Latest KFF Health News Stories
A Striking Gap Between Deaths of Black and White Babies Plagues the South
Infant mortality rates across the South are by far the worst in the U.S. A look at South Carolina — where multimillion-dollar programs aimed at improving rates over the past 10 years have failed to move the needle — drives home the challenge of finding solutions, especially in rural communities.
Fresh Produce Is an Increasingly Popular Prescription for Chronically Ill Patients
Fresh produce prescription programs are getting a boost in Montana as a way of helping people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The approach may be a model for other rural states to promote healthy eating in food deserts.
NYC Makes Clear Its Intent to Lead on Abortion Access
Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement this year to provide abortion pills free of charge at four of New York’s sexual health clinics is the city’s latest move on abortion access. Other jurisdictions are also taking steps.
In Tennessee, a Medicaid Mix-Up Might Land You on a ‘Most Wanted’ List
Tennessee posts the names and photos of people arrested for alleged Medicaid fraud on a government website and social media. Some people even wind up on a “most wanted” list.
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.
Transgender People in Rural America Struggle to Find Doctors Willing or Able to Provide Care
Many health professionals in rural areas don’t know how to provide gender-affirming care, leaving transgender patients with few options.
Hospitals’ Use of Volunteer Staff Runs Risk of Skirting Labor Laws, Experts Say
Hospitals using volunteers is commonplace. But some labor experts argue that deploying unpaid workers to do work that benefits the organization’s bottom line lets for-profit hospitals skirt federal labor laws, deprives employees of work, and potentially exploits the volunteers.
More Orthopedic Physicians Sell Out to Private Equity Firms, Raising Alarms About Costs and Quality
While some doctors seem eager for a huge payoff, others are warily watching what happens when private equity firms take charge of orthopedic practices.
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.
More States to Consider Extending Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Beyond Two Months
Fifteen states haven’t moved to extend Medicaid coverage for new moms beyond the minimum of 60 days after birth. But at least four of those holdout states — Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, and Mississippi — are expected to consider proposals to extend coverage in their upcoming legislative sessions.
Patient Mistrust and Poor Access Hamper Federal Efforts to Overhaul Family Planning
For decades, many women of color, particularly those with low incomes, had little control over their family planning care. Now, a White House effort aims to give patients more choices as abortion care evaporates, but patients remain wary of providers.
Cómo el optimismo puede cerrar la brecha de cobertura de Medicaid
Más de 2 millones de personas de bajos ingresos, la mitad de ellos en Florida y Texas, no tienen seguro porque están atrapados en una brecha de cobertura. Y sus estados no han expandido Medicaid.
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.
Centene Showers Politicians With Millions as It Courts Contracts and Settles Overbilling Allegations
Centene, the largest Medicaid managed-care company in the U.S., has thrown more than $26.9 million at political campaigns across the country since 2015, especially focused on states where it is wooing Medicaid contracts and settling accusations that it overbilled taxpayers. Among its tactics: Centene is skirting contribution limits by giving to candidates through its many subsidiaries.
In Jackson, the Water Is Back, but the Crisis Remains
Unsafe water and all that comes with it — constant vigilance, extra expenses, and hassle — complicate every aspect of daily life for residents of Jackson, Mississippi. Health advocates say stress exacerbates underlying health problems. That is why a free clinic in one of Jackson’s poorest neighborhoods has been organizing water giveaways for the past year and a half.
Centene to Pay $166 Million to Texas in Medicaid Drug Pricing Settlement
Texas is at least the 12th state to settle with St. Louis-based Centene Corp. over allegations that it overcharged Medicaid prescription drug programs.
Hospitals Cut Jobs and Services as Rising Costs Strain Budgets
More than two years into the pandemic, hospital budgets are beginning to crack. One of the biggest drivers of financial shortfalls has been the cost to find workers.
Community Health Centers’ Big Profits Raise Questions About Federal Oversight
Nonprofit federally funded health centers are a linchpin in the nation’s health care safety net because they treat the medically underserved. The average profit margin is 5%, but some have recorded margins of 20% or more in three of the past four years.
Abortion Is Just the Latest Dividing Line Between the Twin Cities of Bristol and Bristol
The community of Bristol straddles the border between two states with very different abortion laws. Tennessee prohibits most abortions at about six weeks and will soon ban them nearly outright. Virginia allows them at least through the second trimester. To maintain abortion access in the area, staff at a clinic on the Tennessee side of the state line are helping open a clinic about a mile down the road on the Virginia side.