Category Archive: states

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.

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.

For Artist Inspired By Illness, ‘Gratitude Outweighs Pain’

After surviving two double lung transplants, Dylan Mortimer, a Kansas City artist, turns his battle with cystic fibrosis into joyous, whimsical art. Now Mortimer buys glitter by the pound and uses it to create mixed-media collages and sculptures for hospitals, private collectors and public spaces.

Nothing To Sneeze At: The $2,659 Bill To Pluck Doll’s Shoe From Child’s Nostril

A 3-year-old girl put matching doll shoes up her nose. One came out easily. The second required an emergency department visit ― and generated a bill that is not child’s play.

Not Yesterday’s Cocaine: Death Toll Rising From Tainted Drug

While the U.S. continues to focus mainly on the opioid crisis, cocaine is quietly making a comeback and has become one of the biggest overdose killers of African Americans when tainted with fentanyl.

Last-Minute Loophole Could Undermine Texas Law Against Surprise Medical Bills

Texas passed a bipartisan law against surprise medical billing, but advocates warn that a proposed rule could severely weaken it, continuing to allow surprise bills outside of emergencies.

UVA Doctors Decry Aggressive Billing Practices By Their Own Hospital

In the wake of a Kaiser Health News investigation, doctors want the University of Virginia’s health system to stop suing its patients over unpaid bills.

Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health care policy stories each week, so you don’t have to.

Drug Deals And Food Gone Bad Plague Corner Stores. How Neighbors Are Fighting Back.

Corner stores that provide groceries for those using the federal food stamp program have become magnets for violence just outside St. Louis. Gunshots ring out under the cover of darkness, windows are postered over, and the quality of food doesn’t make a trip to the corner store worth the risk. Now local residents are putting their feet down.

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