HHS Proposal for Marketplace Plans Carries a Hefty Dose of Consumer Caution

The Department of Health and Human Services issued preliminary rules regarding health insurance marketplaces that aim to deter fraudulent sign-ups for coverage. Experts say the agency’s action indicates a problem exists.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dealing With Drug Prices

Medicare officials tentatively plan to restrict the use of a controversial Alzheimer’s drug to only those patients participating in clinical trials, while the Department of Health and Human Services looks into lowering the monthly Medicare Part B premium. Meanwhile, covid confusion still reigns, as the Biden administration moves, belatedly, to make more masks and tests available. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

Suit by Doctors, Hospitals Seeks Change in How Arbitrators Settle Surprise Billing Cases

The American Medical Association and American Hospital Association are not arguing to halt the law that protects patients from unexpected bills from providers they didn’t know were outside their insurance network. Instead, they want to change the rules for the mediators who will settle the dispute between insurers and providers.

What Are the Key Prescription Drug Provisions in the Build Back Better Act?

This slideshow explains the latest prescription drug provisions in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA).

Summary of Costs and Impact of the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

As the House-passed Build Back Better Act moves to the Senate, a new explainer from KFF summarizes the key prescription drug provisions within the broader budget reconciliation bill. These provisions would lower prescription drug costs paid by people w…

Becerra Says Surprise Billing Rules Force Doctors Who Overcharge to Accept Fair Prices

The Health and Human Services secretary says the administration has heard complaints from doctors and hospitals about the rules it unveiled for implementing the law to end surprise medical bills. But he says providers who have exploited a complicated system to charge exorbitant rates will have to bear their share of the cost — or close.

Success of Covid Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy and Accurate Tests

The promising antiviral drugs to treat covid can halt hospitalizations and deaths, but only if they’re given to patients within three to five days of their first symptoms, a narrow window many people won’t meet. Here’s why.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Boosting Confusion

Federal health officials appear poised to extend a recommendation for covid boosters to all adults, following moves by some governors and mayors to broaden the eligible booster pool as caseloads rise. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally has a nominee to head the agency: former FDA chief Robert Califf. And Medicare premiums for consumers will likely rise substantially in 2022, partly due to the approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Tami Luhby of CNN, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Dan Weissmann, host of the “An Arm and a Leg” podcast.

Potential Costs and Impact of Health Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

A summary of 10 of the major health coverage and financing provisions of the current Build Back Better Act, with discussion of the potential implications for people and the federal budget.

Hospitals Confront Climate Change as Patients Sick From Floods and Fires Crowd ERs

Patients sickened in heat waves, flooding and wildfire have raised awareness of climate change’s impact on health. Now, some hospitals are building solar panels and cutting waste to reduce their own carbon footprints, with support from a new office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But the industry is moving slowly.

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