Category Archive: Kaiser Health News

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

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

‘An Arm And A Leg’: How Much For Stitches In The ER? Hard To Gauge Upfront

Consumers are admonished to be “smart shoppers,” but that’s difficult if health care prices are clear as mud. When Sarah Macsalka’s son needed stitches, she did her best to avoid the ER and still ended up with a $3,000 bill.

As His Wife’s Caregiver, A Doctor Discovers What’s Missing At Health Care’s Core

Harvard psychiatrist Arthur Kleinman shed his “veil of ignorance” during 11 years serving as the primary family caregiver for his wife, who had a rare form of early Alzheimer’s disease. In a new book, “The Soul of Care,” he offers suggestions for transforming health care ― just as caregiving transformed him.

Pharma’s Take On The Pelosi Drug-Pricing Bill: Fair Warning Or Fearmongering?

The pharmaceutical industry’s argument that capping drug prices would compromise drug innovation stands “on very shaky ground.”

California Surprise-Billing Law Protects Patients But Aggravates Many Doctors

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

Built For Counterterrorism, This High-Tech Machine Is Now Used To Detect Fentanyl

Public health officials are adopting a law enforcement tool, the mass spectrometer, to instantly identify potentially deadly levels of opioids in local drug supplies.

HHS Hands Out Free HIV Prevention Drugs. Do You Qualify?

Called “Ready, Set, PrEP,” the federal program will provide medication that can reduce the chances of getting AIDS to at-risk patients who don’t have insurance.

An Atlanta Nonprofit Brings Medical Care And Connection To The Homeless

“Street medicine” programs seek out people living in back alleys and under highways. It’s a public health approach designed to build trust and eventually connect homeless patients to other services.

Anthem Blue Cross Gets Flagged And Fined More Than Other Insurers

Anthem Blue Cross has received a disproportionate share of violations and fines from California’s largest health insurance regulator, mostly related to its mishandling of patient grievances.

Medical Device Failures Brought To Light Now Bolster Lawsuits And Research

Millions of injuries and malfunctions once funneled into a hidden Food and Drug Administration database are now available.

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