Latest KFF Health News Stories
Many People Living in the ‘Diabetes Belt’ Are Plagued With Medical Debt
The “Diabetes Belt,” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comprises 644 mostly Southern counties where diabetes rates are high. Of those counties, KFF Health News and NPR found, more than half also have high levels of medical debt.
When an Anti-Vaccine Activist Runs for President
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s official entry into the presidential race poses a thorny challenge for journalists: how to cover a candidate who’s opposed to vaccines without amplifying misinformation. And South Carolina becomes the latest state in the South to ban abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News senior correspondent Aneri Pattani about her project to track the billions of dollars coming from opioid makers to settle lawsuits.
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.
The Abortion Pill Goes Back to Court
A three-judge appeals court panel heard testimony this week about revoking the FDA’s 22-year-old approval of a key pill used in medication abortion and miscarriage management. The judges all have track records of siding with abortion foes. Meanwhile, as the standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling continues in Washington, a major sticking point is whether to impose work requirements on recipients of Medicaid coverage. Victoria Knight of Axios, Rachel Roubein of The Washington Post, and Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Lawyer Fees Draw Scrutiny as Camp Lejeune Claims Stack Up
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which became law last year, created a pathway for veterans and their families to pursue damage claims against the government for toxic exposure at the military base. Now, advocates and lawmakers worry high lawyer fees could shortchange those injured.
How a 2019 Florida Law Catalyzed a Hospital-Building Boom
In Wesley Chapel, Fla., near Tampa, residents will soon have three general hospitals within a five-minute drive. The new construction is part of a hospital-building boom across Florida unleashed almost four years ago, when the state dropped a requirement that companies obtain government approval to open new hospitals.
¿Se podrá cumplir con la meta de terminar con la epidemia de VIH para 2030?
Debido a las interrupciones de la pandemia, los funcionarios federales no han tenido estimaciones sólidas de nuevas infecciones o el número de personas que viven con VIH desde finales de 2019.
US Officials Want to End the HIV Epidemic by 2030. Many Stakeholders Think They Won’t.
The federal government’s ambitious plan to end the HIV epidemic, launched in 2019, has generated new ways to reach at-risk populations in targeted communities across the South. But health officials, advocates, and people living with HIV worry significant headwinds will keep the program from reaching its goals.
For Uninsured People With Cancer, Securing Care Can Be Like Spinning a Roulette Wheel
When uninsured people are diagnosed with cancer, accessing resources and paying for treatment can be daunting. The safety nets meant to help often fall short, say cancer physicians and health policy experts who study access to care. Some patients find it easier to play the odds.
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.
Banning Noncompete Contracts for Medical Staff Riles Hospitals
It’s about the money — on both sides — as arguments swirl about patient safety, rising prices, and paying back on-the-job training.
Temp Nurses Cost Hospitals Big During Pandemic. Lawmakers Are Now Mulling Limits.
Missouri is considering making it a felony to jack up temporary health care staffing prices during a statewide or national emergency. It’s one of at least 14 states looking to reel in travel nurse costs, after many hospitals struggled to pay for needed staffers earlier in the covid pandemic.
Medicaid Health Plans Try to Protect Members — And Profits — During Unwinding
States are turning to the big health insurance companies to keep Medicaid enrollees insured once pandemic protections end in April. The insurers’ motive: profits.
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.
Republican Lawmakers Shy Away From Changing Montana’s Constitutional Right to Abortion
Lawmakers in 14 states have passed near-total bans on abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But in some conservative-led states where court rulings determined their constitutions protect abortion, including Montana, politicians haven’t asked voters to weigh in.
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.
Public Health Agencies Try to Restore Trust as They Fight Misinformation
As public health departments work on improving their message, the skepticism and mistrust often reserved for covid-19 vaccines now threaten other public health priorities, including flu shots and childhood vaccines.
Mass Shootings Reopen the Debate Over Whether Crime Scene Photos Prompt Change or Trauma
After almost every mass shooting, a debate is renewed over whether to publish the photos of the carnage the guns have inflicted.
Her Apartment Might Have Put Her Son’s Health at Risk. But ‘I Have Nowhere Else to Go.’
The United States is suffering from a severe shortage of affordable housing. But elected officials have done little to fix a problem that puts many Americans at greater risk for sickness and shortens lives.
Racial Disparities in Lung Cancer Start With Research
Improving lung cancer outcomes in Black communities will take more than lowering the screening age, experts say. Disparities are present in everything from the studies that inform when people should get checked to the availability of care in rural areas.