Kaiser Health News  |  Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news organization committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics.

October 6, 2015

Telemedicine Is Expanding, But No One Knows If It Saves Money

The service is useful for patients in rural areas, but right now the financial benefits are just theoretical.
October 6, 2015

Chronically Ill Pay More With Obamacare Plans Than Employer Coverage

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

Medicaid's Newly Insured Treasure Coverage, Despite Problems

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

Under New Law, D.C. Women Can Get a Year’s Worth of Contraceptives at Once

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

New Website Reveals Cost of California Medical Procedures

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

Employers Shift More Health Costs to Workers, Survey Finds

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

Older Adults Aren't Getting Their Vaccines

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

Many Health Programs at Risk of Losing Crucial Funds, Not Just Planned Parenthood

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, a Leader in Cost Control, Sees Health Spending Rise Too Much

Massachusetts spent $632 million more on health care last year than it aimed to.
September 8, 2015

HHS Unveils Rules to Ban Discrimination of Transgender Patients

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

How Rural Texas Is Trying to Lure Mental Health Providers

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

Amid Closing Abortion Clinics, Ohio Opens a New One

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

Private Money Saves Birth Control Program in Colorado

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

Why 2 Million People Aren't Taking Advantage of Insurance Subsidies

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

Can California Treat All Children With Severe Illnesses Through Medi-Cal?

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

The Difficult Task of Determining Real Medical Costs

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

States Find It Difficult to Provide Sufficient Mental Health Care

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

Bush and Walker Claim to Have Defunded Planned Parenthood, But Did They Really?

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

Study Challenges Assumptions About Hospital 'Frequent Fliers'

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

California Court Refuses to Rule on Assisted Suicide

Christy O’Donnell may not get the death she had hoped for — one that right-to-die advocates say she deserves.
July 23, 2015

Feds Push States to Negotiate Lower Obamacare Rates

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's New Method of Making Birth Control Easier to Get Is Catching On

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 Extends In Vitro Coverage Mandate to Gay Couples

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

California Shelves Doctor-Assisted Suicide Bill

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

Health Advocates in California Support Coverage of Children in State Illegally

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

In a First, California Caps What Patients Pay for Pricey Drugs

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

When Do Workplace Wellness Plans Become Coercive?

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

HHS Says It’s Up to States, Congress, to Help Consumers If Court Strikes Down Subsidies

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

Which Hospitals Overcharge the Most?

The highest-charging U.S. hospitals are for-profits institutions concentrated in Florida.
June 4, 2015

More People Going to Health Clinics Since Obamacare Started

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

Why Is Texas Limiting Telemedicine?

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

Assisted Suicide Still Happens Where It's Illegal

Physician-assisted suicide is only legal in five states. But it still happens in the other 45 states.
May 18, 2015

Why It's So Hard to Find a Good Nursing Home in Texas

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 8, 2015

Study Finds Patients Not Actually Hurt When Local Hospitals Close

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 Governor's Meeting in D.C. Yields No Change

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

Why Not Just Pay Medicaid Enrollees to Get Healthier?

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

Montana Governor Signs Medicaid Expansion Law

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

Why Urban Hospitals Are Leaving Cities for Fancy Suburbs

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

Houston Now Has Doctors to Help 911 Callers

The organization brought doctors on because it was getting a lot of calls that weren't emergencies.
April 6, 2015

Medicaid Expansion Causes 40% Drop in Cleveland Clinic Charity Cases

The hospital also announced that 2014 was an “extraordinary” financial year, with operating income up 60 percent.
April 1, 2015

The Big Change Coming to Mental Health

A new National Institute of Mental Health research plan could change how mental illness is diagnosed and treated.
March 25, 2015

Even Male Nurses Earn More Than Female Colleagues

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

Most Americans Unaware Obamacare Subsidies Are At Risk

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

Rural Hospitals Face Tough New Challenges Due to ACA

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

It Helps a Lot When Patients Make Decisions About Their Treatment

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

Credit Agencies Agree to Be More Flexible About Medical Debt

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

California Still Has 3 Million Uninsured People

Advocates say the state's counties need to shore up care for their remaining uninsured residents.
March 11, 2015

Republicans Kill Montana Governor’s Medicaid Expansion Plan

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

Obamacare Insurers Must Start Updating Doctor Directories

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

New Federal Rule Extends Medical Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples in All States

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

More Than 1 in 4 Foster Kids Miss Required Checkups

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

Dental Coverage Now Available to Many on Medicaid, but It's Still Hard to See a Dentist

Many states adding dental coverage are struggling to meet the high demand for services.
February 17, 2015

Government Toughens Grading System for Nursing Homes

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

Real Prices for 70 Health Care Procedures Now Posted Online 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

Health Experts Propose Real Ideas to Improve Obamacare

Beyond "repeal and replace," people at the National Health Policy Conference pitched improvements to the Affordable Care Act.
February 6, 2015

Measles Outbreak Sparks Bid to Eliminate Vaccine Exemption

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

Suprisingly, Florida Has a Lot of Obamacare Signups

Why Florida is number one in ACA enrollment despite GOP opposition.
February 2, 2015

California Launches Campaign to Curb E-Cigarette Smoking

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

California Court-Ordered to Make Timely Decisions on Medicaid Coverage

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

Health Premiums Most Expensive in Rural Areas

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

How a Health Insurance Co-Op Collapsed in Iowa

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

As Caregiving Shifts to the Home, Scrutiny Is Lacking

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

Florida May Get Medicaid Expansion, Just by Calling it Something Else

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

Wellness Programs Under Attack

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

ACA Would Likely Unravel If Supreme Court Strikes Federal Exchange Subsidies

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

Increased Competition Helps Keep Premiums Down in Federal Health Exchange

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

California’s Managed Care Program for Elderly Poor Doesn't Work so Well

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

Obesity-Counseling Benefit in Medicare Mostly Ignored

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

Insurance Exchanges Launch with Few Glitches

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

Multi-State Companies Face Problems with Small Business Exchanges

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: The Only Red State to Launch Its Own Health Exchange

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

How Much Does That Health Care Procedure Really Cost?

Thanks to a law enacted in October, Massachusetts health insurers have to make all their prices public – in advance.
October 30, 2014

Why Obamacare Is Failing in Mississippi

In the country’s unhealthiest state, the disaster of the Affordable Care Act is a group effort.
October 30, 2014

In Berkeley and San Francisco Elections, Soda Is One of the Biggest Issues

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

Reno Finds Medicaid Expansion Is Easier Said Than Done

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

Uninsured Unaware of Obamacare's Enrollment Period and Benefits

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

Obamacare Signups Lower in Rural Areas

Missouri sees urban, rural divide in heath care coverage.
October 17, 2014

Poll Reveals Public's Misconceptions About Ebola

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

California Releases ‘Report Cards’ on Health Insurance Options

This year, the state aggregated claims and electronic medical record data and patient satisfaction surveys.
October 16, 2014

Even with Insurance, Many Still Pay a Lot for Prescriptions

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

Many States Boost Medicaid Benefits for Recipients and Providers

With an improving fiscal climate, many states are increasing benefits for Medicaid recipients and paying their providers more.
October 9, 2014

New and Improved HealthCare.Gov Unveiled

Consumers using the federal 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

Medicare Patients Often Pay More at Rural Hospitals

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

Round 2 of Obamacare Enrollment Will Be Shorter and Harder

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

Many Rural Hospitals Don't Have to Meet ACA Quality Standards

A quarter of the nation's hospitals are exempt from penalties, quality bonuses and other payment reforms.
September 30, 2014

Obamacare Deadline Hits for Immigrants to Prove Legal Status

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 in Expansion States See Biggest Savings

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

People in the New York Region Less Likely to Die at Home

Is it because the area simply has more hospitals than needed?
September 22, 2014

Why 1 Insurer Controls the Fate of Obamacare Fate in 2 States

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield totally dominates the insurance marketplace in two surprising states.
September 22, 2014

Medicaid Must Cover Autism Care for Kids, but What About Adults?

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

State Health Mandates Get Murky

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

Study Shows How Obamacare Has Impacted Children's Uninsured Rate

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

California Takes the Lead on Autism Coverage

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

Nonprofits Get Millions to Help Boost Obamacare Enrollment

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

Obamacare Premiums to Drop Slightly in 16 Cities

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

For Emergency Care, Sometimes a Station Wagon Works as Well as an Ambulance

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

Many States Are Expanding Health Coverage. Maine Is Contracting It.

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

U.S. Health Spending Expected to Increase Modestly

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

Massachusetts' Victory in Health Costs May Be Short-Lived

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

Why Some States Are Charging Taxpayers to Pay Health Insurance Companies

States are using taxes to help pay Obamacare's tax on insurers.
August 27, 2014

States Ordered to Cover Autism Services under Medicaid

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

Hospitals Reconsider Charity for Uninsured

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

Many Free Clinics Becoming Medicaid Providers

Obamacare an creates upheaval at free clinics, now that people have insurance options.
August 6, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Is Working in Cleveland

A city hospital created its own Medicaid program for residents.
August 5, 2014

Death Rate in a Region Rises If ER Departments Close

A new study indicates that emergency department closures raise death rates at nearby hospitals.
July 31, 2014

Just 6 States Will Fund Medicaid Pay Raises for Doctors

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

California Might Have Bilingual Prescription Labels Soon

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

Moving Poor Children to Obamacare Exchanges Would Be Very Expensive

A study indicates that moving children from CHIP to ACA Exchange plans would increase costs, sometimes 10-fold.
July 25, 2014

Will Legal Decisions About Obamacare Matter for Midterm Elections?

Political analysts say the new health law court decisions would have only a limited political impact.
July 24, 2014

Medicaid Enrollment Delays in Tennessee Cause Advocacy Groups to Sue

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

Are Recertification Rules for Doctors Useful?

Many specialists object to recertification rules they call a waste of time.
July 21, 2014

How Texas Lawmakers Closed Abortion Clinics

Half of Texas abortion clinics will close due to state law.
July 16, 2014

How California Plans to Cut Its Medicaid Backlog

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

Why Kentucky's Giving Nurse Practitioners More Authority

As more Americans get insurance, there may be shortages of primary care doctors, so states are getting creative.
July 11, 2014

Deadline Nearing for 6 States to Fix Medicaid Backlogs

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

How Tennessee Keeps Health Costs Low

In unhealthy eastern Tennessee, limited patient options bring some of the country’s cheapest premiums.
July 7, 2014

Florida Creates a Special Health Plan for the Mentally Ill

The state will shift its Medicaid mental health strategy to coordinate physical and mental health care for those enrolled in Medicaid.
July 2, 2014

New Hampshire's Plan to Subsidize More Employer Health Care Plans

Observers say this represents a "uniquely New Hampshire approach" to health care expansion.
July 1, 2014

Why New Health Insurance Carriers Are Entering the Market

States are seeing new insurers, attracted by the exchanges, offering their policies.
July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling 'Doesn't Supercede State Law'

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

Climate Change Will Kill People

Experts say American medical care needs to be ready for global warming.
June 25, 2014

Ohio's Measles Outbreak Prompts Amish to Get Vaccinated

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

Connecticut Health Insurance Decision Could Reduce Coverage for Autism

Advocates worry the state's decision could chip away at hard-won coverage gains for mental health conditions.
June 17, 2014

Supreme Court: Groups Can Sue over Campaign Lies

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 Better Medicaid to Enrollees for Getting Healthier

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

Despite Medicaid Expansion, 1.7 Million Still Waiting for Health-Care Decisions

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 in April

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

It's Very Difficult for Patients to Compare Hospital Prices

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 Has a Declining Medicaid Caseload. Is That a Good Thing?

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

What Should Georgia Do with Those Closed, Rural Hospitals?

Georgia looks to reopen some former hospitals as freestanding emergency departments.
May 21, 2014

California Doctors Are Getting Rich from Medicare

Doctors in the state are among those charging Medicare the most for office visits.
May 16, 2014

Pennsylvania's Medicaid Expansion Won't Be Easy

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

Insurers and D.C. Council Fight over Health Exchange

Washington, D.C.'s health insurance tax plan triggers a pushback from insurance companies.
May 12, 2014

Mental Health Playing a Bigger Part in Conn. Policing

Cops are now trained in Mental Health 101.
May 12, 2014

Nonexpansion States Strain Health Centers

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

What Happens When You Shift Kids Off of Children's Medicaid?

Arizona offers a sneak peak at the costs of shifting kids off of CHIP and putting them in insurance exchanges.
May 6, 2014

Study: The Higher the Insured Rate, the Lower the Mortality Rate

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

The Mexican Medical Care Option

Even with Obamacare, many Latinos still seek treatment In Mexico.
May 2, 2014

Obamacare Enrollment Data Released

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

How Is California Doing So Well Signing Up People for Obamacare?

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

Is There Too Much Consolidation in Health Care?

An Idaho hospital battle is a microcosm of the debate over industry consolidation.
April 18, 2014

Obama Chastises States Not Expanding Medicaid

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

Many More Americans Are Buying Private Health Insurance

The focus on state exchanges and overlooks millions who have bought private health insurance.
April 15, 2014

Why's it so Hard to Find Out if Marketplace Plans Cover Abortion?

Abortion coverage details are very difficult to find on marketplace plans.
April 14, 2014

A Glimpse at State Health Exchange Enrollment

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

How Minnesota Could Save $966 Million on Alzheimer’s Care

The Alzheimer’s Disease Support Model could help states save millions, according to a new study.
April 11, 2014

Sebelius Steps Down as HHS Secretary

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 All-Year Health Care Enrollment

Nevada offers a rare bet to state residents: Year-round sales of health insurance plans.
April 9, 2014

The Mentally Ill Mostly Go to Jail, Not Psych Hospitals

American jails house 10 times more mentally ill people than state hospitals.
April 2, 2014

Obama: Enrollment Exceeds 7M; ACA 'Here to Stay'

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 sputtered and crashed as sign-ups began last fall.
April 1, 2014

And for People Still Not Covered Under Obamacare... Community Health Centers

Community health centers may provide services for those who remain uninsured.
April 1, 2014

Primary Care Doctors Are Getting Burnt Out, Cutting Back

The greatest source of frustration for many physicians is working with electronic medical records.
March 31, 2014

Tech Startup Helps People Easily Compare Insurance Plans

One new company offers Californians quick assessments of some possible insurance plans.
March 24, 2014

Connecticut Opens Actual Stores to Sell Obamacare

Connecticut customers rush to retail stores to buy health insurance.
March 19, 2014

How Will Obamacare Succeed or Fail? Only 10 States Matter

Enrollment numbers in 10 states are critical to the administration's efforts to enroll 6 million Americans in new health plans.
March 17, 2014

The Big Information Gap Immigrants Have About Obamacare

Thousands of young California immigrants are eligible for coverage -- though often they don’t know it.
March 6, 2014

States Get Extra Time to Decide on Health Exchanges

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

Why Did Los Angeles County Stop its Nursing Home Investigations?

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

When the Health Exchange Works, States Show Others How It's Done

Connecticut tries to sell its Obamacare success to other states.
February 21, 2014

But How Much Does the Health Care Service Cost?

Colorado's works to create a complete, useful health care price list. It's not an easy task.
February 21, 2014

How the 'Private Option' Medicaid Could Hurt Local Health Centers

It's not just if a state is expanding Medicaid that matters, but how.
February 14, 2014

Libraries Serving as Obamacare Information Hubs

Libraries are serving as Obamacare information hubs.
February 13, 2014

Where Health Care Is Most Expensive in America

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

Florida Will Create a Special Medicaid Plan for Foster Children

Finding roadblocks trying to get foster kids health care, Florida moves to manage a special program for the population.
February 13, 2014

Where Health Care Is Cheap in America

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

How Did Obamacare Enrollment Fare in January?

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

How the Insurance Marketplace Doesn't Work for Many Gay Couples

Some same-sex couples are being denied family policies on the insurance marketplaces.
February 10, 2014

Arkansas’ Private Medicaid Experiment Could End June 30

The state's unique Medicaid experiment, which is key to Obamacare expansion, could end if it doesn't get GOP support.
February 7, 2014

Chinatown: Where Obamacare Works

Despite problems, the Affordable Care Act thrives in San Francisco's Chinatown.
January 31, 2014

Meet’s Fix-It Guy

Ex-Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene’s brings lists and a whiteboard to the overhaul of the Obamacare website.
January 28, 2014

In Western North Carolina, Getting Health Care Is a Lot More Complicated Than Navigating a Website

Sometimes getting health coverage means getting creative.
November 7, 2013

Some States Also Having Problems with Health Care Exchanges

Oregon's state exchange may be worse than
October 10, 2013

Obamacare Health Exchanges Open with Technical Glitches in Some States

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

Price of Obamacare Insurance Marketplace Plans Varies Widely Across the Country

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

States Use Sports Teams to Inform Public About Health Exchanges

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

Some States Getting a Head Start on Health Plan Ratings

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

Illegal Immigrants Most Helped by Emergency Medicaid Program

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

Feds Urge Maryland to Think Big on Health Care Cost Control

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.