RSSCategory: Health Policy

Hospitals now must tell Medicare patients when care is ‘observation’ only

Hospitals now must tell Medicare patients when care is ‘observation’ only

By Susan Jaffe Kaiser Health News Under a new federal law, hospitals across the country must now alert Medicare patients when they are getting observation care and why they were not admitted — even if they stay in the hospital a few nights. For years, seniors often found out only when they got surprise bills for […]

March 13, 2017 | By | Reply More
Say what? Fact-checking the chatter around the GOP health bill

Say what? Fact-checking the chatter around the GOP health bill

By Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News Republicans are in a hurry to get their “repeal and replace” health care bill to the House floor. In just the week since it was introduced, two committees have approved the “American Health Care Act,” and a floor vote is planned before month’s end. But in the rush to legislate, some […]

March 13, 2017 | By | Reply More
About one in four behind on their payments for medical bills

About one in four behind on their payments for medical bills

Nearly one-quarter (23.8 percent) of US adults, aged 18-64, reported they were behind on paying their medical bills in 2015, with the highest prevalence found in the South, according to a study by the non-profit Urban Institute. The share of adults who reported past-due medical debt varies substantially across states, ranging from 5.9 percent in Hawaii […]

March 11, 2017 | By | Reply More
To save on drug costs, insurer wants to steer you to ‘preferred’ pharmacies.

To save on drug costs, insurer wants to steer you to ‘preferred’ pharmacies.

By Pauline Bartolone Kaiser Health News One of California’s largest insurers has proposed a change in the benefits of commercial plans next year that would require consumers to pay more for drugs at pharmacies outside an established network. Blue Shield of California wants to create “a tiered pharmacy network” in its 2018 small- and large-group plans, […]

March 10, 2017 | By | Reply More
Five ways the GOP health bill would reverse course from the ACA

Five ways the GOP health bill would reverse course from the ACA

By Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News After literally years of promises, House Republicans finally have a bill they say will “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Some conservative Republicans have derided the new proposal — the American Health Care Act — calling it “Obamacare Lite.” It keeps intact some of the more popular features of the ACA, […]

March 8, 2017 | By | Reply More
House GOP health bill jettisons insurance mandate, much of Medicaid expansion

House GOP health bill jettisons insurance mandate, much of Medicaid expansion

By Mary Agnes Carey and Phil Galewitz Kaiser Health News House Republicans unveiled their much anticipated health law replacement plan Monday, slashing the law’s Medicaid expansion and scrapping the requirement that individuals purchase coverage or pay a fine. But they opted to continue providing tax credits to encourage consumers to purchase coverage, although they would […]

March 7, 2017 | By | Reply More
Fraud Alert: Scammers pose as Health and Human Services employees

Fraud Alert: Scammers pose as Health and Human Services employees

HHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Used in Scam From the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These […]

March 6, 2017 | By | Reply More
Despite federal law, some rural hospitals still turn away women in labor

Despite federal law, some rural hospitals still turn away women in labor

By Julie Lasson, for ProPublica The young woman’s water broke late one morning in August 2014, as she stood in the bathroom of her home in rural Kentucky. Her mother rushed her to the emergency room at Jewish Hospital Shelbyville. She signed a slip at the front desk, listing her chief complaint as “labor.” But […]

March 3, 2017 | By | Reply More
For new Medicaid patients: the doctor is in (generally), but you may have to wait.

For new Medicaid patients: the doctor is in (generally), but you may have to wait.

By Michelle Andrews Kaiser Health News More than 14 million adults have enrolled in Medicaid since the health law passed, and that has caused some hand-wringing over whether there would be enough primary care providers to meet the demand. But a study out this week suggests that the newly insured people are generally able to get timely appointments […]

March 3, 2017 | By | Reply More
Vermont experiment aims for healthier patients, lower costs

Vermont experiment aims for healthier patients, lower costs

By Michael Ollove Stateline MONTPELIER, Vt. — This tiny state, with a population more rural and less diverse than the country as a whole, is embarking on an experiment that could transform the delivery of health care nationwide. Traditionally, doctors and hospitals are paid for each procedure, treatment or test they provide. But critics say […]

March 2, 2017 | By | Reply More