A Rural County’s Choice: Use Opioid Funds to Pay Off Debt, or Pay Them Forward to Curb Crisis
Greene County, Tennessee, so far has received more than $2.7 million from regional and national settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. But most of the money is not going to help people and families harmed by addiction.
The Biden Administration Vowed to Be a Leading Voice on Opioid Settlements But Has Gone Quiet
Billions of dollars are headed to state and local governments to address the opioid crisis. Policy experts and advocates expect the federal government to play a role in overseeing the use of the money. Failure to do so, they say, could lead to wasted opportunities. And, since Medicaid helps pay health care costs, the feds could have a claim to portions of states’ opioid settlements.
Se pagarán $50,000 millones como liquidación del acuerdo sobre opioides. Veremos cómo se gastan
La mayoría de los acuerdos estipulan que los estados deben gastar al menos el 85% del dinero que recibirán, en los próximos 15 años, en el tratamiento y la prevención de adicciones.
$50 Billion in Opioid Settlement Cash Is on the Way. We’re Tracking How It’s Spent.
Spending the money effectively and equitably is a tall order for state and local governments, and a lack of transparency in the process is already leading to fears of misuse.
Localize This: Public Reporting of Opioid Settlement Cash
KHN’s recent investigation offers a great opportunity for reporters to investigate an important issue of government accountability from a state or local angle.
Her Credit Was Ruined by Medical Debt. She’s Been Turned Away From Doctors, Jobs, and Loans
When Penelope Wingard’s cancer went into remission, she lost her Medicaid coverage in North Carolina. Without insurance, the debts piled up for her follow-up care. She doesn’t think she’ll ever get ahead of it.
An Air Force Career Held up Because of Debt Owed for Medical Bills
Emergency room care left Samaria Bradford with $5,000 in medical bills. Now she has to track down and pay that debt before she can hope to enlist in the military.
In Rural America, Deadly Costs of Opioids Outweigh the Dollars Tagged to Address Them
Some people say it’s reasonable for densely populated areas to receive more settlement funds, since they serve more of those affected. But others worry this overlooks rural communities disproportionately harmed by opioid addiction.
Schools, Sheriffs, and Syringes: State Plans Vary for Spending $26B in Opioid Settlement Funds
The cash represents an unprecedented opportunity to derail the opioid epidemic, but with countless groups advocating for their share of the pie, the impact could depend heavily on geography and politics.
How Banks and Private Equity Cash In When Patients Can’t Pay Their Medical Bills
Hospitals strike deals with financing companies, generating profits for lenders, and more debt for patients.
Listen: Medical Bills Upended Her Life and Her Credit Score
Penny Wingard, 58, of Charlotte, North Carolina, worries she won’t ever get out from under her medical debt despite new policies that are supposed to prevent medical debt from harming people’s credit scores.
Medical Debt Sunk Her Credit. New Changes From the Credit Reporting Agencies Won’t Help.
New policies to prevent unpaid medical bills from harming people’s credit scores are on the way. But the concessions made by top credit reporting companies may fall short for those with the largest debt — especially Black Americans in the South.
Social Media Posts Criticize the 988 Suicide Hotline for Calling Police. Here’s What You Need to Know.
The July launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was celebrated by many mental health providers and advocates, but it triggered concerns, too, from people who say using the service could lead to increased law enforcement involvement or forced hospitalization.
Medical Bills Can Shatter Lives. North Carolina May Act to ‘De-Weaponize’ That Debt.
Medical debt is most prevalent in the Southeast, where states have not expanded Medicaid and have few consumer protection laws. Now, North Carolina is considering two bills that could change that, making the state a leader in protecting patients from high medical bills.
Damaged Credit Delays the Dream of Buying a Home
Joe Pitzo was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018. After surgery, the bills topped $350,000. “This just took a major toll on my credit,” Joe said. “It went down to next to nothing.”
Upended: How Medical Debt Changed Their Lives
People talk about the sacrifices they made when health care forced them into debt.
Patients Seek Mental Health Care From Their Doctor but Find Health Plans Standing in the Way
Despite a consensus that patients should be able to get mental health care from primary care doctors, insurance policies and financial incentives may not support that.
National Addiction Treatment Locator Has Outdated Data and Other Critical Flaws
Three years after a government site launched to connect Americans to treatment, finding addiction care is still a struggle.
Never-Ending Costs: When Resolved Medical Bills Keep Popping Up
A bill one family considered paid wrongfully resurfaced, resurrecting painful memories. It’s a scenario that’s not uncommon but grievously unsettling.
$11M for North Carolina Work-Based Rehab Raises Concerns
As overdoses surge and opioid settlement dollars flow, funding to North Carolina rehab foreshadows national discussion about the best approaches to treatment.