Latest KFF Health News Stories
This Panel Will Decide Whose Medicine to Make Affordable. Its Choice Will Be Tricky.
Colorado’s new Prescription Drug Affordability Board could cap what health plans and consumers pay for certain medications starting next year. The process will pit patient groups against one another.
Study Reveals Staggering Toll of Being Black in America: 1.6M Excess Deaths Over 22 Years
The profound and painful loss — 80 million years of life, compared with the white population — is a call to action to improve the health of Black Americans, especially infants, mothers, and seniors, researchers say.
California Confronts Overdose Epidemic Among Former Prison Inmates
Individuals newly released from prison are 40 times as likely to die of opioid overdoses than members of the general population, researchers say. In response, California corrections officials aim to arm departing inmates with an antidote that can be used to reverse the effects of opioid poisoning.
Did a Military Lab Spill Anthrax Into Public Waterways? New Book Reveals Details of a US Leak
“Pandora’s Gamble” describes how 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of wastewater potentially containing anthrax, Ebola, and other deadly pathogens spilled from an Army facility in Frederick, Maryland, in 2018.
A Smart Move on Tax Day: Get Health Insurance Information Using Your State’s Tax Forms
A growing number of states — including Maryland, Colorado, and Massachusetts — are using tax forms to point people toward lower-cost health coverage available through state insurance marketplaces.
Mobile Clinics Really Got Rolling in the Pandemic. A New Law Will Help Them Cast a Wider Safety Net.
Mobile clinics that provided covid-19 testing and vaccines at the peak of the pandemic are now being used to provide a range of health services in hard-to-reach communities. A law passed late last year allows qualified health care centers to use federal grants to expand the fleets.
Pandemic Stress, Gangs, and Utter Fear Fueled a Rise in Teen Shootings
With their brains still developing and poor impulse control, teens who carry firearms might never plan to use them. But some do.
Biden Administration Urged to Take More Aggressive Steps to Relieve Medical Debt
Consumer and patient advocates push for new federal rules to protect Americans from debt collectors and force hospitals to make financial assistance more accessible.
Unmet Needs: Critics Cite Failures in Health Care for Vulnerable Foster Children
More states are moving to specialized managed-care contracts solely to handle medical and behavioral services for foster kids. But child advocates, foster parents, and even state officials say these and other care arrangements are shortchanging foster kids’ health needs.
Colorado Considers Changing Its Red Flag Law After Mass Shooting at Nightclub
In El Paso County, where five people were killed in a mass shooting at a nightclub in November, officials have filed relatively few emergency petitions to temporarily remove a person’s guns, with scant approvals.
Hundreds of Hospitals Sue Patients or Threaten Their Credit, a KHN Investigation Finds. Does Yours?
An examination of billing policies and practices at more than 500 hospitals across the country shows widespread reliance on aggressive collection tactics.
For Patients With Sickle Cell Disease, Fertility Care Is About Reproductive Justice
The disease, which predominantly affects Black patients, can damage the body in ways that can make having a child difficult. But patients don’t always have access to fertility care.
A Work-From-Home Culture Takes Root in California
New U.S. Census Bureau data shows a large segment of Californians are working from home for part or all of the week. Researchers say the shift will ripple through the broader economy in ways big and small.
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.
‘Impending Intergenerational Crisis’: Americans With Disabilities Lack Long-Term Care Plans
Many Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities do not have long-term plans for when family members can no longer care for them. Families, researchers, and advocates worry that has set the stage for a crisis in which people with disabilities could end up living in institutional settings.
At This Recovery Center, Police Cope With the Mental Health Costs of the Job
Burnout, PTSD, depression, and substance misuse are rampant among first responders, partly fueled by the anti-police sentiments after the killing of George Floyd. Combined with low morale, the poor state of officers’ mental health has pushed many out of the profession, leaving those who remain exhausted. A handful of specialized treatment facilities are trying to meet demand, but more resiliency training is needed, experts said.
Skin Cancer Is a Risk No Matter the Skin Tone. But It May Be Overlooked in People With Dark Skin.
Black people and those with high levels of melanin in their skin have long been left out of efforts to combat skin cancer. Historically neglected both by sunscreen manufacturers and a medical community lagging in diversity and cultural competency, many people with dark skin tones have not been informed about sun safety or how to monitor their skin for damage or cancer.
Covid Funding Pries Open a Door to Improving Air Quality in Schools
Researchers say the billions in pandemic funding available for ventilation upgrades in U.S. schools provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to combat covid-19, as well as making air more breathable for students living with allergies, asthma, and chronic wildfire smoke.
Few Eligible Families Have Applied for Government Help to Pay for Covid Funerals
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse many families up to $9,000 in funeral expenses for loved ones who died of covid-19. But fewer than half of eligible families have applied, while others have run into application problems.
Pandemic Medical Innovations Leave Behind People With Disabilities
As the country enters Year 3 of the pandemic emergency, people with disabilities across the U.S. are still finding it difficult to use innovations in telemedicine, teleworking, and testing.