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Jul 25, 2019

Sov Valentine of Plains, Mont., ran up an out-of-network bill for lifesaving kidney dialysis that topped half a million dollars in just 14 weeks. Kaiser Health News Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal discussed the latest NPR-KHN “Bill of the Month” installment on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday.

Rosenthal said the case exemplifies what happens when an insurer and a provider disagree, and the patient gets stuck with an outrageous bill. “It’s hostage-taking of poor Sov Valentine,”...

Jul 25, 2019


Send Us Your Medical Bill

Do you have an exorbitant or baffling medical bill? Join the KHN and NPR’s Bill-of-the-Month Club and tell us about your experience. We’ll feature a new one each month.

In 2018 Kaiser Health News and NPR teamed up to create “Bill of the Month,” a crowdsourced investigative series in which we dissect and explain medical bills you send us. We have received nearly 2,000 submissions of...

Jul 23, 2019

Use Our Content


This story can be republished for free (details).

The Justice Department on Monday accused a defunct chain of Tennessee-based pain clinics of cheating Medicare and other taxpayer-funded health insurers out of at least $25 million in needless urine drug tests and genetic testing.

The civil lawsuit names Comprehensive Pain Specialists, also known as Anesthesia Services Associates PLLC; four of its physician owners; and a former...

Jul 23, 2019

When Karen Schirack, 67, slipped on her way into her house in January and broke her left femur in multiple places, she had a decision to make. Should she get surgery to repair the fractured thigh bone and replace her hip near Ajijic, Mexico, where she has lived for 20 years, or be airlifted back to her home state of Ohio for surgery and rehab?

As the number of American retirees living overseas grows, more of them are confronting choices like Schirack’s about medical...

Jul 22, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

The headlines about presidential candidate Joe Biden’s new health care plan called it “a nod to the past” and “Affordable Care Act 2.0.” That mostly refers to the fact that the former vice president has specifically repudiated many of his Democratic rivals’ calls for a “Medicare for All” system and instead sought to build his plan on the ACA’s framework...

Jul 19, 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 you all know, when I come across an outrageous medical mystery story I like to drag you all down with me because horrified misery loves company. This week’s offering: A man in Kentucky went into his doctor complaining of eye...

Jul 18, 2019

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Former Vice President Joe Biden has said if he’s elected president he would build on the Affordable Care Act rather than move to a whole new health care system, such as the “Medicare for All” plan supported by some of his primary opponents for the Democratic nomination. But his campaign’s new health plan...

Jul 18, 2019

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.

In Defense Of Opioid Prescribers

Articles such as this one are leaving elderly patients with debilitating pain and also hospice patients struggling to get adequate pain control (“Surgeons’ Opioid-Prescribing Habits Are Hard To Kick,” June 21). After seeing my father in agony in hospice care...

Jul 17, 2019

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This story can be republished for free (details).

The House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday approved its version of legislation to curb surprise medical bills.

Though this step was an important advance, there’s still a long way forward before Congress agrees on a legislative solution to this high-profile consumer concern.

These bills, the unexpected and often high charges patients face when they get care from a...

Jul 16, 2019

Health insurers that treat millions of seniors have overcharged Medicare by nearly $30 billion the past three years alone, but federal officials say they are moving ahead with long-delayed plans to recoup at least part of the money.

Officials have known for years that some Medicare Advantage plans overbill the government by exaggerating how sick their patients are or by charging Medicare for treating serious medical conditions they cannot prove their patients have.

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