Latest KFF Health News Stories
California has supported expanded use of medications in the fight against opioid use disorder and overdose deaths. But hospitals and addiction treatment advocates say the state needs to secure ongoing funding if it wants more behavioral health workers to guide patients into long-term treatment.
State lawmakers are weighing legislation that would require gun owners to keep their firearms locked up most of the time, a move advocated by the Biden administration.
The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening regulation of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic gas used to sterilize medical devices. The agency is trying to balance the interests of the health care industry supply chain with those of communities where the gas creates airborne health risks.
Homelessness is a soaring public health crisis, with a record 653,000 unhoused people in the United States, according to federal estimates. Tent and recreational vehicle encampments have exploded in recent years, crowding streets and sidewalks from Portland, Ore., to New York. In California, where roughly a third of all the nation’s homeless people live, doctors […]
State laws requiring doctor training on how bias affects treatment violate teachers’ right to free speech, opponents say.
A March 5 ballot initiative seeks $6.4 billion to build thousands of new housing units and provide mental health treatment for homeless people — on top of the billions already being spent to address the public health crisis. Despite significant support from health and law enforcement officials, many front-line workers are skeptical that more money is the answer.
Lawsuits allege that several children under 18 in South Carolina have undergone examinations of their private parts during child abuse investigations — even when there were no allegations of sexual abuse. There’s a growing consensus in medicine that genital exams can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and even traumatic.
Even as Anthem Blue Cross and University of California Health announced a contract agreement this month, analysts say patients are increasingly at risk of being affected by such disputes.
Nearly 2 million Medi-Cal enrollees, mainly people who are aged, disabled, or in long-term care, can now accumulate savings and property without limitations and still qualify for the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents. They join an additional roughly 12 million enrollees who already had no asset limits.
Drug overdose deaths in California state prisons rebounded to near record levels last year, a big setback for corrections officials who thought they were on the right track with medication-assisted treatment efforts. Prison officials and attorneys representing prisoners blame fentanyl.
The FDA’s recent notice that it would move to ban formaldehyde in hair-straightening products comes more than a decade after researchers raised alarms about health risks. Scientists say a ban would still leave many dangerous chemicals in hair straighteners.
Cities are experimenting with new ways to meet the rapidly increasing demand for behavioral health crisis intervention, at a time when incidents of police shooting and killing people in mental health crisis have become painfully familiar.
The race to replace the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is in full swing in California. Although the state enshrined abortion rights into its constitution, the prospect of a national abortion ban has the candidates vying for a Senate seat putting a spotlight on reproductive rights. Or, at least the Democrats are. Steve Garvey, a […]
States are using their Medicaid programs to offer poor and sick people housing services, such as paying six months’ rent or helping hunt for apartments. The trend comes in response to a growing homelessness epidemic, but experts caution this may not be the best use of limited health care money.
Three leading California officials who represented the state at the United Nations climate talks late last year reflect on climate change’s growing threat to human health — and explain what the state is trying to do about it.
Ketamine, approved by the FDA as an anesthetic in 1970, is emerging as a major alternative mental health treatment, and there are now more than 500 ketamine clinics around the country. But with little regulation and widely varying treatment protocols, it’s a medical “wild West.”
There were nearly 50,000 emergency room visits for dog bites in California in 2022. The rate of such visits per capita is up about 70% since 2005.
Los Angeles County is deploying a small team of occupational therapists to help newly housed individuals adjust to life indoors. Therapists are trained to recognize disabilities and help with basic living skills, such as hygiene and cleanliness, that can help prevent clients from getting evicted or slipping back onto the streets.
Dozens of crisis counselors responded to a survey about their work experiences, painting a picture of uneven training, uncertainty about how long to stay on the line, and different policies on whether to inform a caller when police are on their way.
When bankers and investors flocked to San Francisco for the largest gathering of health care industry investors, the buzz was all about artificial intelligence, the next hit weight-loss drug, and new opportunities to make money through nonprofit hospitals.