Month: November 2019

A Young Immigrant Has Mental Illness, And That’s Raising His Risk Of Deportation

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Christine Herman, Side Effects Public Media When José moved his family to the United States from Mexico nearly two decades ago, he had hopes of giving his children a better life. But now he worries about the future of his 21-year-old-son, who has lived in central Illinois since he was a toddler. José’s son has ….  Read More

UVA Doctors Decry Aggressive Billing Practices By Their Own Hospital

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Prominent doctors at UVA Health System are expressing public outrage at their employer’s practices to collect unpaid medical debt from its patients. A Kaiser Health News report in September that showed UVA sued 36,000 patients over six years for more than $100 million, seizing wages and savings and even pushing families into bankruptcy. Like many ….  Read More

Readers React: UVA Doctors Outraged Over Their Own Health System’s Billing Practices

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Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. First Do No Harm: When Financing Health Care Becomes Unethical We attribute the oldest text of ethics in Western medical practice to Hippocrates (460-370 A.D.), a Greek physician whose oath ….  Read More

‘An Arm And A Leg’: A Medical Bill Ninja Shares Her Secrets

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Dan Weissmann Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Meredith Balogh has spent years learning to navigate the financial side of the health care system. Balogh, who has Type 1 diabetes, has saved herself and her family many thousands of dollars. She has made a habit — even a hobby — of helping others: ….  Read More

No Safety Switch: How Lax Oversight Of Electronic Health Records Puts Patients At Risk

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Fred Schulte, Kaiser Health News and Erika Fry, Fortune In fall 2009, several dozen of the best minds in health information technology huddled at a hotel outside Washington, D.C., to discuss potential dangers of an Obama White House plan to spend billions of tax dollars computerizing medical records. The health data geeks trusted that transitioning ….  Read More

Efforts To Move The Needle On Flu Shot Rates Get Stuck

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Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). It’s free and available everywhere. Yet most Americans skip the annual flu shot ― with the number of dispensed vaccines barely changed in the past decade, despite government removal of cost and access obstacles. “We are kind of spinning our wheels trying to reach ….  Read More

Affordable Mental Health Care? It’s Getting Even Tougher to Access

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Eleven years after Congress passed a law mandating that insurers provide equal access for mental and physical health care, Americans are actually finding it harder to obtain affordable treatment for mental illness and substance abuse issues. The barriers to parity continue despite a bipartisan consensus that more must be done to confront the nation’s devastating ….  Read More

The Case Of The ACA’s Disappearing Taxes

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It was a moment of genuine bipartisanship at the House Ways and Means Committee in October, as Democratic and Republican sponsors alike praised a bill called the “Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2019.” The bill, approved by the panel on a voice vote, would allow consumers to use their tax-free flexible spending accounts or ….  Read More

New California Law May Expand Use Of HIV Prevention Drugs, With Caveats

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Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kellen Willhite was 24 when he learned he’d been exposed to HIV. What followed was, as he describes it, a second trauma: trying to obtain the drugs that could save him before it was too late. In 2016, a day after ….  Read More

For Newborns With Hearing Loss, Screening Opens Window To A World Of Sound

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Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). Four-year-old Betty Schottler starts each morning with the same six sounds: [m], [ah], [oo], [ee], [sh], and [s]. Her mom makes the sounds first, then Betty repeats them to check that her cochlear implant is working. Betty was born profoundly deaf and got her ….  Read More