Month: January 2019

Posted in News

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Live From D.C.: A Look Ahead At Health Policy In 2019

(From left) Tom Miller, Kimberly Leonard, Anna Edney, Joanne Kenen and Julie Rovner(Lynne Shallcross/KHN) The 2020 presidential campaign has begun and health is a big part of it, with Democratic candidates pledging their support for “Medicare-for-all” and many of its variations. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are both promising to do…

Posted in News

Viewpoints: Lessons On A.I. And Health Disparities; #ThisIsOurLane Response Continues To Expand With Medical Community

Opinion writers focus on these health care issues and others. The New York Times: A.I. Could Worsen Health DisparitiesThere are many questions about whether A.I. actually works in medicine, and where it works: can it pick up pneumonia, detect cancer, predict death? But those questions focus on the technical, not…

Posted in News

Different Takes: Voters With Health Plans Will Run Screaming From Medicare For All; Dems Might Suffer In 2020 By Pushing Medicare For All

Opinion writers express views on health care reform. The Wall Street Journal: ‘Medicare For All’ Will Terrify VotersDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris made her party’s left-wing base happy this week. But in doing so, she might have made Democrats less attractive to general-election voters. In a CNN town hall…

Posted in News

Research Roundup: Long-Term Support For Older Americans; Outpatient Care; And Heart Health

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs. Commonwealth Fund: Are Older Americans Getting Long-Term Services Supports They Need? Older adults’ needs have evolved and are no longer met by the Medicare program. With the recent passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA),…

Posted in News

State Highlights: 8 Women Died After Operations At Florida Plastic Surgery Centers, Investigation Finds; Nurse Charged In Raping Of Comatose Woman In Arizona Facility

Media outlets report on news from Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Texas, California, Georgia, Colorado and Ohio. USA Today/Naples Daily News: Miami Doctor’s Plastic Surgery Empire Becomes Florida’s Deadliest ClinicsJust after dawn, the women arrive. They come in taxis and rental cars, to a strip mall clinic tucked between a barber…

Posted in News

Abortion Debate Flares In Virginia After Lawmaker Defends Late-Term Abortion Bill In Viral Video

Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran was asked if her bill would allow abortion up until the moments before birth. The video has sparked backlash that only grew more heated after Gov. Ralph Northam talked about situations where an infant who is severely deformed or unable to survive after birth could be…

Posted in News

Drug Prices May Be Going Up, But Thanks To Rebates, Consumers Are Actually Paying Less

Drug companies are offering bigger discounts to the middlemen who manage prescriptions for health plans, which means less of a hit to consumers’ wallets. In other pharmaceutical news: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and PhRMA, rationing insulin, and Anthem’s 2019 forecast. The Wall Street Journal: Despite Raising Prices, Big Pharma Is…

Posted in News

This Former Football Star Had It All, It Seemed. Then He Killed Himself.

Jason Hairston suspected he had the degenerative brain disorder CTE. An autopsy confirmed his theory. In other public health news: gene-editing human embryos, diabetes, heart disease, independent seniors, drug recalls, and social media. The New York Times: Was C.T.E. Stealing His Mind? A Gunshot Provided The AnswerThe blast from upstairs…

Posted in News

Might Need To Chuck Your Chicken Nuggets: Both Tysons, Perdue Recall Products For Different Reasons

No one has gotten sick from the bits of rubber and the allergen milk finding their way into the popular food, according to the USDA, but the more than 100,000 pounds have been recalled, and consumers are advised to return them to the store or throw them out. The New…

Posted in News

Amid FDA Crackdown On Vaping, Study Finds E-Cigarettes Nearly Twice As Effective For Smokers Trying To Quit Than Patches, Gum

The success rate was still low — less than 20 percent — but researchers were pleased with the results. “We know that patients are asking about e-cigarettes and many doctors haven’t been sure what to say,” said Dr. Nancy Rigotti, a tobacco treatment specialist at Harvard Medical School. “I think…

Posted in News

Frail Seniors Find Ways To Live Independently

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). DENVER — Pauline Jeffery had let things slide since her husband died. Her bedroom was a mess. Her bathroom was disorganized. She often tripped over rugs in her living and dining room. “I was depressed and doing nothing but…

Posted in News

Ads For Short-Term Plans Lacking ACA Protections Swamped Consumers’ Online Searches

Consumers shopping for insurance online last fall — using search terms such as “Obamacare plans,” “ACA enroll” and “cheap health insurance” — were most often directed to websites that promote individual health plans that didn’t meet consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study. They also…

Posted in News

New Covered California Sign-Ups Plummet

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). [UPDATED at 3:35 p.m. ET] The number of new enrollees in Covered California health plans plunged by nearly a quarter this year, largely because of the elimination of the federal tax penalty for people without insurance, officials announced Wednesday….

Posted in News

Viewpoints: Does Endorsing Single Payer, Like Kamala Harris Does, Really Go Far Enough?; Lessons From Anesthesiologists On Stemming Opioid Abuse

Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and more. The Washington Post: Kamala Harris Doesn’t Waver On Single PayerOn Monday night, Sen. Kamala D. Harris — whose presidential campaign rollout is going extremely well, you have to admit — did a town hall on CNN, answering all kinds…

Posted in News

Perspectives: Trump Makes Strides In Combating High Drug Prices, But The System Is Still Broken

Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues. Stat: It’s Time For Drug Prices To Stop Going Up. We Can Achieve ThatTwo years ago this month, President Trump promised the American people that he would stop drug companies from “getting away with murder” with their annual ritual of price increases. Since then,…

Posted in News

A Third Of Drug Development Costs Comes From Clinical Trials. Can Pharma Make Them Faster And Cheaper?

News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing. Bloomberg: Big Pharma’s Drug Studies Are Getting A NASA-Style Makeover Discoveries of new cancer-fighting and antiviral medicines grab headlines and sometimes win Nobel Prizes. But after the breakthroughs and backslapping are over, Big Pharma’s grunt work is just beginning. Companies carry out…

Posted in News

State Highlights: California-Run Veterans Homes ‘Shortchanged, Exploited,’ Audit Finds; N.Y. Lawmakers Pass Gun Control Measures, Including Red Flag Bill

Media outlets report on news from California, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Wyoming, Texas, New Hampshire, Missouri, Massachusetts, Florida and Washington, D.C. Los Angeles Times: California Has Mismanaged Its Veterans Home Properties, Audit FindsCalifornia has “mismanaged” properties where its state-run veterans homes are located, failing to charge market rents to…

Posted in News

Pediatricians Group Warned About ‘Horrific’ Measles Outbreaks In States With Vaccine Exemptions. Now, They Say ‘I Told You So.’

Parents in 18 states can opt out of vaccinations for their children based on to their personal beliefs, making those areas vulnerable to disease outbreaks. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports only medical exemptions. News on measles comes out of Washington, Oregon, Vancouver, and Georgia, as well. CNN: Some States…

Posted in News

Witnessing Abuse Carries Same Risk To Children’s Mental Health As If They’d Been Abused Directly

New research is giving scientists more insight into the far-reaching and long-lasting harms of domestic violence to the children who grow up around it. And brain imaging in infants shows that exposure to domestic violence – even as they are sleeping, or in utero – can reduce parts of the…

Posted in News

Emails Between Coca-Cola, CDC Ignite Concerns About Industry’s Influence In Public Health Sphere

Advocates say there needs to be greater transparency over how industry interacts with public health agencies, especially in the midst of the obesity crisis. CNN: Coca-Cola And CDC: Paper Reveals Controversial EmailsPrivate emails between employees at the Coca-Cola Co. and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been…

Posted in News

With Trump’s Family-Planning Decision Due, Planned Parenthood’s Wen Vows To Protect Reproductive Rights

Lena Wen spoke recently about the impact the changes would have on women, especially disadvantaged women: “I want people to think about what if this were any other aspect of medical care. Imagine if the Trump administration prevented people with diabetes from talking to their doctors about insulin.” The Washington…

Posted in News

CMS Wants To Expand Value-Based Payment Models Beyond Medicare

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency will develop templates that states can use to implement similar pay models in their own programs. “Not every provider is comfortable taking full risk, but we can still figure out ways to create incentives for providers to deliver outcomes of low cost and…

Posted in News

Boot Camp After 60: 10 Steps To Turn Around Unhealthy Habits

This story also ran on USA Today. This story can be republished for free (details). It takes moxie to flip an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one — particularly for folks over 60. Most baby boomers approach retirement age unwilling to follow basic healthy lifestyle goals established by the American…

Posted in News

Congress Wades Into Emotional Debate Over High-Cost Prescription Drugs

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). Senators railed against pharmaceutical executives Tuesday for declining to testify before Congress about out-of-control drug prices, as lawmakers on both sides of the U.S. Capitol kicked off investigations sure to rattle one of the nation’s most powerful industries. Sen….

Posted in News

California Attorney General And Santa Clara County Face Off Over Sale Of Two Hospitals

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). When U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris approved the sale of six nonprofit California hospitals in 2015 as the state attorney general, she imposed strict conditions on the new corporate owners, requiring them to continue to provide critical health services to…

Posted in News

Viewpoints: Isn’t It Time To Get Important Input From Other Sources On Gene Editing?; Prevent Another Theranos Debacle By Seeking Peer-Reviewed Work

Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others. The New York Times: Should Scientists Toy With The Secret To Life?Scientists quickly condemned the Chinese researcher who altered the DNA of at least two embryos to create the world’s first genetically edited babies, defying a broad consensus against hereditary…

Posted in News

Perspectives: The Health Law Isn’t Meeting The Nation’s Needs. Period; Work Requirements Harm Health Care For Thousands

Editorial writers focus on how to improve health care. The Hill: States Are Moving Forward With ‘Medicare For All’ — More Power To ThemSome cities and states are trying to fix the Affordable Care Act’s deficiencies all on their own. New York City, for example, has pledged to directly pay…

Posted in News

State Highlights: Hospitals In Chicago Gear Up For Record-Breaking, Sub-Zero Temperatures; Kansas Cuts Back On Costly Services For Children Needing Psychiatric Care

Media outlets report on news from Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, Arizona, Georgia, California, and Minnesota. Chicago Tribune: Hospitals Across Chicago Brace For Record Cold With record cold temperatures predicted for Wednesday, Chicago-area hospital systems are making plans to keep people warm and help those who will inevitably fall victim to the…

Posted in News

Transplant Doctor Who Encourages Taking A Gamble On High-Risk Organ Donors Uses Himself As An Example

During a time when there are long wait times for healthy organs, the director of NYU Langone’s Transplant Institute recommends using organs infected with a liver disease that is treatable. Dr. Robert Montgomery received a heart from a donor who had hepatitis C. News on public health also focuses on…

Posted in News

With The World Facing Multiple Epidemics Of Obesity, Climate Change And Hunger, Experts Suggest Tackling The Three Together

The three problems are so interwoven that the only way to stave off global catastrophe is by addressing at least two of them — and ideally all of them — at once. However, to do so would require an ambitious restructuring of economic incentives that drive the production and marketing…