Latest KFF Health News Stories
A Catch-22 for Clinics: State Bans Limit Abortion Counseling. Federal Title X Rules Require It.
Family planning clinics are getting caught between state abortion bans and a federal requirement to refer patients for abortion care on request.
As US Life Expectancy Falls, Experts Cite the Health Impacts of Incarceration
In a nation with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, imprisonment speeds the aging process, research shows. Some experts complain the federal government isn’t collecting or releasing data that could identify disease patterns and prevent deaths.
States Try to Obscure Execution Details as Drugmakers Hinder Lethal Injection
Pharmaceutical companies have put the brakes on many states’ ability to execute prisoners using lethal injections. Lacking alternatives, states are trying to keep the public from learning details about how they carry out executions.
A Lot of Thought, Little Action: Proposals About Mental Health Go Unheeded
A recent report detailing problems with Florida’s patchwork mental health system had reached conclusions nearly identical to those of a similar report from more than 20 years ago. The echoes between the findings are unmistakable. And Florida isn’t the only state struggling with the criminalization of mental illness, a lack of coordination between providers, and insufficient access to treatment.
Feds Move to Rein In Prior Authorization, a System That Harms and Frustrates Patients
The federal government wants to change the way health insurers use prior authorization — the requirement that patients get permission before undergoing treatment. Designed to prevent doctors from deploying expensive, ineffectual procedures, prior authorization has become a confusing maze that denies or delays care, burdens physicians with paperwork, and perpetuates racial disparities. New rules may not be enough to solve the problems.
Colorado Bill Would Encourage, But Not Require, CPR Training in High Schools
Colorado is one of 10 states without a law requiring CPR training for high school students, but proposed legislation that recently passed the state House would only strongly urge schools to teach this lifesaving skill.
Cleanup Workers Got Sick After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. They Want BP to Pay.
After the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2020, Rodney Boblitt’s job was to patrol a 14-mile stretch of coastline in the Florida Panhandle looking for signs of oil washing ashore. Today, the 54-year-old is among thousands of other cleanup workers who are experiencing health issues and suing BP. But proving their health conditions were caused by the oil has been challenging.
Congress Told HHS to Set Up a Health Data Network in 2006. The Agency Still Hasn’t.
Since 2006, federal officials have been charged with setting up a network to let various parts of the U.S. health system share information during emergencies. It still hasn’t been built or even planned, even after the communication and data-sharing failures put on display during the pandemic.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Congress Races the Clock
Sen. Raphael Warnock’s re-election in Georgia will give Democrats a clear-cut Senate majority for the first time in nearly a decade. Meanwhile, the current Congress has only days left to tackle major unfinished business on the health agenda, including fending off scheduled pay cuts for doctors and other health providers in the Medicare program. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
As STDs Proliferate, Companies Rush to Market At-Home Test Kits. But Are They Reliable?
The popularity of at-home covid tests has amplified calls from public health researchers and diagnostic companies to make home testing similarly routine for sexually transmitted diseases. But FDA guidelines are lagging.
How Optimism Can Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
Low-income residents in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are in a tough spot: They don’t qualify for the subsidies that people with slightly higher incomes get to buy marketplace plans because of a glitch in the federal health law. But a court decision last year makes it easier for them to make good-faith estimates of a pay increase, and there is no financial penalty if they don’t hit that figure.
Stopping the Churn: Why Some States Want to Guarantee Medicaid Coverage From Birth to Age 6
Oregon has become the first state to allow kids to stay in the government health care program from birth to age 6, no matter if their household income changes. California, Washington, and New Mexico are pursuing similar policies.
Texas, Battling Teen Pregnancy, Recasts Sex Education Standards
As Texas adjusts to a near-total abortion ban, Texas schools are redoubling efforts to end teen pregnancies by enacting new standards for sexual health education. Beyond focusing on abstinence, they are teaching middle schoolers about contraceptives and preventing sexually transmitted infections. But parents must opt in for their children to get the lessons.
Médicos se apresuran a usar fallo de la Corte Suprema para liberarse de cargos por opioides
En una decisión de junio, el tribunal dijo que los fiscales no solo deben probar que una receta no estaba médicamente justificada sino también que el que la escribió sabía del riesgo de recetar opioides.
Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges
After a unanimous ruling from the high court, doctors who are accused of writing irresponsible prescriptions can go to trial with a new defense: It wasn’t on purpose.
Hay más trasplantes de órganos, pero la agencia encargada de coordinarlos está en tela de juicio
Aproximadamente 5,000 pacientes al año mueren mientras están en lista de espera, al mismo tiempo que órganos donados en perfecto estado acaban en la basura.
Organ Transplants Are Up, but the Agency in Charge Is Under Fire
A two-year congressional investigation has identified troubling lapses in the nation’s organ transplant system. Blood types mismatched, diseased organs transplanted anyway, and — most often — organs lost or damaged before they can save a life.
When Does Life Begin? As State Laws Define It, Science, Politics, and Religion Clash
For decades, the U.S. medical establishment has adhered to a legally recognized standard for brain death, one embraced by most states. Why is a uniform clinical standard for the inception of human life proving so elusive?
Overdose Deaths Behind Bars Rise as Drug Crisis Swells
Drug-related mortality rates have increased in prisons and jails even as the number of people incarcerated for drug offenses has dropped. The pandemic lockdowns on visitors didn’t eliminate the problem, showcasing that guards have been a source of the contraband.
States Extend Medicaid for New Mothers — Even as They Reject Broader Expansion
Most of the dozen states that haven’t fully expanded eligibility for Medicaid have extended or plan to extend the postpartum coverage window for new mothers. That could mean improved maternal health, but it’s only part of the puzzle when it comes to reducing the number of preventable maternal deaths in the U.S.