Month: August 2021

Posted in News

Delta Cutting ‘Like a Buzzsaw’ Through Oregon-California Border Counties

If you live in one of the rural communities tucked into the forested hillsides along the Oregon-California border and need serious medical care, you’ll probably wind up at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. It serves about nine counties on either side of the border.   It is one of three hospitals…

Posted in News

Telehealth’s Limits: Battle Over State Lines and Licensing Threatens Patients’ Options

If you live in one state, does it matter that the doctor treating you online is in another? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and the ability to conduct certain virtual appointments may be nearing an end. Televisits for medical care took off during the worst days of the pandemic, quickly…

Posted in News

Lack of a Vaccine Mandate Becomes Competitive Advantage in Hospital Staffing Wars

In the rural northeastern corner of Missouri, Scotland County Hospital has been so low on staff that it sometimes had to turn away patients amid a surge in covid-19 cases. The national covid staffing crunch means CEO Dr. Randy Tobler has hired more travel nurses to fill the gaps. And…

Posted in News Washington

‘My Time to Live’: Through Novel Program, Kidney Patients Get Palliative Care, Dialysis ’Til the End

After a decade of living with chronic kidney disease, Vonita McGee knows her body is wearing out. At 63, McGee undergoes dialysis sessions three times each week at a Northwest Kidney Centers site near her Burien, Washington, home to rid her blood of waste and water. She has endured the…

Posted in News

Concert Venues Are Banking on Proof of Vaccines or Negative Tests to Woo Back Fans

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Fans of the band Wilco could have reasonably interpreted frontman Jeff Tweedy singing “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” at an Aug. 13 concert at St. Louis Music Park as the universe explaining the past year or so. For example, 30-year-old fan Lazarus Pittman had…

Posted in News

Journalists Give Rundown on Vaccine Mandates and FDA’s Official Approval of the Pfizer Shot

KHN correspondent Rachana Pradhan discussed covid vaccine mandates and the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Tuesday. Click here to watch Pradhan on “Morning Rush” KHN Midwest correspondent Cara Anthony talked about covid vaccines on Illinois Public Media’s “The 21st Show”…

Posted in News

Beneficiarios de Medicaid se vacunan mucho menos contra covid

Los beneficiarios de Medicaid se están vacunando contra covid-19 a tasas mucho más bajas que la población general, mientras los estados buscan las mejores estrategias para mejorar el acceso a las vacunas, y persuadir a quienes siguen indecisos. Los esfuerzos de las agencias estatales de Medicaid y los planes de…

Posted in Florida Georgia News

States Pull Back on Covid Data Even Amid Delta Surge

Two state government websites in Georgia recently stopped posting updates on covid-19 cases in prisons and long-term care facilities, just as the dangerous delta variant was taking hold. Data has been disappearing recently in other states as well. Florida, for example, now reports covid cases, deaths and hospitalizations once a…

Posted in News Washington

Jaw Surgery Takes a $27,119 Bite out of One Man’s Budget

For years, Ely Bair dealt with migraine headaches, jaw pain and high blood pressure, until a dentist recommended surgery to realign his jaw to get to the root of his health problems. The fix would involve two surgeries over a couple of years and wearing braces on his teeth before…

Posted in News

Medicaid Vaccination Rates Founder as States Struggle to Immunize Their Poorest Residents

Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated against covid-19 at far lower rates than the general population as states search for the best strategies to improve access to the shots and persuade those who remain hesitant. Efforts by state Medicaid agencies and the private health plans that most states pay to cover…

Posted in News

Democrats Say Abortion Is on the Line in Recall Election. But Rolling Back Rights Wouldn’t Be Easy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom approaches, abortion-rights groups are warning that Californians’ right to an abortion is on the ballot. Newsom, a Democrat, himself tweeted that “abortion access” is at stake. “There’s no question that if a Republican is elected, access to abortion…

Posted in News Texas

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccine Approval Moves the Needle on Covid

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval this week to the covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will henceforth be…

Posted in News

New Montana Law Sows Confusion, Defiance Over School Quarantines

As classes get underway this week and next, Montana school and county health officials are grappling with how a new state law that bans vaccine discrimination should apply to quarantine orders for students and staffers exposed to covid-19. It’s the latest fallout from the law that says businesses and governmental…

Posted in News

What Missouri Learned the Hard Way About Rapid Covid Testing in Schools

Early in the tumultuous 2020-21 school year, Missouri officials made a big gamble: set aside roughly 1 million rapid covid tests for the state’s K-12 schools in hopes of quickly identifying sick students or staff members. The Trump administration had spent $760 million to procure 150 million rapid-response antigen tests…

Posted in News

Apple, Bose and Others Pump Up the Volume on Hearing Aid Options, Filling Void Left by FDA

Spurred by decades of complaints about the high cost of hearing aids, Congress passed a law in 2017 to allow over-the-counter sales, with hopes it would boost competition and lower prices. Four years later, federal regulators have yet to issue rules to implement the law. But changes in the industry…

Posted in News

Pandemia revela una creciente crisis de suicidios en comunidades de color

Rafiah Maxie ha sido trabajadora social clínica en el área de Chicago durante una década. En todo ese tiempo, vio al suicidio como un problema más frecuente entre los hombres caucásicos de mediana edad. Hasta el 27 de mayo de 2020. Ese día, su hijo de 19 años, Jamal Clay,…

Posted in Florida News

These Governors Push Experimental Antibody Therapy — But Shun Vaccine and Mask Mandates

For months, Joelle Ruppert was among the millions of Americans who are covid vaccine holdouts. Her reluctance, she said, was not so much that she opposed the new vaccines but that she never felt “compelled” by the evidence supporting their experimental use. Nonetheless, after she fell ill with covid last…

Posted in Florida News

Hot Spots Where Covid Vaccination Lags Push Experimental Antibody Treatment

For months, Joelle Ruppert was among the millions of Americans who are covid vaccine holdouts. Her reluctance, she said, was not so much that she opposed the new vaccines but that she never felt “compelled” by the evidence supporting their experimental use. Nonetheless, after she fell ill with covid last…

Posted in News

Microbiome Startups Promise to Improve Your Gut Health, but Is the Science Solid?

After Russell Jordan sent a stool sample through the mail to the microbiome company Viome, his idea of what he should eat shifted. The gym owner in Sacramento, California, had always consumed large quantities of leafy greens. But the results from the test — which sequenced and analyzed the microbes…

Posted in News

From Uber Vouchers to Patient Advocates: What It Takes to Increase ER Addiction Treatment

For years, Kayla West watched the opioid epidemic tear through her eastern Tennessee community. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, she treated people with mental illness but felt she needed to do more to address addiction. So in 2020, when the state created a position to help hospitals improve addiction care…

Posted in New York News Utah

Headed Away to School? Here’s What Students With Health Issues Need to Know

College is a time of transition, but for those managing chronic medical conditions, it may also be the first time they will be wholly responsible for their own health: setting appointments, securing supplies and pharmaceuticals, and monitoring symptoms. For those heading to schools far from home, it can be especially…

Posted in News

Mission and Money Clash in Nonprofit Hospitals’ Venture Capital Ambitions

Cone Health, a small not-for-profit health care network in North Carolina, spent several years developing a smartphone-based system called Wellsmith to help people manage their diabetes. But after investing $12 million, the network disclosed last year it was shutting down the company even though initial results were promising, with users…

Posted in News

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Meet the Mississippi Lawyer Who Helped Start the Fight for Charity Care

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, famous for taking on Big Tobacco in the ’90s and winning, worked on a series of ill-fated national lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals. The goal? Get nonprofit — or “charity” — hospitals to actually provide charity care instead of price-gouging…

Posted in News

Temperaturas extremas aumentan los riesgos de salud de los trabajadores agrícolas

COACHELLA, California. — Leoncio Antonio Trejo Galdamez, de 58 años, murió en brazos de su hijo el 29 de junio después de pasar el día colocando tuberías de riego en el Valle de Coachella, en California. Otra víctima de un negocio peligroso, la noticia de su muerte resonó en la…

Posted in News

Readers and Tweeters Ponder Vaccines and Points of Fairness

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Higher Insurance Rates for the Unvaccinated? Snuff Out That Idea This is about Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal’s comments on “All In With Chris Hayes” (“Analysis: Don’t Want…

Posted in News

As Temperatures Rise, So Do the Health Risks for California’s Farmworkers

COACHELLA, Calif. — Leoncio Antonio Trejo Galdamez, 58, died in his son’s arms on June 29 after spending the day laying irrigation pipes in California’s Coachella Valley. News of his death reverberated through the largely Latino community near the Mexican and Arizona borders — another casualty in a dangerous business….

Posted in News

Pandemic Unveils Growing Suicide Crisis for Communities of Color

This story is a collaboration between KHN and “Science Friday.” Listen to the conversation between KHN national correspondent Aneri Pattani and John Dankosky, Science Friday’s director of news and radio projects. Rafiah Maxie has been a licensed clinical social worker in the Chicago area for a decade. Throughout that time, she’d…

Posted in Colorado News Texas

¿Escuela o “ruleta rusa”? Entre delta y no exigir máscaras, algunos padres no ven ninguna diferencia

El niño acababa de empezar el jardín de infantes. O, como lo llamaba su madre, “la ruleta rusa”. Eso se debe a que su distrito escolar en Grand Junction, Colorado, experimentó uno de los primeros brotes de la variante delta en la nación la primavera pasada, y ahora las autoridades…

Posted in News

Journalists Investigate Vaccine Mandates and Health Worker Burnout

KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed how public health workers are struggling to deal with the pandemic on the “Healthy You: Surviving a Pandemic” podcast on Aug. 12. She also spoke about covid-19 news on WAMU’s “1A” on Aug. 13. Click here to hear Weber on “Health You: Surviving a…

Posted in News

After Pandemic Ravaged Nursing Homes, New State Laws Protect Residents

When the coronavirus hit Martha Leland’s Connecticut nursing home last year, she and dozens of other residents contracted the disease while the facility was on lockdown. Twenty-eight residents died, including her roommate. “The impact of not having friends and family come in and see us for a year was totally…