August 16, 2017
If President Donald Trump were to follow through on his threats to cut federal cost-sharing subsidies, health insurance premiums for silver plans would soar by an average of 20 percent next year and the federal deficit would rise by $194 billion over the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
August 16, 2017
Skyrocketing price tags for new drugs to treat rare diseases have stoked outrage nationwide. But hundreds of old, commonly used drugs cost the Medicaid program billions of extra dollars in 2016 vs. 2015, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows. Eighty of the drugs — some generic and some still carrying brand names — proved more than two decades old.
August 11, 2017
Like Medicaid programs in many states that want more budgeting certainty or hope to save money, Medi-Cal is shifting many patients with complex conditions into managed care plans.
August 8, 2017
Sandy Willhite doesn’t mind driving 45 minutes to the nearest shopping center. But living in Hillsboro, W.Va., became problematic when she had to travel nearly six hours for proper foot treatment.
August 8, 2017
Deona Scott was 24 and in her final semester at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina when she found out she was pregnant. She turned to Medicaid for maternity health coverage and learned about a free program for first-time mothers that could connect her with a nurse to answer questions about pregnancy and caring for her baby.
August 3, 2017
Health insurers have won powerful allies in a fight over federal subsidies that President Donald Trump has threatened to cancel for millions of people who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
August 2, 2017
After the Senate fell short in its effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is poised to use its regulatory powers to accomplish what lawmakers could not: shrink Medicaid.
July 28, 2017
Betting that thin is in — and might be the only way forward — Senate Republicans are eyeing a “skinny repeal” that rolls back an unpopular portion of the federal health law. But experts warn that the idea has been tried before, and with little success.
July 27, 2017
When Taylor Merendo moved to Bloomington, Ind., nearly two years ago, fleeing an abusive marriage, she needed help.
July 25, 2017
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Looking out a fourth-floor window of his hospital system’s headquarters, Alan Levine can see the Appalachian Mountains that have defined this hardscrabble region for generations.
July 20, 2017
California’s Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement this week, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide.
July 19, 2017
Seven years of Republican vows to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act came to a crashing halt Tuesday.
July 17, 2017
Much has been written lately about how individuals’ health could suffer if they lose insurance under the health proposals circulating in the U.S. House and Senate
July 12, 2017
For many consumers, an unexpected health care calamity can quickly burgeon into a financial calamity. Just over half of all the debt that appears on credit reports is related to medical expenses, and consumers may find that their credit score gets as banged up as their body.
July 11, 2017
Aidan Long is a 13-year-old from Montana who has suffered multiple daily seizures since he was 4. The seizures defy medical cure, and some of them continue for weeks, requiring Aidan to be airlifted to children’s hospitals in Denver or Seattle, said his father, Ben Long. The medical bills to Medicaid and his private insurance have been enormous.
July 10, 2017
A little-discussed provision in the Senate health care bill is designed to boost the number of hospital beds for psychiatric care, providing a long-sought victory for mental health advocates.
June 27, 2017
Senate Republicans’ legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act would leave an additional 22 million people without health care coverage over the next decade and cut the federal deficit by $321 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released late Monday.
June 23, 2017
Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Thursday unveiled a bill that would dramatically transform the nation’s Medicaid program, make significant changes to the federal health law’s tax credits that help lower-income people buy insurance and allow states to water down changes to some of the law’s coverage guarantees.
June 20, 2017
Anyone following the debate over the “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act knows the 13 Republican senators writing the bill are meeting behind closed doors.
June 12, 2017
In Texas each year, about 35,000 young women get pregnant before they turn 20. Traditionally, the two variables most commonly associated with high teen birth rates are education and poverty, but a new study, co-authored by Dr. Julie DeCesare, shows that there’s more at play.
June 12, 2017
Minority patients face a double whammy: Not only are they more likely to miss out on effective medical treatments than white patients, but, according to a new study, they’re also more likely to receive an abundance of ineffective services.
June 9, 2017
For some patients, finding a doctor willing to prescribe life-ending drugs can be difficult
May 26, 2017
Postcards, robocalls and other low-tech outreach tools can be as effective as personalized enrollment assistance at encouraging eligible people to sign up for Medicaid, a new study found.
May 25, 2017
The Republican overhaul of the federal health law passed by the House this month would result in slightly lower premiums and slightly fewer uninsured Americans than an earlier proposal.
May 24, 2017
New York Medicaid regulators aim to use the threat of imposing increased scrutiny of prescription drugs — such as eyeing their relative effectiveness and their profit margins — to coax additional discounts from drugmakers.
May 17, 2017
As the GOP health care bill moves from the U.S. House of Representatives to the Senate, many consumers and lawmakers are especially worried that people with preexisting conditions won’t be able to find affordable health coverage.
May 11, 2017
The Trump administration has given states three extra years to carry out plans for helping elderly and disabled people receive Medicaid services without being forced to go into nursing homes.
May 8, 2017
With limited federal subsidies under the GOP health care bill, experts say states like California and New York would be under pressure to cut costs.
May 5, 2017
After weeks of will-they-or-won’t-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.
May 4, 2017
Health officials in Minnesota are scrambling to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened primarily Somali-American children. Officials have identified 34 cases as of Wednesday, and they’re worried there will be more.
April 28, 2017
Local health officials are bracing for the potential impact of a Trump administration policy that would stop federal funding to jurisdictions that don’t enforce federal immigration laws.
April 26, 2017
For most of his life, Carl Goulden had near-perfect health. He and his wife, Wanda, say that changed 10 years ago. Carl remembered feeling “a lot of pain in the back, tired, fatigue, yellow eyes — a lot of jaundice.”
April 17, 2017
California lawmakers this month will consider legislation that would impose a tax on prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Norco to raise money for addiction treatment and prevention programs.
April 13, 2017
Although the GOP-controlled Congress is pledging its continued interest — despite stalls and snags — to dismantle Obamacare, some “red state” legislatures are changing course and showing a newfound interest in embracing the health law’s Medicaid expansion.
April 5, 2017
Seema Verma, the former health policy consultant now overseeing Medicare and Medicaid for the Trump administration, will not take part in one of her agency’s most anticipated decisions because of a conflict of interest.
April 5, 2017
Hospitals in Missouri are grappling with a new state rule that forces them to choose between providing abortions for women in high-risk situations or receiving family planning funds for low-income women.
March 22, 2017
Before nursing home patient Carmencita Misa became bedridden, she was a veritable “dancing queen,” says her daughter, Charlotte Altieri.
March 6, 2017
More than 14 million adults have enrolled in Medicaid since the health law passed, and that has caused some hand-wringing over whether there would be enough primary care providers to meet the demand. But a study out this week suggests that the newly insured people are generally able to get timely appointments for primary care.
February 28, 2017
The federal government approved the experiment, called the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, which is now up for a three-year renewal.
February 23, 2017
Some foreign-born Californians are canceling their Medi-Cal coverage or declining to enroll in the first place, citing fears of a Trump administration crackdown on immigrants.
February 16, 2017
While Congress continues to struggle with how to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration today unveiled its first regulation aimed at keeping insurers participating in the individual market in 2018.
February 13, 2017
Ask anyone about their health care and you are likely to hear about ailments, doctors, maybe costs and insurance hassles.
February 8, 2017
The GOP is working to repeal and replace the 2010 health law, known for insuring more than 20 million people. And the change could affect another health concern: the nation’s opioid abuse problem.
February 2, 2017
As Congress weighs repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the home state of Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday sought to keep its conservative-style Medicaid expansion under the federal health law.
February 2, 2017
With announcements of placements in residencies expected in March, medical education groups and hospitals say they’re unsure how to proceed.
January 25, 2017
President Donald Trump’s administration made explicit this weekend its commitment to an old GOP strategy for managing Medicaid, the federal-state insurance plan that covers low-income people — turning control of the program to states and capping what the federal government spends on it each year.
January 17, 2017
If “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act is Republicans’ job one, defunding Planned Parenthood is a close second.
January 5, 2017
People in this city had their pick of four health insurers last year when they shopped for policies during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment.
January 4, 2017
Montana State Senator Ed Buttrey is a no-nonsense businessman from Great Falls. Like a lot of Republicans, he’s not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, nor its expansion of Medicaid, the health insurance for the poor and disabled.
December 7, 2016
When Ashley Hurteau, 32, was arrested in 2015, she faced a list of charges for crimes she committed to finance a drug craving she had struggled with for more than a decade.
November 30, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services signals that the new administration is all-in on both efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and restructure Medicare and Medicaid.
November 10, 2016
Millions of low-income Americans on Medicaid could lose their health coverage if President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress follow through on GOP proposals to cut spending in the state-federal insurance program.
October 31, 2016
A New York group seeks to show that a health coach who is also a neighbor can help patients and save money.
October 28, 2016
Workers in California’s hospitals and doctors’ offices may be less likely to get hit, kicked, bitten or grabbed under workplace standards adopted by a state workplace safety board.
October 21, 2016
Peggy Wall, a family nurse practitioner at a local community health center, treats many women in their 40s, who already have a family and find themselves confronting an accidental pregnancy.
October 20, 2016
Will Medicaid expansion save the country money as people stop using expensive emergency rooms for primary care?
October 14, 2016
With a record 73 million people enrolled in Medicaid, most states next year will tighten controls on spending to battle swelling budgets in the public health insurance program for low-income and disabled Americans, according to a report released Thursday.
October 11, 2016
The staff of Clinica Sierra Vista, which has health centers throughout the Central Valley, screened its mostly low-income patients last year for mental health needs and determined that nearly 30 percent suffered from depression, anxiety or alcoholism.
September 30, 2016
The nation’s largest health insurer and the University of California Health system are joining forces to create a new health plan option for employers and expand research into patient data.
September 26, 2016
Many people take for granted the addition of fluoride into public drinking water systems that aims to prevent tooth decay.
September 13, 2016
It isn’t news that in rural parts of the country, people have a harder time accessing good health care. But new evidence suggests opposition to a key part of the 2010 health overhaul could be adding to the gap.
September 2, 2016
Teen pregnancy is way down. And a study suggests that the reason is increased, and increasingly effective, use of contraceptives.
August 29, 2016
Some arrive on their own, worried about what was really in that bag of heroin. Some are carried in, slumped between two friends.
August 19, 2016
For Chirlane McCray, New York City’s first lady, mental illness is not an abstract concern.
August 19, 2016
Georgia enjoys its image as the Empire State of the South, a leader among its Deep South neighbors, the first to have an Olympic city and the first to send a native son to the White House.
August 5, 2016
Backers of ColoradoCare — the state ballot initiative that would establish universal health care in Colorado — think they have the perfect job for former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders.
August 1, 2016
Medicaid has become the safety net for millions of people who find themselves unable to pay for nursing home beds or in-home caregivers. Medicaid was never intended to cover long-term care for everyone. Now it pays for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s long-term care expenses, and the share is growing.
July 22, 2016
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is in the spotlight this week as the man Donald Trump has picked to be his running mate.
July 20, 2016
California’s Obamacare premiums will jump 13.2 percent on average next year, a sharp increase that is likely to reverberate nationwide in an election year.
July 14, 2016
New failures are piling up among the member-run health insurance co-ops carrying out one of the Affordable Care Act’s most idealistic goals, leaving just seven remaining when the health law’s fourth enrollment season starts in the fall.
July 12, 2016
Many babies born to mothers who are covered by Medicaid are automatically eligible for that coverage during the first year of their lives.
July 6, 2016
Enhancing mosquito control. Encouraging safe sex. Advising people to minimize travel to infected areas.
July 5, 2016
After legal battles and lobbying efforts, tens of thousands of people with hepatitis C are gaining earlier access to expensive drugs that can cure this condition.
July 5, 2016
The Obama administration is making a push to get young adults covered on the health insurance marketplaces, both for their own good and that of the marketplaces, which need healthy people to balance sicker ones in the risk pool.
June 30, 2016
The health law opened the door for millions of young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26. But there’s a downside to remaining on the family plan.
June 20, 2016
Zac Talbott sees the irony of running an opioid treatment program from a former doctor’s office.
June 17, 2016
Like many parents of children with autism, Braulio De La Cruz sought an expensive therapy called applied behavioral analysis — or ABA – when his son Noah Leonardo was diagnosed last year. This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
June 16, 2016
The federal government, which spends billions of dollars each year covering unintended pregnancies, is encouraging states to adopt policies that might boost the number of Medicaid enrollees who use long-acting, reversible contraceptives.
June 13, 2016
As health care consolidation accelerates nationwide, a new study shows that hospital prices in two of California’s largest health systems were 25 percent higher than at other hospitals around the state.
June 9, 2016
Medical students cram a lot of basic science and medicine into their first two years of training. But most learn next to nothing about the intricacies of the health care system they are soon to enter.
June 6, 2016
Dr. James Gill walked through the morgue in Farmington, Connecticut, recently, past the dock where the bodies come in, past the tissue donations area, and stopped outside the autopsy room.
May 18, 2016
Employers seeking to get workers to join wellness programs and provide medical information can set financial rewards – or penalties – of up to 30 percent of the cost for an individual in the company’s health insurance plan, according to controversial rules finalized by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Monday.
May 17, 2016
Bolstered by the federal health care law, the number of lower income kids getting health coverage continues to improve, a recent study found.
May 12, 2016
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books requiring health insurers to cover autism treatments.
May 12, 2016
California’s health insurance exchange estimates that its Obamacare premiums may rise 8 percent on average next year, which would end two consecutive years of more modest 4 percent increases.
May 2, 2016
Administration officials moved Thursday to improve low Medicaid enrollment for emerging prisoners, urging states to start signups before release and expanding eligibility to thousands of former inmates in halfway houses near the end of their sentences.
April 11, 2016
Moving into a realm usually reserved for health care regulators, the California health marketplace Thursday unveiled sweeping reforms to its contracts with insurers, seeking to improve the quality of care, curb its cost and increase transparency for consumers.
March 31, 2016
How do fix a problem if you don’t know its size?
March 23, 2016
Hackers demanded a ransom from two more Southern California hospitals last week and federal authorities are investigating the case.
March 4, 2016
A Boston nonprofit plans to soon test a new way of addressing the city’s heroin epidemic. The idea is simple: Starting in March, along a stretch of road that has come to be called Boston’s “Methadone Mile,” the program will open a room with a nurse, some soft chairs and basic life-saving equipment — a place where heroin users can ride out their high, under medical supervision.
February 24, 2016
A few years ago, when a young woman delivered her baby at Alleghany Memorial Hospital in Sparta, North Carolina, it was in the middle of a Valentine’s Day ice storm and the mountain roads out of town were impassable.
February 22, 2016
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is making some public health messages harder to get across — namely, in most communities, the tap water is perfectly safe. And it is so much healthier than sugary drinks.
February 18, 2016
The Baltimore health system put Robert Peace back together after a car crash shattered his pelvis. Then it nearly killed him, he says.
February 17, 2016
At precisely 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, the doors to the needle exchange on Skid Row open and the daily procession of injection drug users begins.
February 5, 2016
About 12.7 million Americans enrolled in private health insurance through the federal and state marketplaces for 2016, the Obama administration said Thursday.
January 29, 2016
After the open enrollment period ends on Sunday for buying coverage on the health insurance marketplaces, people can generally sign up for or switch marketplace plans only if they have certain major life changes, such as losing their on-the-job coverage or getting married. Following insurance industry criticism, last week the federal government said it will scrutinize people’s applications for such “special enrollment periods” more closely, including one of the most commonly cited reasons — relocating to a new state.
January 22, 2016
Getting on Medicaid has never been so easy.
January 14, 2016
With full federal funding for expanding Medicaid set to expire at the end this year, President Barack Obama is proposing to indefinitely extend the health law provision for any of the 19 states that have not yet adopted the enhanced eligibility.
January 6, 2016
The federal government has announced a $157 million project to help hospitals and doctors link Medicare and Medicaid patients to needed social services that sometimes have a bigger impact on their health than medical interventions.
December 21, 2015
Thursday’s announcement by Kaiser Permanente that it plans to open its own medical school in Southern California has attracted a lot of attention in the health care community.
December 18, 2015
A coalition of civil rights advocates Tuesday called for a federal investigation of California’s Medicaid program, alleging that it discriminates against millions of low-income Latinos by denying them equal access to health care.
December 17, 2015
A health law insurance program that was expected to boost consumer choice and competition on the marketplaces has slipped off course and is so far failing to meet expectations.
December 11, 2015
Through what’s known as a drug waiver, state officials will have new spending flexibility as they try to improve outcomes and reduce social and financial costs of people with substance abuse disorders.
December 11, 2015
Researchers can mine Google data to identify searched phrases that spiked during previous upticks in a particular disease. Then, they measure the frequency of those searches in real time to estimate the number of emerging cases.
December 10, 2015
State insurance exchanges are healthy financially even without the federal funding that ran out this year, a top Obama administration official told a House subcommittee Tuesday.
December 8, 2015
Because of the importance of churches in African-American communities, Alameda County has focused specifically on churches, inviting religious leaders to discussions about mental health and funding workshops to help congregants reach out to one another.
December 3, 2015
Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s plan to end Kynect has brought a strong rebuke from Obamacare advocates and the outgoing governor, but it’s also revived questions about whether the states or the federal government are best positioned to run the marketplaces.
December 2, 2015
Several states mandate public reporting of price information, but online cost estimators offered through insurance company are often inaccurate.
December 1, 2015
Many co-op plans were priced low, and customers poured in. But these new customers had high health costs, so the co-ops had to start paying a lot of bills. The math didn’t add up.
November 30, 2015
California lawmakers are staring down a $1.1 billion hole in next year’s health budget after failing to come up with a way to replace the state’s “managed care organization tax” on health insurance plans that serve Medi-Cal managed care recipients.
November 23, 2015
Since Gov. Jerry Brown signed California’s end-of-life options bill last month, a new chapter is starting for Compassion & Choices, a Denver-based nonprofit that led the campaign for the measure and has pushed for such laws for nearly 19 years. California is the fifth state, and largest by far, to allow physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to patients who want to end their lives in their last stages of terminal illnesses.
November 23, 2015
Researches found insurers denied 16 percent of prescriptions for expensive drugs like Sovaldi, Harvoni and Viekira Pak, the drugs. The proportion of Medicaid denials, however, was 46 percent.
November 17, 2015
In most states, consumers with HIV or AIDS who buy silver-level plans on the insurance marketplaces find limited coverage of common drug regimens they may need and high out-of-pocket costs, according to a new analysis.
November 13, 2015
In 2014, 13 percent of health care systems in the United States offered plans that covered 18 million members, or about 8 percent of all people with insurance. Most of the people covered by provider-led plans are in Medicaid managed care or Medicare Advantage plans.
November 11, 2015
Cancer patients insured by California’s health plan for low-income people are less likely to get recommended treatment and also have lower survival rates than patients with other types of insurance, according to a new study by University of California-Davis researchers.
November 9, 2015
Three after George W. Bush restricted the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, California started its own multi-billion dollar stem cell program. Today at least seven states offer stem cell research funding or other incentives to local scientists and industry.
November 6, 2015
About 85,000 people, from 11,000 small businesses, have coverage through the online marketplace known as the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP. That’s less than 1 percent of people with coverage in the U.S.
November 3, 2015
Many Texas Republicans still consider the Affordable Care Act to be political kryptonite, but at the local level policymakers are coming around.
November 2, 2015
On fishing piers in Maine, inside public libraries in rural Iowa and at insurer-run retail stores in Minnesota, the hunt for uninsured Americans will reignite Sunday when Obamacare’s third open enrollment season starts.
October 21, 2015
Years after voters made medical marijuana legal, Montana and some other states struggle to regulate it.
October 21, 2015
The state, which has not expanded Medicaid under the health law, struggled with huge Medicaid cost overruns from 2010 through 2013. That sent lawmakers looking for a better way to manage it, even though a signature part of the program has won national awards for quality and cost.
October 19, 2015
The new law aims to reduce the number of consumers who get surprise bills when they unknowingly see providers who are not part of their insurance plan networks.
October 19, 2015
Medicaid spending soared nearly 14 percent last year—its biggest annual increase in at least two decades—as a result of millions of newly eligible low-income enrollees signing up under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
October 14, 2015
In 2011, biking advocates from the non-profit group Gearing Up persuaded prison administrators to let them bring in bikes to teach indoor cycling to female inmates, who tend to gain more weight in prison than men.
October 9, 2015
Although larger practices have the resources to provide benefits to patients through better care coordination or access to new technologies, these practices’ greater market power may enable them to charge higher prices.
October 6, 2015
The service is useful for patients in rural areas, but right now the financial benefits are just theoretical.
October 6, 2015
Chronically ill people enrolled in individual health plans sold on the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges pay on average twice as much out-of-pocket for prescription drugs each year than people covered through their workplace, according to a study published Monday in the Health Affairs journal.
October 5, 2015
Problems have plagued the roll out of Obamacare. Three million more people than expected have signed up for Medicaid in California. Other states have also witnessed surges far beyond initial projections, including Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon and Washington State.
September 29, 2015
Prescriptions for birth control pills typically have to be renewed every 30 or 90 days, potentially resulting in women missing scheduled pills. The yearlong provision will begin in 2017.
September 23, 2015
The site provides information on quality for five common conditions or procedures: childbirth, hip and knee replacement, colon cancer screening, diabetes, and back pain. And it gives cost information — by county for 100 procedures, ranging from treating a broken ankle to cancer chemotherapy.
September 23, 2015
Premiums for job-based medical insurance rose moderately — 4 percent in 2015 — but employers continued to shift in expenses to workers, according to a new survey.
September 16, 2015
Vaccination rates for children have steadily risen well over 90 percent the past few years, but the rates for Americans older than 60 getting flu, pneumonia, tetanus or shingles shots – the four most used vaccines among the elderly ‑- have stayed stubbornly flat.
September 9, 2015
Planned Parenthood is not the only health program the GOP is targeting. Dozens of other health programs were set for cuts as well.
September 8, 2015
Massachusetts spent $632 million more on health care last year than it aimed to.
September 8, 2015
The Obama administration issued a sweeping proposal Thursday to bolster civil rights protections in health care, barring medical providers and insurers from discriminating based on gender, whether in treatments or access to facilities or services.
September 4, 2015
Of the 254 counties in Texas, 185 have no psychiatrist. How do you persuade students to become psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists, and then be willing to work in rural areas?
September 1, 2015
Dr. David Burkons graduated from medical school and began practicing obstetrics and gynecology in 1973 – the same year of the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion decision in Roe v. Wade.
August 31, 2015
A Colorado birth control program that has cut unintended pregnancies and abortions by nearly half since 2009 will stay alive for at least one more year thanks to $2 million in donations from private foundations.
August 24, 2015
More than 2 million people with coverage on the health insurance exchanges may be missing out on subsidies that could lower their deductibles, copayments and maximum out-of-pocket spending limits, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health.
August 18, 2015
Beginning next year, state officials want to fold a $2 billion program for children with severe illnesses or birth defects in Medi-Cal managed care. But many families and children’s advocates are strenuously opposed.
August 17, 2015
Even in Massachusetts, where a 2012 health care cost control law requires that hospitals and doctors provide patients with the price of a test, exam or treatment within two business days of the request, it's still pretty hard to figure out how much a visit is going to cost patients.
August 14, 2015
California has taken the most proactive stance in the nation in enforcing laws to ensure people with mental illnesses have fair and timely access to care. But even there, it’s proving difficult to ensure mental patients truly have equal access to treatment.
August 14, 2015
The undercover videos purporting to show officials of Planned Parenthood bargaining over the sale of fetal tissue have made the promise to defund the organization one of the most popular refrains on the Republican presidential campaign trail.
August 10, 2015
Super-utilizers are the frequent fliers of the health care system, whose serious illnesses send them to the hospital multiple times every year and cost the system hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
July 28, 2015
Christy O’Donnell may not get the death she had hoped for — one that right-to-die advocates say she deserves.
July 23, 2015
Some analysts who have looked at health insurers’ proposed premiums for next year predict major increases for policies sold on state and federal health exchanges. Others say it’s too soon to tell.
July 16, 2015
California and Oregon will be the first states in the nation to allow women to get birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives directly from their pharmacists – without a doctor’s prescription.
July 13, 2015
Maryland required insurers to cover in vitro fertilization, but it was generally difficult for same-sex couples to get coverage for such treatment.
July 10, 2015
Backers of a bill that would have allowed terminally ill Californians to get lethal prescriptions to end their lives shelved the legislation Tuesday morning because they lacked the votes to move it out of a key committee.
July 8, 2015
The coverage under Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid, is expected to result in more preventive care and better long-term health for an estimated 170,000 children who have long relied on safety-net clinics and emergency rooms. Now advocates are calling on the state to cover adults, too.
June 25, 2015
Expensive specialty medicines used to treat cancer and chronic illnesses have forced some very ill Americans to choose between getting proper treatment and paying their rent.
June 25, 2015
Christine White pays $300 a year more for her health care because she refused to join her former employer’s wellness program, which would have required that she fill out a health questionnaire and join activities like Weight Watchers.
June 10, 2015
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the administration will work with states to help mitigate the consequences for consumers if the Supreme Court ruled against federal subsidies.
June 10, 2015
The highest-charging U.S. hospitals are for-profits institutions concentrated in Florida.
June 4, 2015
Many expected the insurance exchange, or marketplace, established under the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of uninsured patients the clinic sees. The opposite happened.
June 3, 2015
New rules from the Texas Medical Board could make it a lot harder for people to get antibiotics through telemedicine. In response to the board’s restrictions, Teladoc, the largest telemedicine provider in the U.S., has filed a lawsuit that accuses the medical board of artificially limiting supply and increasing prices.
May 26, 2015
Physician-assisted suicide is only legal in five states. But it still happens in the other 45 states.
May 18, 2015
Texas has the highest percentage of one-and two-star facilities in the country: 51 percent of its nursing homes are rated “below average,” or “much below average.” Louisiana is close behind at 49 percent, with Oklahoma, Georgia and West Virginia tying for third at 46 percent.
May 12, 2015
Free means free.
May 8, 2015
Changes in death rates of people on Medicare — both those who had been in the hospital and among the broader populace — were no different than those for people in similar places where no hospital had closed.
May 7, 2015
Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s high-stakes visit to Washington Wednesday to persuade the Obama administration to keep the federal government’s $1 billion in annual funding for hospital care of the poor produced no breakthrough.
May 5, 2015
Among the biggest obstacles is simply getting the word out to enrollees that they can earn benefits if they lose weight or quit smoking.
May 1, 2015
Backers of Medicaid expansion celebrated in Helena Wednesday as Gov. Steve Bullock signed the bill extending the health coverage to an estimated 45,000 more Montanans.
April 14, 2015
By moving to wealthier areas, hospitals can reduce the percent of uninsured and lower-paying Medicaid patients, while increasing the proportion of privately insured patients.
April 9, 2015
The organization brought doctors on because it was getting a lot of calls that weren't emergencies.
April 6, 2015
The hospital also announced that 2014 was an “extraordinary” financial year, with operating income up 60 percent.
April 1, 2015
A new National Institute of Mental Health research plan could change how mental illness is diagnosed and treated.
March 25, 2015
Even after controlling for age, race, marital status and children in the home, males in nursing out-earned females by nearly $3,900 in hospitals.
March 20, 2015
Despite months of news coverage, most people say they have heard little or nothing about a Supreme Court case that could eliminate subsidies helping millions of Americans afford coverage under the federal health law, according to a poll released Thursday.
March 18, 2015
Declining federal reimbursements for hospitals under the Affordable Care Act are the principal reason for closures. The law reduced payments to hospitals for the uninsured on the assumption that states would expand their Medicaid programs.
March 17, 2015
In many hospitals and clinics around the country, oncologists and surgeons simply tell cancer patients what treatments they should have, or at least give them strong recommendations. But in some hospitals doctors and patients are working together to make choices about care.
March 16, 2015
Too many consumers have learned the hard way that their credit rating can be tarnished by medical bills they may not owe or when disputes delay insurer payment.
March 13, 2015
Advocates say the state's counties need to shore up care for their remaining uninsured residents.
March 11, 2015
Obamacare’s tenuous toehold in Montana appears to be growing no firmer. Despite a hearing crowded with supporters of the Democratic governor’s Medicaid expansion bill, Republican legislators have dealt the measure a likely death blow.
March 10, 2015
Starting next year, the federal government will require health insurers to give millions of Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans or in policies sold in the federally run health exchange up-to-date details about which doctors are in their plans and taking new patients.
March 9, 2015
Starting March 27, legally married same-sex couples will be able to take unpaid time off to care for a spouse or sick family members even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize their marriage.
March 2, 2015
Twenty-nine percent of children taken from their families and placed in foster care failed to receive at least one required medical checkup, the Health and Human Services Department Office of the Inspector General said in a report out today.
February 19, 2015
Many states adding dental coverage are struggling to meet the high demand for services.
February 17, 2015
Starting immediately, the federal government is making it harder for nursing homes to get top grades on a public report card, in part by increasing scrutiny of their use of anti-psychotic drugs and raising the bar on an array of quality measures.
February 16, 2015
Guroo.com shows the average local cost for many common diagnoses and medical tests in most states. That’s the real cost — not “charges” that often get marked down — based on a giant database of what insurance companies pay.
February 10, 2015
Beyond "repeal and replace," people at the National Health Policy Conference pitched improvements to the Affordable Care Act.
February 6, 2015
State lawmakers in California introduced legislation Wednesday that would require children to be fully vaccinated before going to school, a response to a measles outbreak that started in Southern California and has reached 107 cases in 14 states.
February 3, 2015
Why Florida is number one in ACA enrollment despite GOP opposition.
February 2, 2015
As the popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to grow, California’s top public health official warned residents Wednesday about their dangers and announced a new campaign to reduce their use.
January 26, 2015
Medi-Cal applicants who have been waiting for more than 45 days can receive temporary health benefits while officials determine eligibility for the public insurance program, a state Superior Court judge ruled this week.
January 20, 2015
In health insurance prices, as in the weather, Alaska and the Sun Belt are extremes. This year Alaska is the most expensive health insurance market for people who do not get coverage through their employers, while Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., are among the very cheapest.
January 14, 2015
The Affordable Care Act set aside funding for health care co-ops, to enable the organizations to compete in places where there aren’t many insurers. CoOportunity Health was the second largest co-op in the country in terms of membership.
January 8, 2015
Yolanda Farrell lay mostly paralyzed in a nursing home, unable to feed or dress herself, when her homeless daughter persuaded her to move out.
December 4, 2014
The plan, called A Healthy Florida Works, offers an alternative to the ACA model while proposing a politically viable path for Florida’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives to extend coverage to more residents.
December 3, 2014
Do it or else. Increasingly, that’s the approach taken by employers who are offering financial incentives for workers to take part in wellness programs that incorporate screenings that measure blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index, among other things.
December 2, 2014
Legal scholars say the decision could deal a potentially lethal blow to the law by undermining the government-run insurance marketplaces that are its backbone, as well as the mandate requiring most Americans to carry coverage.
December 2, 2014
A surge in health insurer competition appears to be helping restrain premium increases in hundreds of counties next year, with prices dropping in many places where newcomers are offering the least expensive plans, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal premium records.
November 20, 2014
Low-income old people are experiencing confusion and frustration after the state tried to move almost 500,000 seniors and disabled people automatically into managed care.
November 20, 2014
Less than 1 percent of the programs 50 million beneficiaries have used the benefit so far. Experts blame the government’s failure to promote the program, rules that limit where and when patients can go for counseling as well as the low fees for providers.
November 17, 2014
A Los Angeles furniture store worker who had never had health insurance enrolled in a plan for $75 a month that will cover both him and his son.
November 14, 2014
Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, is scheduled to go live Nov. 15. But SHOP plans will be organized by state — posing an additional challenge to small employers with workers who live or work in different states.
November 12, 2014
Idaho will be one of a dozen states, along with Washington, D.C., to run its own online marketplace this year — and the only one whose state government is completely controlled by Republicans.
November 6, 2014
Thanks to a law enacted in October, Massachusetts health insurers have to make all their prices public – in advance.
October 30, 2014
In the country’s unhealthiest state, the disaster of the Affordable Care Act is a group effort.
October 30, 2014
Now, the soda industry is going to war in a pair of election battles in San Francisco and Berkeley, two of the most liberal cities in the U.S.
October 28, 2014
Residents of the Nevada city find that it can take two months to get a doctor’s appointment at a local community health center, or an all-day wait.
October 22, 2014
Almost nine of 10 uninsured Americans – the group most likely to benefit — don’t know that the law’s second open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, according to a poll released Tuesday.
October 21, 2014
Missouri sees urban, rural divide in heath care coverage.
October 17, 2014
A new survey finds the public has a lot to learn about how the Ebola virus is transmitted, which could help explain the growing fears of the disease.
October 16, 2014
This year, the state aggregated claims and electronic medical record data and patient satisfaction surveys.
October 16, 2014
Some patients with health insurance are struggling to pay for prescription drugs for conditions such as cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or HIV/AIDS, as insurers and employers shift more of the cost of high-priced pharmaceuticals to the patients who take them.
October 15, 2014
With an improving fiscal climate, many states are increasing benefits for Medicaid recipients and paying their providers more.
October 9, 2014
Consumers using the federal healthcare.gov website when open enrollment begins next month should expect a faster website with a shorter application form and features making it easier to use on mobile devices, Obama administration officials said Wednesday.
October 8, 2014
An investigation by the HHS inspector general says beneficiaries getting the treatments at “critical access” hospitals pay between two and six times more than those at other hospitals.
October 7, 2014
As states gear up for round two of Obamacare enrollment next month, they have their sights set on people like Miles Alva.
September 30, 2014
A quarter of the nation's hospitals are exempt from penalties, quality bonuses and other payment reforms.
September 30, 2014
Thousands of people in California are facing a Sept. 30 deadline to prove they are in the country legally, as required to receive coverage through insurance exchanges. It's not easy to do.
September 25, 2014
Hospitals are projected to save $5.7 billion this year as previously uninsured patients gain coverage through the 2010 health care law, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.
September 23, 2014
Is it because the area simply has more hospitals than needed?
September 22, 2014
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield totally dominates the insurance marketplace in two surprising states.
September 22, 2014
It’s getting easier for parents of young children with autism to get insurers to cover a pricey treatment called applied behavioral analysis. Once kids turn 21, however, it’s a different ballgame entirely.
September 17, 2014
To discourage states from passing mandates that go beyond essential health benefits requirements, the law requires states, not insurers, to cover the cost of mandates passed after 2011 that apply to individual and small group plans sold on or off the state health insurance marketplaces. If a mandate increases a plan’s premium, states will be on the hook for the additional premium cost that’s attributable to the mandate.
September 15, 2014
The uninsured rate for kids under age 18 hasn’t budged under the health law, according to a new study, even though they’re subject to the law’s requirement to have insurance just as their parents and older siblings are. Many of those children are likely eligible for coverage under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
September 15, 2014
Starting Monday, September 15,thousands of children from low-income families who are on the autism spectrum will be eligible for behavioral therapy under Medi-Cal, the state’s health plan for the poor.
September 10, 2014
Two Planned Parenthood chapters, two United Way organizations, a food bank association and a Catholic hospital system are among 90 nonprofit groups that will receive a total of $60 million to help people sign up for health insurance, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today.
September 8, 2014
In preliminary but encouraging news for consumers and taxpayers, insurance filings show that average premiums will decline slightly next year in 16 major cities for a benchmark Obamacare plan.
September 5, 2014
There's nothing like an ambulance when you really need one, but they're expensive, and a lot of people who call an ambulance could be better served with a different, cheaper kind of care.
September 4, 2014
Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to shrink Medicaid instead of expanding it was a radical departure from a decade-long effort to cover more people in the rural state.
September 4, 2014
National health spending will increase modestly over the next decade, propelled in part by the gradual rebound of the U.S. economy and the growing ranks of Americans who became insured under the health law, government actuaries projected Wednesday.
September 3, 2014
Two years ago, Massachusetts set what was considered an ambitious goal: The state would not let that persistent monster, rising health care costs, increase faster than the economy as a whole. Today, the results of the first full year are out and there’s reason to for many to celebrate.
September 2, 2014
States are using taxes to help pay Obamacare's tax on insurers.
August 27, 2014
In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that comprehensive autism services must be covered for children under all state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program plans, another federal-state program that provide health coverage to lower-income children.
August 18, 2014
As more Americans gain insurance under the federal health law, hospitals are rethinking their charity programs, with some scaling back help for those who could have signed up for coverage but didn’t.
August 7, 2014
Obamacare an creates upheaval at free clinics, now that people have insurance options.
August 6, 2014
A city hospital created its own Medicaid program for residents.
August 5, 2014
A new study indicates that emergency department closures raise death rates at nearby hospitals.
July 31, 2014
The other 42 states will let the Medicaid pay rates revert back to their 2012 levels. The pay raise was supposed to allow low-income people enrolling in the expanding insurance program to have access to a physician.
July 31, 2014
Many patients don’t understand the instructions on the label on their prescriptions. The California’s Board of Pharmacy will discuss new regulations that would require pharmacies in California to provide translated labels on prescription drug bottles.
July 29, 2014
A study indicates that moving children from CHIP to ACA Exchange plans would increase costs, sometimes 10-fold.
July 25, 2014
Political analysts say the new health law court decisions would have only a limited political impact.
July 24, 2014
Three groups filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday accusing Tennessee officials of depriving thousands of people of Medicaid coverage “to score political points.”
July 22, 2014
Many specialists object to recertification rules they call a waste of time.
July 21, 2014
Half of Texas abortion clinics will close due to state law.
July 16, 2014
In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday, the California Department of Health Care Services said that it had reduced its application backlog to 600,000 by the start of this month.
July 15, 2014
As more Americans get insurance, there may be shortages of primary care doctors, so states are getting creative.
July 11, 2014
Tired of waiting for states to reduce their backlogs of Medicaid applications, the Obama administration has given six states until Monday to submit plans to resolve issues that have prevented more than 1 million low-income or disabled people from getting health coverage.
July 8, 2014
In unhealthy eastern Tennessee, limited patient options bring some of the country’s cheapest premiums.
July 7, 2014
The state will shift its Medicaid mental health strategy to coordinate physical and mental health care for those enrolled in Medicaid.
July 2, 2014
Observers say this represents a "uniquely New Hampshire approach" to health care expansion.
July 1, 2014
States are seeing new insurers, attracted by the exchanges, offering their policies.
July 1, 2014
More than half the states have “contraceptive equity” laws on the books that require most employers whose health insurance covers prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptives as part of that package.
June 30, 2014
Experts say American medical care needs to be ready for global warming.
June 25, 2014
The largest outbreak of measles in recent U.S. history has spread quickly among the largely unvaccinated Amish communities in the center of the state.
June 25, 2014
Advocates worry the state's decision could chip away at hard-won coverage gains for mental health conditions.
June 17, 2014
A group challenging an Ohio election law that makes it a crime to make “false statements” about a candidate’s record during a campaign has standing to challenge the constitutionality of that law, according to today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision.
June 12, 2014
Michigan to offer Medicaid recipients lower premiums and cost sharing if they take "personal responsibility" and do a health risk assessment with their doctor every year and to commit to improve their health.
June 9, 2014
Some Americans have been stuck in limbo for as long as eight months, according to officials in 15 large states.
June 5, 2014
Medicaid enrollment surged by more than 1 million people in April, bringing the total growth in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor since September to about 6 million, the Obama administration said Wednesday.
June 4, 2014
The sticker price for the 100 most common treatments and procedures for Medicare inpatients in 2011 varied dramatically among hospitals across the country, and even across towns.
June 3, 2014
Missouri is seeing a bigger decline in its Medicaid rolls than nearly any other state, a ranking that the administration of Gov. Jay Nixon attributes to people getting jobs. Critics contend the state is just making it harder for people to enroll or renew their coverage.
May 30, 2014
Georgia looks to reopen some former hospitals as freestanding emergency departments.
May 21, 2014
Doctors in the state are among those charging Medicare the most for office visits.
May 16, 2014
The state's expansion plan would require 723 new workers.
May 14, 2014
The 'Defined Contribution' Part of Employer-Provided Health Insurance: This Is Where It Gets Complicated
Could employers decide to drop their health plans and just replace them with a “defined contribution” for employees?
May 13, 2014
Washington, D.C.'s health insurance tax plan triggers a pushback from insurance companies.
May 12, 2014
Cops are now trained in Mental Health 101.
May 12, 2014
More than 1 million patients who use federally funded community health centers will remain uninsured because they live in one of 24 states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study released Friday by researchers at George Washington University.
May 8, 2014
Arizona offers a sneak peak at the costs of shifting kids off of CHIP and putting them in insurance exchanges.
May 6, 2014
Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.
May 5, 2014
Even with Obamacare, many Latinos still seek treatment In Mexico.
May 2, 2014
Obama administration officials on Thursday predicted health insurance premiums would be stable next year despite concerns that not enough young and healthy people signed up through the online insurance exchanges.
April 28, 2014
From zero to 3.3 million Californians have signed up for health insurance. If every state had kept up with California's pace, then national exchange enrollment would have topped 12 million by now.
April 23, 2014
An Idaho hospital battle is a microcosm of the debate over industry consolidation.
April 18, 2014
Enrollment in private health insurance on federal and state marketplaces has surged in recent weeks and now totals 8 million, a feisty President Barack Obama said Thursday.
April 15, 2014
The focus on state exchanges and healthcare.gov overlooks millions who have bought private health insurance.
April 15, 2014
Abortion coverage details are very difficult to find on marketplace plans.
April 14, 2014
The enrollment experience varied according to states and Families USA brought together five state exchange directors Thursday to talk about what they’ve seen so far.
April 11, 2014
The Alzheimer’s Disease Support Model could help states save millions, according to a new study.
April 11, 2014
After a five-year tenure that included the flawed rollout of the health care law and stormy relations with Capitol Hill Republicans, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, a White House official said late Thursday.
April 9, 2014
Nevada offers a rare bet to state residents: Year-round sales of health insurance plans.
April 9, 2014
American jails house 10 times more mentally ill people than state hospitals.
April 2, 2014
The Obama administration took a victory lap Tuesday as enrollment through the health law’s exchanges topped 7 million, a goal previously thought untouchable when the website healthcare.gov sputtered and crashed as sign-ups began last fall.
April 1, 2014
Community health centers may provide services for those who remain uninsured.
April 1, 2014
The greatest source of frustration for many physicians is working with electronic medical records.
March 31, 2014
One new company offers Californians quick assessments of some possible insurance plans.
March 24, 2014
Connecticut customers rush to retail stores to buy health insurance.
March 19, 2014
Enrollment numbers in 10 states are critical to the administration's efforts to enroll 6 million Americans in new health plans.
March 17, 2014
Thousands of young California immigrants are eligible for coverage -- though often they don’t know it.
March 6, 2014
The Obama administration on Wednesday released a broad set of regulatory changes to the health law that would give some consumers additional time to stay in plans that do not comply with all its coverage requirements and all consumers more time to enroll in coverage come 2015.
March 5, 2014
Facing a backlog of hundreds of health and safety complaints, it appears county officials told inspectors to cut short nursing home probes.
February 28, 2014
Connecticut tries to sell its Obamacare success to other states.
February 21, 2014
Colorado's works to create a complete, useful health care price list. It's not an easy task.
February 21, 2014
It's not just if a state is expanding Medicaid that matters, but how.
February 14, 2014
Libraries are serving as Obamacare information hubs.
February 13, 2014
The 10 most expensive health insurance markets in the U.S. are marked by a limited number of hospitals and specialists and large numbers of poor and unhealthy people.
February 13, 2014
Finding roadblocks trying to get foster kids health care, Florida moves to manage a special program for the population.
February 13, 2014
The 10 least expensive health insurance markets in the U.S. are marked by robust competition, salaried doctors and health systems that organize care.
February 13, 2014
Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January, an Obama administration report said Wednesday.
February 11, 2014
Some same-sex couples are being denied family policies on the insurance marketplaces.
February 10, 2014
The state's unique Medicaid experiment, which is key to Obamacare expansion, could end if it doesn't get GOP support.
February 7, 2014
Despite problems, the Affordable Care Act thrives in San Francisco's Chinatown.
January 31, 2014
Ex-Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene’s brings lists and a whiteboard to the overhaul of the Obamacare website.
January 28, 2014
Sometimes getting health coverage means getting creative.
November 7, 2013
Oregon's state exchange may be worse than Healthcare.gov
October 10, 2013
Online marketplaces at the heart of the health law opened for business Tuesday, often haltingly, as Web-based insurance portals were swamped with consumers who were frequently unable to sign up.
October 7, 2013
Consumers shopping in the new health insurance marketplaces find the pricing very complicated, while people in some areas of the country have to pay much more for the identical level of coverage than consumers elsewhere.
July 10, 2013
In an effort to get the word out about their new health exchanges, Massachusetts and Colorado are making use of local sports teams.
March 1, 2013
A handful of states, including Oregon, Maryland, Minnesota and California, are opting to start rating health plans based on quality well before they're required to in 2016 under federal health reform.
February 13, 2013
Federal law generally bars illegal immigrants from being covered by Medicaid, but a little-known part of the state-federal health insurance program for the poor pays about $2 billion a year for emergency treatment for a group of patients comprised mostly of illegal immigrants.
August 28, 2012
Federal officials are urging Maryland and its powerful health industry to build on the state's unique hospital rate-setting system to develop sweeping cost controls that could be used as a model for other states.