Latest KFF Health News Stories
New Mexico Program to Reduce Maternity Care Deserts in Rural Areas Fights for Survival
A federally funded program in remote New Mexico has helped hundreds of pregnant mothers stay healthy, but it’s running out of time and money despite a growing national maternity care crisis. The four-year, nearly $3 million grant has provided telehealth, coordinated care, and social services to mothers in need.
Health Programs Are at Risk as Debt Ceiling Cave-In Looms
A warning from the Treasury Department that the U.S. could default on its debt as soon as June 1 has galvanized lawmakers to intervene. But there is still no obvious way to reconcile Republican demands to slash federal spending with President Joe Biden’s demand to raise the debt ceiling and save the spending fight for a later date. Meanwhile, efforts to pass abortion bans in conservative states are starting to stall as some Republicans rebel against the most severe bans. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KFF Health News chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
California’s Medicaid Experiment Spends Money to Save Money — And Help the Homeless
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious experiment in health care is supposed to cut costs as it fills the needs of hard-to-reach people. The program’s start is chaotic and limited, but it shows promise.
Gov. Newsom Wanted California to Cut Ties With Walgreens. Then Federal Law Got in the Way.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that California would cut ties with Walgreens after the company said it would not distribute abortion pills in some states. But federal rules make it difficult for the state to unwind its Medicaid prescription drug agreement, which paid Walgreens $1.5 billion last year.
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.
A Progress Check on Hospital Price Transparency
Hospitals are facing mixed reviews regarding their efforts to comply with a federal requirement that they post information about prices related to nearly every health care service they provide.
Obamacare at 13: Biden and a KHN Reporter Remember
The White House gathered the people who helped pass the Affordable Care Act 13 years ago — partly to congratulate themselves but also to emphasize that they still have much work to do to make health care affordable.
A Lot of Thought, Little Action: Proposals About Mental Health Go Unheeded
A recent report detailing problems with Florida’s patchwork mental health system had reached conclusions nearly identical to those of a similar report from more than 20 years ago. The echoes between the findings are unmistakable. And Florida isn’t the only state struggling with the criminalization of mental illness, a lack of coordination between providers, and insufficient access to treatment.
Listen to ‘Tradeoffs’: Medical Debt Delivers ‘A Shocking Amount of Misery’
Medical debt in America pushes families to the edge. Ariane Buck and his wife, Samantha, were denied care at their doctor’s office because of an unpaid bill of less than $100. A trip to the emergency room added thousands of dollars to their health care debt, which topped $50,000 by the time they filed for bankruptcy.
¿Ayudan las nuevas guías sobre opioides a los pacientes con dolor crónico?
Las recomendaciones dejaron a muchos pacientes lidiando con las consecuencias para la salud mental y física de la reducción rápida de la dosis o la suspensión abrupta de los medicamentos que habían estado tomando durante años, lo que conlleva riesgos de abstinencia, depresión e incluso suicidio.
New CDC Opioid Guidelines: Too Little, Too Late for Chronic Pain Patients?
In November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for prescribing opioids for pain, allowing physicians more flexibility. But doctors, patients, and advocates wonder if the updated standards will be too little, too late to help chronic pain patients in a country still focused on fighting the ongoing opioid crisis.
Why Does Insulin Cost So Much? Big Pharma Isn’t the Only Player Driving Prices
Big Pharma may be moving on from squeezing diabetes patients on insulin prices, but it’s the arbitrators that jack up prices for those who can least afford them.
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.
Watch: Dental Device at Center of Lawsuits Was Used on Patients Without FDA Review
More than 10,000 dental patients have been fitted with an Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance, or AGGA, according to court records. But the unproven and unregulated device has not been evaluated by the FDA, according to a months-long joint investigation by KHN and CBS News.
One State Looks to Get Kids in Crisis out of the ER — And Back Home
At many U.S. hospitals, children and teens are stuck in the emergency department for days or weeks because psychiatric beds are full. Massachusetts is trying a simple, promising solution.
Montana’s Tax-Exempt Hospitals Oppose Increased Oversight by State Officials
As Montana officials seek to make nonprofit hospitals prove the benefits they provide the community justify their tax exemptions, industry leaders propose their own changes — which state officials say would further limit the state’s authority.
Numbers Don’t Lie. Biden Kept His Promise on Improving Obamacare.
KHN has teamed up with our partners at PolitiFact to monitor 100 key promises made by Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign — including those surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
In PA County Jails, Guards Use Pepper Spray and Stun Guns to Subdue People in Mental Crisis
An investigation of records from 25 county jails across Pennsylvania showed that nearly 1 in 3 “use of force” incidents by guards involved a confined person who was having a psychiatric crisis or who had a known mental illness.
California Senate’s New Health Chair to Prioritize Mental Health and Homelessness
California state Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman of Stockton has been appointed chair of the Senate’s influential health committee. A licensed social worker, Eggman said she will make mental health care and homelessness front-burner issues.
Readers and Tweeters Decry Medical Billing Errors, Price-Gouging, and Barriers to Benefits
KHN gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.