollout so differently?
Federal health officials appear poised to extend a recommendation for covid boosters to all adults, following moves by some governors and mayors to broaden the eligible booster pool as caseloads rise. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally has a nominee to head the agency: former FDA chief Robert Califf. And Medicare premiums for consumers will likely rise substantially in 2022, partly due to the approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dan Weissmann, host of the “An Arm and a Leg” podcast.
While other states dramatically restrict abortion and the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court weighs Roe v. Wade, California is preparing to absorb the country’s abortion patients.
An estimated 275,000 Missouri adults can get dental insurance now as the state has expanded who is eligible for Medicaid. But with so few dentists participating in the program, the state’s already-backlogged dental clinics are facing a glut of new clients.
Funcionarios federales dicen que están aumentando las quejas de personas mayores engañadas para que compren pólizas sin su consentimiento, o atraídas por información cuestionable, que pueden no cubrir sus medicamentos ni incluir a sus médicos.
Medicare officials say complaints are rising from seniors lured into private plans with misleading information or enrolled without their consent. In response, officials have threatened to penalize the private companies selling Medicare Advantage and drug plans if they or agents working on their behalf mislead consumers.
The latest iteration of President Joe Biden’s social-spending package would close the health insurance gap for at least 2.2 million people, making a huge difference especially in the South, where political opposition has blocked Medicaid expansion.
Following the devastating impact of covid-19 on nursing homes, state lawmakers want to be sure that government and private payments primarily go to improve care and staffing.
Negotiations on the health parts of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda are getting serious but have yet to produce a deal every Democrat can support. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration remains without a nominated leader but manages to take the first steps toward approving over-the-counter hearing aids. Joanne Kenen of Politico and Johns Hopkins, Tami Luhby of CNN and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too.
KHN teamed up with Hulu for a discussion of America’s opioid crisis, following the Oct. 13 premiere of the online streaming service’s new series “Dopesick.”