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May 13, 2019

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Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration Friday reversed course on his plan to divert public health dollars from several counties to help provide health coverage to young adults who are in the country illegally.

The administration heeded the alarm sounded by Sacramento, Placer, Santa Barbara and Stanislaus counties, which had warned that the governor’s plan would compromise their...

May 10, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! As if those sky-high medical bills weren’t bad enough, apparently California teachers also must pay substitutes to cover for them — even while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Which is the perfect segue into what you may...

May 10, 2019

President Donald Trump called for an end to the “unpleasant surprise” of certain medical bills on Thursday. Specifically, he outlined a plan that would forbid bills beyond in-network insurance rates in emergencies. For elective procedures, patients would have to consent in advance to receiving care from an out-of-network provider — and get only one bill after a surgery. NPR reporter Selena Simmons-Duffin covered the White House announcement, which featured...

May 09, 2019

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President Donald Trump called on Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation this year to end surprise medical bills, in remarks made in the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Thursday. “We’re determined to end surprise medical billing for American patients,” Trump said.

Bills like those have been featured in the NPR-Kaiser Health News series...

May 09, 2019

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In a new set of rules, the Trump administration wants to let not just doctors but almost any health care worker or organization decline to provide, participate in or refer patients for any health service that violates their conscience or religion.

Also this week, the Trump administration is...

May 09, 2019

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Private health insurance plans in 2017 paid more than twice what Medicare would have for those same health care services, says a sweeping new study from Rand Corp., a respected research organization.

Its study, which examines payment rates by private insurers in 25 states to 1,600 hospitals, shines light into a black box of the health industry: what hospitals and other medical...

May 06, 2019

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Bob Ensor didn’t see the boom swinging violently toward him as he cleaned a sailboat in dry dock on a spring day two years ago. But he heard the crack as it hit him in the face.

He was transported by ambulance to an in-network hospital near his home in Middletown, N.J., where initial X-rays showed his nose was broken as were several bones of his...

May 06, 2019
About Asking Never Hurts

A series of columns addressing the challenges consumers face in California’s health care landscape.

Send questions to bwolfson@kff.org.

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For several months last spring and summer, my teen daughter, Caroline, experienced near-daily bouts of depression and debilitating panic attacks. During those episodes, she...

May 03, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! Here’s the story, of a lovely lady … who is not happy that a 50-year-old episode of “The Brady Bunch” is being used by the anti-vaccination movement to downplay the seriousness of the measles outbreak. “If you have to get sick, sure...

May 03, 2019

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The federal government accelerated its crackdown on nursing homes that go days without a registered nurse by downgrading the rankings of a tenth of the nation’s homes on Medicare’s consumer website, new records show.

In its update in April to Nursing Home Compare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave its lowest star rating for staffing — one star on its five-star...

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