Medicare limits payments for valve replacement via a catheter to hospitals with large numbers of heart procedures. But smaller facilities are crying foul.
August 17, 2018
Through a widely circulated brochure and a videotape of testimonials, the maker of OxyContin stressed patients’ right to opioid treatment for pain.
August 16, 2018
In this episode of KHN’s “What the Health?” Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Ollstein of Talking Points Memo, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner talk about a spate of lawsuits involving the Affordable Care Act, as well as the latest in state and federal efforts regarding the Medicaid program for the poor.
About a quarter of fraud investigator positions at the state Department of Insurance are open, and Steve Poizner has made the vacancies a focus of his campaign for insurance commissioner. His opponent, Ricardo Lara, says chasing criminals isn’t the only solution to rising health care costs.
Some hospitals have taken steps to be more energy-efficient. Though at times these changes barely represent rounding errors in their budgets, comprehensive efforts are beginning to make a difference.
August 15, 2018
A new study in JAMA Surgery finds that a large sample of published medical research failed to disclose details on the financial relationships between medical device makers and physicians. Changes in the disclosure process could close this loop.
Even as it chips away at Obamacare, the Trump administration is solidly behind state-based initiatives to cover high-cost patients, known as “reinsurance” programs. It approved two more last month.
Unlike most other workers, private-ambulance employees are frequently called away from their meals and rest breaks to respond to emergency calls, but there’s no law explicitly allowing that practice. Proposition 11 would change that, but some say its real purpose is to get California's largest ambulance company out of costly litigation.
August 14, 2018
Many insurers added surcharges to policies they sold to individuals last year to make up for a cut in federal funding. Now, federal officials suggest that states encourage insurers to sell policies without those surcharges outside of the marketplace to help people who don’t get a premium subsidy.
With its expansion to Hawaii this year, medical aid-in-dying is now approved in eight U.S. jurisdictions. Even when legal, the controversial practice of choosing to die after a terminal diagnosis is difficult, said one Seattle man who shared his final deliberations.
August 13, 2018
Federal officials are proposing a rule to prohibit home health aides paid directly by Medicaid from having their dues for the powerful Service Employees International Union automatically deducted from their paychecks. The effort would likely mean those workers are far less likely to pay dues and could diminish the union’s influence.
The opioid epidemic has increased the number of donated organs. Until recently, though, organs from donors who died of drug overdoses were often discarded because an estimated 30 percent of them were infected with hepatitis C.
August 10, 2018
Instead of waiting for congressional action, federal regulators are looking at a series of actions to spur competition and drive down the cost of medicines.
A study published Thursday shows that doctors, dentists and other medical providers cut overall opioid dosages by nearly 10 percent after receiving notification of a death from a medical examiner and information on safe prescribing.
The moves could lead to a dramatic decrease in hospitals and doctors participating in the program, industry officials said.
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