Month: September 2019

Hill Hodgepodge: Pelosi Draws From Democrats, GOP And Trump For Drug Plan

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Emmarie Huetteman House Democratic leaders on Thursday unveiled an aggressive plan to lower drug prices through negotiations between federal health officials and the makers of some of the most expensive drugs. Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered the proposal through months of closed-door meetings primarily with other Democrats and experts on drug pricing. But she and other ….  Read More

Doctors And Nurses With Addictions Often Denied A Crucial Recovery Option

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This story also ran on Vice. This story can be republished for free (details). Dr. Wesley Boyd, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, has spent years working with state programs that help doctors, nurses and other health care workers who have become addicted to opioids get back on their feet professionally. He supports these ….  Read More

Longtime Crusader Against OxyContin Begins To See The Fruits Of Her Struggle

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In the 15 years since she lost her son to a single OxyContin pill, Barbara Van Rooyan has had but one up-close look at the people representing the company that made it. It was in a small courthouse in Abingdon, Va., where Van Rooyan and other relatives of OxyContin victims gathered for a sentencing hearing ….  Read More

Air Ambulances Woo Rural Consumers With Memberships That May Leave Them Hanging

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FORT SCOTT, Kan. — On a hot June day as the Good Ol’ Days festival was in full swing, 7-year-old Kaidence Anderson sat in the shade with her family, waiting for a medevac helicopter to land. A crowd had gathered to see the display prearranged by staff at the town’s historic fort. “It’s going to ….  Read More

UVA Will Cut Back On Lawsuits Against Patients In Wake Of KHN Investigation

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Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News and Elizabeth Lucas, Kaiser Health News UVA Health System, which sues thousands of patients each year, seizing wages and home equity to collect on overdue medical bills, said Friday it would increase financial assistance, give bigger discounts to the uninsured and “reduce our reliance on the legal system.” “This will ….  Read More

UVA Suspends Medical Lawsuits In Wake Of KHN Investigation

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Under pressure after Kaiser Health News reported Monday that it sues thousands of patients a year and sends many into bankruptcy, University of Virginia Health System suspended about a dozen patient lawsuits Thursday and said it will announce changes to its billing and collections policy Friday. At a weekly session at the ….  Read More

Congress Rakes In Millions From Drugmakers

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By Elizabeth Lucas September 12, 2019 Elizabeth Lucas, Kaiser Health News Members of Congress raked in almost $4 million from pharmaceutical manufacturers and their trade groups in the first six months of 2019. Two members — Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) — each received over $100,000. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is ….  Read More

Investors’ Deep-Pocket Push To Defend Surprise Medical Bills

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As proposals to ban surprise medical bills move through Congress and state legislatures with rare bipartisan support, physician groups have emerged as the loudest opponents. Often led by doctors with the veneer of noble concern for patients, physician-staffing firms — third-party companies that employ doctors and assign them out to health care facilities — have ….  Read More

Virginia Governor And UVA Vow To Revamp Practice Of Suing Patients As CEO Exits

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Gov. Ralph Northam and the president of the University of Virginia committed to changing UVA Health System’s collections practices a day after Kaiser Health News detailed its aggressive and widespread pursuit of former patients for unpaid medical bills. At the same time, the health system announced the departure of CEO Pamela Sutton-Wallace, who will leave ….  Read More

‘UVA Has Ruined Us’: Health System Sues Thousands Of Patients, Seizing Paychecks And Claiming Homes

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Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News and Elizabeth Lucas, Kaiser Health News Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Va. A teenage daughter, one of their five children, sold her clothes for spending money. They worried about paying the electric bill. Financial disaster, they say, contributed to their ….  Read More