Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg uses health care as a key message in his Democratic presidential primary run.
SmileDirectClub and similar startup companies say they provide these services at what can be thousands of dollars less than office-visit teeth straightening, but proof is lacking and patients can be left with no recourse if problems arise.
Fewer Americans are dying in a hospital, under the close supervision of doctors and nurses. That trend has been boosted by an expanded Medicare benefit that helps people live out their final days at home in hospice care. But as home hospice grows, so has the burden on families left to provide much of the care.
KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber joined Wisconsin Public Radio’s Rob Ferrett on “Central Time” to discuss the latest on vaping bans and what they mean for vaping trends among youth.
Across the U.S., people with early dementia are signing new advance directives to confirm their end-of-life wishes while they still have the ability to do so. But doctors say the documents may offer a false sense of security.
California’s health insurance program for low-income people grew 78% between 2010 and 2019 to 12.8 million enrollees. The federal Affordable Care Act spurred the increase, aided by state policies broadening eligibility.
The Supreme Court in March will hear a Louisiana case that tests whether the new five-member conservative majority is willing to overturn the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide. Even if the court does not go that far, it could hasten the procedure’s demise by saying abortion providers cannot sue on behalf of their patients.
KHN senior correspondent Markian Hawryluk joined Colorado Public Radio’s Avery Lill on “Colorado Matters” to discuss his recent story on how high-deductible health plans are especially hurting the financial health of patients and hospitals in rural America.
President Donald Trump says he “saved” popular protections for preexisting conditions, even though his administration is in court asking them to be struck down. Meanwhile, Democrats who want to run against Trump in the fall continue to argue among themselves over health issues. And Kansas may become the next state to expand Medicaid. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
A number of radiology organizations are trying to end the decades-old practice of shielding patients from radiation with lead aprons. They say it provides no benefit and might even inadvertently expose people to higher radiation levels. But the policy about-face is moving slowly.
U-Haul will not hire nicotine users in 21 states where it is legal to do so. Ethicists say such policies disproportionately affect the poor and are a sign of employers becoming overly involved in workers’ lifestyle choices.
Communities across California, frustrated with the growing number of homeless people living on public property, have tasked police and sanitation workers with dismantling encampments they say pose a risk to health and safety. The routine cleanups have spawned another public health concern: the loss of the displaced people’s personal possessions, including medicines.
Small hospitals and patients in rural areas have been hit hard by the boom in high-deductible health plans. Often when a patient arrives at a rural hospital needing critical care, the person is stabilized and transferred to a larger facility. But bills from the first site of care generally get applied to the patient’s deductible. When patients can’t afford their deductible, the smaller hospital winds up eating the costs.
For rural physicians, the burden of responding to the opioid epidemic falls squarely on their already loaded shoulders. For one doctor in a small Wisconsin village, there was no question that she wanted to rise to the challenge.
A group of Democratic state attorneys general are betting the Supreme Court will take up the case and overturn a federal appeals court ruling in time for the 2020 elections. In other high-court news, most Republicans in Congress are asking the justices to use a Louisiana law to overturn the landmark abortion-rights ruling, Roe v. Wade. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Rovner also interviews NPR’s Richard Harris, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature.
Nearly a decade ago, Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and his Camden Coalition appeared to have an answer to remake American health care: Treat the sickest and most expensive patients. But a rigorous study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows the approach doesn’t save money. “We built a brilliant intervention to navigate people to nowhere,” Brenner tells the “Tradeoffs” podcast.
A parental consent requirement for minors who seek abortions is still on the books in left-leaning Massachusetts, as well as about two dozen other states. But a proposed Massachusetts law seeks to repeal that consent requirement and shore up the right to abortion in case the Supreme Court strikes down the federal right to the procedure.
Some of California’s most prized rivers, bays, beaches and streams are contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria that exceed state limits, threatening human health. While aging sewage infrastructure is largely to blame, homeless encampments are also a probable source of contamination.
For years, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, one of California’s largest nonprofit hospitals, has been spending less on charity care than other nonprofit hospitals in the state. Now it is expanding eligibility for free and discounted medical care.
Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, sat down for a rare interview with KHN senior correspondent Sarah Varney. They discuss her views on President Donald Trump’s plan for sustaining public health insurance programs, how the administration would respond if Obamacare is struck down by the courts in the future and her thoughts on how the latest “Medicare for All” proposals would affect innovation and access to care.