If a coronavirus pandemic were to hit the U.S., only 36 states have blueprints for “crisis standards of care” to sort out who gets what kind of medical care amid scarce resources. And not all the plans are of high quality. That means health care providers in some states will be better prepared for a crisis than others — but all could face tough decisions.
Since gaining control of the House, Senate and governor’s office, Colorado Democrats are pushing an aggressive health care agenda. With measures to create a public insurance option, welcome drug importation, lower drug prices, curtail surprise billing and cap insulin copays, the state is becoming a likely model for health policies at the federal level.
State legislatures are considering new bills proposing a permanent time standard instead of the spring-forward and fall-back clock changes. Most people want to stop adjusting clocks, but scientists and politicians are at odds over which time is better for society and our health.
KHN’s Julie Rovner joins WAMU’s “1A” on Wednesday to discuss an innovative plan by Summit County, Colorado, to directly negotiate with doctors and hospitals to lower health costs.
Neil Mahoney had terminal cancer. He also had a legal right to aid-in-dying. But his faith-based hospital called it “morally unacceptable.” So he turned to a network of Colorado doctors to fulfill his last wish.
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.
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.
American marijuana has a reputation for being the best in the world. But the federal prohibition on marijuana makes shipments across state lines or overseas a pipe dream. While U.S. firms expect the restrictions to drop in the coming years, they are stuck operating within state borders. That’s left Canadian cannabis growers to dominate the export market, with U.S. firms falling further behind each year.
E-cigarettes may look sleek, but they create toxic trash, especially at high schools where vaping is widespread. Disposable nicotine pods can be poisonous, and vape pens contain batteries and metals. Safely disposing of them can mean a trip to the local recycling center.
California and nearby Southwestern states are seeing a sustained rise in cases of valley fever, a potentially serious lung illness caused by a fungus found in desert-type soil. As a result of global warming, the areas where the fungus can thrive are expanding, researchers say.
A 3-year-old girl put matching doll shoes up her nose. One came out easily. The second required an emergency department visit ― and generated a bill that is not child’s play.
Montana is one of several states that want Medicaid recipients to prove they work a steady, minimum number of hours monthly. Will federal courts allow the Montana rule change to stand?
Colorado, like a number of states, is struggling to deal with returned mail sent out by its Medicaid, SNAP and other aid programs. Now people could lose benefits after just a single piece of returned mail.
Starting to vape is easy, but quitting a nicotine habit can be tough, teens are finding. Some vaping cessation programs have begun to reach out to teens where they live — on their phones.
Denver is considering adopting a new 911 alternative used in Eugene, Ore., that allows mental health and medical professionals, not police officers, to respond to some emergency calls, saving money and de-escalating situations with mentally ill people.
Hospital systems now invest in housing to help some of their most frequent patients. This allows them to safely discharge patients who otherwise would have no place to go, freeing up beds for sicker patients and saving the hospitals money.
One groom’s bachelor party hangover illustrates how emergency room bills have become major headaches for many Americans.
In Colorado case, the right to aid a cancer patient’s death runs up against faith-based hospital policies. As more states have passed laws, about 1 in 6 acute care beds nationally is in a hospital that is Catholic-owned or -affiliated.
In Utah, 85% of deaths from firearms are suicides. To help people who might be vulnerable, outreach workers are discussing suicide prevention at gun shows and firearms classes.
Wyoming is taking on expensive air ambulance bills by trying to expand Medicaid to cover transport for all patients. This is a big change: a red state seeking to control what’s been a growing free-market bonanza.