Month: January 2020

Listen: The Hidden Cost Of Health Systems Gobbling Up Rural Hospitals

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January 24, 2020 KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal appeared on the WAMU radio program “1A” to discuss the issue of community hospitals merging with larger, corporate systems and what that means for communities around the country. Rosenthal is the author of “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back.” Copy ….  Read More

Despite New Doubts, ‘Hotspotting’ Help For Heavy Health Care Users Marches On

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This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). A highly publicized approach to lowering health costs failed to pass rigorous study this month, but hospitals, insurers and government health programs don’t intend to give up on the idea. The “hotspotting” model was pioneered in Camden, New Jersey, in 2002 ….  Read More

How Fast Can A New Internet Standard For Sharing Patient Data Catch Fire?

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Medical professionals have been storing personal health information in electronic form for more than a decade, but it is cumbersome for patients to gather disparate computer and paper records scattered across doctors’ offices, hospitals and medical labs. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could view your full medical history with a few taps on your ….  Read More

For 2020, California Goes Big On Health Care

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California is known for progressive everything, including its health care policies, and, just a few weeks into 2020, state leaders aren’t disappointing. The politicians’ health care bills and budget initiatives are heavy on ideas and dollars — and on opposition from powerful industries. They put California, once again, at the forefront. The proposals would lower ….  Read More

Diagnosed With Dementia, She Documented Her Wishes. They Said No.

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Susan Saran was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, a progressive, fatal brain disease. After suffering two brain hemorrhages, Saran signed an advance directive for dementia, a controversial new document that instructs caregivers to withhold hand-feeding and fluids at the end of life. She wears a chain bearing instructions that she not be resuscitated.(Heidi de Marco/KHN) ITHACA, ….  Read More

No Shield From X-Rays: How Science Is Rethinking Lead Aprons

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CHICAGO — Patients have come to expect a technician to drape their torsos with a heavy lead apron when they get an X-ray, but new thinking among radiologists and medical physicists is upending the decades-old practice of shielding patients from radiation. Some hospitals are ditching the ritual of covering reproductive organs and fetuses during imaging ….  Read More

Warren and Klobuchar Say They Can Lower Drug Prices Without Congress’ Help

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Emmarie Huetteman On Tuesday, two Democrats running for president promised to do — each by herself — what Washington has so far proven unable to do: lower the prices of prescription drugs. Speaking during the last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of ….  Read More

Sanders Targets Health Industry’ Profits. Are His Figures Right?

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  “We end the $100 billion a year that the health care industry makes.”  Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 in comments about his “Medicare for All” plan during the January Democratic presidential debate.   At the January Democratic debate, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders zeroed in on the question of profits in the health care ….  Read More

Loopholes Limit New California Law To Guard Against Lofty Air Ambulance Bills

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Michelle Andrews Kathleen Hoechlin lost control as she crested a small jump on her final ski run of the day at California’s Mammoth Mountain two years ago. She landed hard on her back, crushing one of the vertebra in her lower spine “like a Cheerio,” she said. An air ambulance flew Hoechlin, then 32, to ….  Read More

High-Deductible Plans Jeopardize Financial Health Of Patients And Rural Hospitals

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Kristie Flowers had been sick with the flu for four or five days in July before the 52-year-old registered nurse from Genoa, Colo., acknowledged she needed to go to the ER. At Lincoln Community Hospital, about 10 miles from her home on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, doctors quickly diagnosed her with pneumonia and sepsis. ….  Read More