Hundreds of Hospitals Sue Patients or Threaten Their Credit, a KHN Investigation Finds. Does Yours?
An examination of billing policies and practices at more than 500 hospitals across the country shows widespread reliance on aggressive collection tactics.
After Tuition, Books, and Room and Board, Colleges’ Rising Health Fees Hit a Nerve
Many colleges require students to have health insurance coverage, and the college option can be costly. In addition, some schools mandate that students pay a fee to cover health services on campus.
A Montana Addiction Clinic Wants to Motivate People With Rewards. Then Came a Medicaid Fraud Probe.
A complaint was filed with the state against an addiction treatment provider that wants to use rewards — an effective but largely unregulated tool — to help people stay in recovery.
Why Medicaid Expansion Ballots May Hit a Dead End After a Fleeting Victory in South Dakota
Since 2017, Medicaid expansion has been adopted in seven states where a question was placed directly on the ballot. But campaign leaders say that strategy may not work in Florida and Wyoming, where Republican opposition remains strong.
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.
States Challenge Biden to Lower Drug Prices by Allowing Imports From Canada
Colorado has joined Florida, New Hampshire, and New Mexico in seeking federal permission to import prescription drugs from Canada. President Joe Biden endorsed the approach in his 2020 campaign but has yet to approve any state plan.
In Rural America, Deadly Costs of Opioids Outweigh the Dollars Tagged to Address Them
Some people say it’s reasonable for densely populated areas to receive more settlement funds, since they serve more of those affected. But others worry this overlooks rural communities disproportionately harmed by opioid addiction.
Hospital Financial Decisions Play a Role in the Critical Shortage of Pediatric Beds for RSV Patients
Yes, the U.S. is experiencing an unusual spate of childhood RSV infections. But the critical shortage of hospital beds to treat ailing children stems from structural problems in pediatric care that have been brewing for years.
More States to Consider Extending Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Beyond Two Months
Fifteen states haven’t moved to extend Medicaid coverage for new moms beyond the minimum of 60 days after birth. But at least four of those holdout states — Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, and Mississippi — are expected to consider proposals to extend coverage in their upcoming legislative sessions.
Paxlovid Has Been Free So Far. Next Year, Sticker Shock Awaits.
The government soon will stop paying for the covid drug that has proved to be the most effective at keeping patients alive and out of the hospital.
Colorado Option’s Big Test: Open Enrollment
Critics were ready to bury the state’s new health insurance plans, based on a public option, when 2023 rate hikes were announced, but officials are confident people will be drawn to the plans’ benefits.
Montana’s New Sex Ed Law Ensnares English and History Lessons, Too
A broadly worded Montana law meant to alert parents of upcoming lessons about human sexuality has led cautious school administrators to include notifications about literature, history, and science lessons, as well.
Rural Colorado Tries to Fill Health Worker Gaps With Apprenticeships
A Grand Junction program is training and retaining nurse and personal care aides in areas where the aging population is creating a need for them. But challenges remain for these workers.
When Malpractice Occurs at Community Health Centers, Taxpayers Pay
Federally funded clinics and their doctors are protected against lawsuits by federal law, with taxpayers footing the bill. The health centers say that allows them to better serve their low-income patients, but lawyers say the system handcuffs consumers with a cumbersome legal process and makes it harder for the public to see problems.
Trickle of Covid Relief Funds Helps Fill Gaps in Rural Kids’ Mental Health Services
Only a sliver of the funding given to state, local, and tribal governments through the American Rescue Plan Act has been steered to mental health nationwide, but mental health advocates and clinicians hope the money it provides will help address gaps in care for children. In Appalachian Ohio, the funding is helping expand services.
Mistrust and Polarization Steer Rural Governments to Reject Federal Public Health Funding
As the covid-19 pandemic grinds on, Elko County, Nevada, still lacks a public health department. Yet its elected leaders rejected federal funds that could have helped it create one. Decisions like the one in Elko, and ones made by officials with other state and local governments, leave health experts concerned about whether the country’s public health infrastructure will be prepared to handle future health challenges.
Blackfeet Nation Challenges Montana Ban on Vaccine Mandates as Infringement on Sovereignty
The Montana tribe has entered a legal fight over whether the state has the right to enforce a prohibition of vaccine mandates on its reservation.
The Player-Coaches of Addiction Recovery Work Without Boundaries
States, tribes, and local governments are figuring out how best to spend billions of dollars from an opioid lawsuit settlement. One option they’re considering is funding peer support specialists, who guide people recovering from addiction as they do it themselves.
How Optimism Can Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
Low-income residents in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are in a tough spot: They don’t qualify for the subsidies that people with slightly higher incomes get to buy marketplace plans because of a glitch in the federal health law. But a court decision last year makes it easier for them to make good-faith estimates of a pay increase, and there is no financial penalty if they don’t hit that figure.
Medicare Plan Finder Likely Won’t Note New $35 Cap on Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs
In August, Congress approved a $35 cap on what seniors will pay for insulin, but that change came too late to add to the online tool that helps Medicare beneficiaries compare dozens of drug and medical plans. Federal officials say beneficiaries who use insulin will have the opportunity to switch plans after open enrollment ends Dec. 7.