Latest KFF Health News Stories
Denials of Health Insurance Claims Are Rising — And Getting Weirder
The Department of Health and Human Services is tasked with monitoring denials both by Obamacare health plans and those offered through employers and insurers. As insurers’ denials become more common, they sometimes defy not just medical standards of care but sheer logic. Why hasn’t the agency fulfilled its assignment?
A Catch-22 for Clinics: State Bans Limit Abortion Counseling. Federal Title X Rules Require It.
Family planning clinics are getting caught between state abortion bans and a federal requirement to refer patients for abortion care on request.
California Hospitals Seek a Broad Bailout, but They Don’t All Need It
As hospitals squeeze Democratic leaders in Sacramento for more money, health care finance experts and former state officials warn against falling for the industry’s fear tactics. They point to healthy profits and a recession-era financing scheme that allows rich hospitals to take tax money from poorer ones.
Abortion Bans Are Driving Off Doctors and Closing Clinics, Putting Basic Health Care at Risk
Doctors say they are reluctant to practice in abortion-banned states, where making the best decision for a patient could run afoul of the law. Even former President Donald Trump’s surgeon general is concerned about the repercussions for women’s health, writes KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner.
A More Aggressive FTC Is Starting to Target Drug Mergers and Industry Middlemen
Industry analysts are skeptical that Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan can win her first fight against a drug industry merger. It will be reviewed by a judge appointed by then-President Donald Trump.
Una FTC más agresiva persigue las fusiones en la industria farmacéutica y a los intermediarios del sector
La Comisión Federal de Comercio está actuando contra las empresas farmacéuticas y los intermediarios del sector, como parte de la campaña de la administración Biden para reducir los precios de los medicamentos en las farmacias.
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.
An AI Chatbot May Be Your Next Therapist. Will It Actually Help Your Mental Health?
Given a dire shortage of human behavioral health providers in the U.S., it may prove tempting for insurers to offer up apps and chatbots to meet the federal mental health parity requirement. But artificial intelligence, by definition fake, can’t master the empathic flow between patient and doctor that’s central to therapy.
Study Reveals Staggering Toll of Being Black in America: 1.6M Excess Deaths Over 22 Years
The profound and painful loss — 80 million years of life, compared with the white population — is a call to action to improve the health of Black Americans, especially infants, mothers, and seniors, researchers say.
Michael Milken Wants to Speed Up Cures
In his new book, “Faster Cures,” the former “junk bond king,” now a philanthropist, promotes business principles as catalysts for medical breakthroughs.
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.
As More Hospitals Create Police Forces, Critics Warn of Pitfalls
Nearly 30 states have active or proposed laws authorizing independent hospital police forces. Groups representing nurses and hospitals say the laws address the daily realities of patients who become aggressive or agitated. But critics worry about unintended consequences.
La inteligencia artificial puede estar llegando a los consultorios, pero no está lista para ver pacientes
Las empresas quieren que sus IA tomen notas para los médicos y ofrezcan una segunda opinión, suponiendo que puedan evitar que divulgue la información privada de los pacientes.
ER Doctors Vow to Pursue Case Against Envision Despite Bankruptcy
The lawyer for an emergency physicians group says its lawsuit against Envision Healthcare should be allowed to proceed even though the company has filed for Chapter 11 protection.
AI May Be on Its Way to Your Doctor’s Office, But It’s Not Ready to See Patients
Giant corporations like Microsoft and Google, plus many startups, are eyeing health care profits from programs based on artificial intelligence.
The Crisis Is Officially Ending, but Covid Confusion Lives On
The public health emergency declaration for covid-19 ends May 11, ushering in major changes in how Americans can access and pay for the vaccines, treatments, and tests particular to the culprit coronavirus. But not everyone will experience the same changes, creating a confusing patchwork of coverage — not unlike health coverage for other diseases. Meanwhile, outside advisers to the FDA formally recommended allowing a birth control pill to be sold without a prescription. If the FDA follows the recommendation, it would represent the first over-the-counter form of hormonal contraception. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus for “extra credit” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.
PBMs, the Brokers Who Control Drug Prices, Finally Get Washington’s Attention
Drugmakers, pharmacies, and physicians blame pharmacy benefit managers for high drug prices. Congress is finally on board, too, but will it matter?
Mental Health ‘Ghost Networks’ — And a Ghostbuster
What should you do when your search for an in-network mental health care provider comes up empty? Abigail Burman has some expertise to share.
Marihuana legal es más potente que nunca pero no está bien regulada
Cientos de miles de personas llegan a salas de emergencias por crisis relacionadas con la marihuana, y millones sufren trastornos psicológicos vinculados al consumo de cannabis, según investigaciones federales.
An Outdated Tracking System Is a Key Factor in Texas’ Foster Care Shortcomings
The computer program, designed in 1996 to be a secure location for foster children’s medical and school records and histories of neglect and abuse, is older than Google — and has had far fewer updates.