Latest KFF Health News Stories
Patient advocates have long alleged the Medical Board of California is ineffective at policing doctors. But a proposal to beef up its budget and overhaul procedures faces stiff resistance from the doctors’ lobby.
California’s new lending program for distressed hospitals will provide Madera Community Hospital with interest-free loans of up to $52 million if it can agree on a viable reopening plan with Adventist Health. The state will offer an additional $240.5 million in interest-free loans to 16 other troubled hospitals.
Mental health is being talked about more openly than ever, but the word “suicide” has remained largely taboo when describing how someone died. See why that’s slowly changing, what it means for people who grieve those deaths, and how candor can help prevent additional suicides.
La enfermedad de Chagas, causada por un parásito, afecta principalmente a personas en las zonas rurales de Latinoamérica. Pero se estima que 300,000 personas en Estados Unidos viven con la enfermedad, que puede causar problemas cardíacos graves. Defensores de pacientes piden esfuerzos mucho más agresivos para combatirla.
Federal officials are trying to clamp down on private arrangements among some hospitals to pay themselves back for the Medicaid taxes they’ve paid. State health officials and the influential hospital industry argue that regulators have no jurisdiction over the agreements.
Kaiser Permanente, the California-based health care giant, is looking to dramatically expand its national presence. It’s committed $5 billion to a new unit called Risant Health and has agreed to acquire Pennsylvania-based Geisinger, but skeptics wonder how it will export its unique model to other states.
As hospitals are criticized for skimping on financial assistance, Santa Clara County has agreed to notify 43,000 former patients of possible billing reductions as part of a settlement. Some patients had sued, alleging the county’s hospital system sent them to collections for bills they shouldn’t have received.
The first of a new wave of cancer-detection blood tests likely saved Gilbert Milam Jr.’s life. But many cancer researchers, wary of overtesting, argue it’s premature to prescribe the Galleri test widely.
Pasha Wrangell has faced delays getting gender-affirming care because of red tape and limited providers. Over more than two years, Wrangell has received only about half the total electrolysis sessions recommended. Wrangell’s insurer through Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, acknowledges the shortage of practitioners.
A union is asking Los Angeles city voters to cap hospital executive pay at the U.S. president’s salary. However, hospitals accuse the union of using the proposal as political leverage, and policy experts question whether the policy, if enacted, would be workable.
April Valentine’s family wants to know whether racism could have played a role in her death. A KFF Health News analysis shows state regulators are ill-equipped to find discrimination in its many forms.
As drought and climate change threaten water supplies, municipalities around the country are ramping up water reuse efforts. But they have to overcome the “yuk” factor.
State attorneys general vowed that opioid settlement funds — unlike the tobacco settlement of the 1990s — would go toward tackling the underlying crisis. But in Mendocino County, officials have found a way to use some of its share to help fill a budget shortfall — a throwback to what agreement architects hoped to avoid.
Social and economic pressures have long compelled Black girls and women to straighten their hair. But mounting evidence shows chemical straighteners — products with little regulatory oversight — may pose cancer and other health risks.
The Fresno Bee reports that Madera Community Hospital has reached an agreement with Adventist Health to take over the bankrupt facility and avoid liquidation.
California’s health insurance exchange will reduce how much some patients pay for care next year, including hospital deductibles, appointment copays, and prescription drugs. Lawmakers pressed Gov. Gavin Newsom to make good on a four-year-old pledge to use proceeds from a tax penalty on uninsured people to help people pay for treatment.
The owner of one of California’s largest chains of pain management clinics has agreed to pay California, Oregon, and the federal government to settle Medicare and Medi-Cal fraud allegations.
A bankruptcy judge will soon decide whether a Central Valley hospital needs to liquidate to repay its creditors. Its largest creditor, St. Agnes Medical Center, is the very entity that backed out of purchasing the Madera Community Hospital last December.
State officials have promised to boost funding for California’s Medicaid program by $11.1 billion starting next year, with most of that money earmarked for higher payments to doctors, hospitals, and other providers. But the details have yet to be worked out, and powerful health industry groups are jockeying for position.
The number of Californians dying from alcoholic liver disease rose dramatically in the last decade, sped by the pandemic.