Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Truly Random Drug Testing: ADHD Patients Face Uneven Urine Screens and, Sometimes, Stigma
Doctors have no national standards on when to order urine tests to check whether adult ADHD patients are properly taking their prescription stimulants. Some patients are subjected to much more frequent testing than others.
Congressman Seeks to Plug ‘Shocking Loophole’ Exposed by KHN Investigation
A federal lawmaker has introduced a House bill that would close one of a laundry list of oversight gaps revealed in a recent KHN investigation of the system regulators use to ban fraudsters from billing government health programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
As Colorado Reels From Another School Shooting, Study Finds 1 in 4 Teens Have Quick Access to Guns
The study analyzed Colorado kids’ responses to how quickly they could get their hands on a loaded gun without their parents’ knowledge. More than 1 in 10 said they could do so within 10 minutes.
When College Athletes Kill Themselves, Healing the Team Becomes the Next Goal
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students. Contrary to conventional wisdom, athletes aren’t immune from the risk factors. Players at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and other colleges are learning how to protect their mental health and ask for help after their teammates killed themselves.
Banning Noncompete Contracts for Medical Staff Riles Hospitals
It’s about the money — on both sides — as arguments swirl about patient safety, rising prices, and paying back on-the-job training.
Obamacare at 13: Biden and a KHN Reporter Remember
The White House gathered the people who helped pass the Affordable Care Act 13 years ago — partly to congratulate themselves but also to emphasize that they still have much work to do to make health care affordable.
Health Providers Scramble to Keep Remaining Staff Amid Medicaid Rate Debate
The ranks of community-based behavioral health providers in Montana have diminished amid rising costs, greater need, and stagnant Medicaid reimbursement rates. Now, as state lawmakers debate solutions, providers are hoping just to cover their costs.
Sen. Sanders Shows Fire, but Seeks Modest Goals, in His Debut Drug Hearing as Health Chair
The Vermont independent and former presidential candidate was all fire and brimstone at his first hearing on drug prices as head of the Senate HELP Committee. He also pursued a more modest goal of covid vaccine price reductions. It isn’t clear whether Sanders will succeed in even that, but he has put affordability front and center.
The Policy, and Politics, of Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage, the private plan alternative to traditional Medicare, is embroiled in a growing controversy over whether insurers are being overpaid and what it would mean to reduce those payments. Meanwhile, even as maternal mortality in the U.S. continues to rise, providers of care to pregnant women say they’re leaving states with abortion bans that prevent them from treating pregnancy complications. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KHN’s chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Being ‘Socially Frail’ Comes With Health Risks for Older Adults
Researchers are identifying new ways to assess older adults’ social circumstances and identify risks that can compromise their health. “It’s a more complete picture of older adults’ circumstances than any one factor alone,” one expert said.
Legal Questions, Inquiries Intensify Around Noble Health’s Rural Missouri Hospital Closures
A year after private equity-backed Noble Health shuttered two rural Missouri hospitals, a slew of lawsuits and state and federal investigations grind forward. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey recently confirmed an “ongoing” investigation as former employees continue to go unpaid and cope with unpaid medical claims.
Fresh Produce Is an Increasingly Popular Prescription for Chronically Ill Patients
Fresh produce prescription programs are getting a boost in Montana as a way of helping people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The approach may be a model for other rural states to promote healthy eating in food deserts.
End of Covid Emergency Will Usher in Changes Across the US Health System
The May 11 expiration of the federal government’s pandemic emergency declaration will affect patient care across a broad range of settings, including telemedicine, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Prescription for Housing? California Wants Medicaid to Cover 6 Months of Rent
Gov. Gavin Newsom is making a bold push for Medicaid health plans to provide more housing support. He argues it’s cheaper to pay for rent than to allow homeless people to fall into crisis, which requires costly care in hospitals, nursing homes, and jails.
A Lot of Thought, Little Action: Proposals About Mental Health Go Unheeded
A recent report detailing problems with Florida’s patchwork mental health system had reached conclusions nearly identical to those of a similar report from more than 20 years ago. The echoes between the findings are unmistakable. And Florida isn’t the only state struggling with the criminalization of mental illness, a lack of coordination between providers, and insufficient access to treatment.
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“Health Minute” brings original health care and health policy reporting from the KHN newsroom to the airwaves each week.
Mental Health Care by Video Fills Gaps in Rural Nursing Homes
In-person mental health care is hard to arrange in rural nursing homes, so video chats with faraway professionals are filling the gap.
Mobile Clinics Really Got Rolling in the Pandemic. A New Law Will Help Them Cast a Wider Safety Net.
Mobile clinics that provided covid-19 testing and vaccines at the peak of the pandemic are now being used to provide a range of health services in hard-to-reach communities. A law passed late last year allows qualified health care centers to use federal grants to expand the fleets.
Judge Signals He Could Rule to Halt Sales of Common Abortion Pill
A U.S. District Court case is being widely followed because the judge’s decision could overturn the FDA’s approval of mifepristone two decades ago. With abortion rights polling well even in red states, anti-abortion activists are increasingly turning to the courts to achieve their aims.
California Picks Generic Drug Company Civica to Produce Low-Cost Insulin
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who blasted pharmaceutical companies for gouging Californians, is moving ahead with state-branded insulin. He’s also eyeing other generic drugs.