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Latest Kaiser Health News Stories

The Health Care Promises We Cannot Keep

KHN Original

Family caregivers pledge to fulfill their loved ones’ end-of-life wishes. But too often circumstances change, and they must break their word and guard against breaking hearts ― including their own.

Obamacare Back At The High Court — With Billions For Insurers On The Line

KHN Original

The case revolves around a health law provision designed to help insurers recover some losses because they had an unusually high number of sick and expensive customers. Insurers complain that when Republican lawmakers discontinued funding the program, it was like “Lucy Van Pelt pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.”

‘Warm’ Hotlines Deliver Help Before Mental Health Crisis Heats Up

KHN Original

“Warmlines” are phone lines or electronic chat options for people who are not having a full-blown mental health crisis but who could use support to stave off one. They are a growing trend in mental health outreach to supplement existing hotlines, with one successful warmline in the Bay Area recently expanding to cover all of California.

Patient-Induced Trauma: Hospitals Learn To Defuse Violence

KHN Original

Health care workers face a greater threat of workplace violence than workers in most other industries. Hospitals are installing security cameras and panic buttons, arming security guards with stun guns and teaching their employees how to handle potentially violent situations.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: We Spend HOW MUCH On Health Care?

KHN Original

The annual accounting of national health spending is out. And the 2018 health bill for the U.S. was $3.6 trillion, consuming nearly a fifth of the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, Congress is nearing the end of the year without having finished either its annual spending bills or several other high-priority health items. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month.”

California Surprise-Billing Law Protects Patients But Aggravates Many Doctors

KHN Original

A California law, which took effect in July 2017, protects consumers who use an in-network hospital or other facility from surprise bills when cared for by an out-of-network doctor. But physicians say the law has allowed insurers to shrink networks, limiting access to those doctors who have contracted with the patients’ insurance plans.