Health

New Bill in California Legislature Tackles Surprise Hospital Billing Practices
Health
New Bill in California Legislature Tackles Surprise Hospital Billing Practices
2019-05-03 20:05:34
by Sean Trambley

New legislation in the California state house is seeking to end surprise hospital bills that catch unwitting patients with expensive out-of-network insurance costs for emergency care. Earlier this year, Vox’s Sarah Kliff reported on San Francisco woman Nina Dang and... Read More

The Answer to Opioid Crisis? Researcher Will Soon Test His Non-Addictive Pain Drug
Health
The Answer to Opioid Crisis? Researcher Will Soon Test His Non-Addictive Pain Drug

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — University of California, Davis professor Bruce Hammock has spent a 50-year career studying insects. He probably wouldn’t be the Ph.D. considered most likely to shake up the multibillion-dollar prescription painkiller market. Nonetheless, he has developed a medication... Read More

Fact Check: Klobuchar Wants to Stop ‘Pay-for-Delay’ Deals That Keep Drug Prices High
Health
Fact Check: Klobuchar Wants to Stop ‘Pay-for-Delay’ Deals That Keep Drug Prices High

Washington’s recent fixation with lowering drug costs has introduced Americans to once-insider terms like “pharmacy benefit managers” and “list prices.” During an April 22 CNN town hall event for Democratic candidates, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., described a drugmaker practice that... Read More

Rising Nuclear Waste Cleanup Costs Spark Outrage from Congressmen
Environment
Rising Nuclear Waste Cleanup Costs Spark Outrage from Congressmen
2019-05-03 14:58:37
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress expressed outrage Wednesday during hearings on Capitol Hill at the rising cost and government inaction in cleaning up the nation’s nuclear waste. Some lawmakers were reacting to a Government Accountability Office report released this week... Read More

CBO’s Report on Single-Payer Health Care Holds More Questions Than Answers
Health
CBO’s Report on Single-Payer Health Care Holds More Questions Than Answers

WASHINGTON — Progressive Democrats have rallied around “Medicare-for-all,” a single-payer health plan popularized by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Now, some of Washington’s official bean counters are trying to add a new framework around what it might look like. The picture... Read More

A New Model for Mental Health Treatment Faces an Uncertain Future
Health
A New Model for Mental Health Treatment Faces an Uncertain Future

MINNEAPOLIS — A groundbreaking program that has improved the health of thousands of Minnesotans struggling with mental illnesses and addiction could soon be rolled out across the state, in what would be one of the broadest expansions of the state’s... Read More

Patients Caught in Middle of Fight Between Health Care Behemoths
Health
Patients Caught in Middle of Fight Between Health Care Behemoths

Cancer survivors Evalyn Bodick, 74, and Barbara Marsic, 63, are caught in the crossfire of one of the fiercest health care fights in the country. They fear they are about to lose access to the doctors they say have kept... Read More

New Bill Would Fund CDC Gun Violence Research
Health
New Bill Would Fund CDC Gun Violence Research

WASHINGTON — The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have money to research the causes of gun violence for the first time in more than two decades if a new proposal becomes law. The Democrat-controlled House Appropriations Committee... Read More

The Homeless Are Dying in Record Numbers on the Streets of LA
Health
The Homeless Are Dying in Record Numbers on the Streets of LA

A record number of homeless people — 918 last year alone — are dying across Los Angeles County, on bus benches, hillsides, railroad tracks and sidewalks. Deaths have jumped 76% in the past five years, outpacing the growth of the... Read More

Rare Form of Breast Cancer Getting Increased Attention
Health
Rare Form of Breast Cancer Getting Increased Attention

SAN DIEGO — She first noticed the odd rash in February and figured it probably had something to do with her clothing. But buying a new bra had no effect. A mammogram showed no internal warning signs, so Elaine Deboe... Read More

Americans Overwhelmingly Want Federal Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills
Health
Americans Overwhelmingly Want Federal Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills

WASHINGTON — Three-quarters of the public — including a majority of Republicans — want the federal government to protect patients from being stuck with surprise medical invoices after they are unwittingly treated by doctors or medical facilities that are out... Read More

San Francisco Mayor Unveils 100 Percent Renewable Power Plan for City's Downtown
Energy
San Francisco Mayor Unveils 100 Percent Renewable Power Plan for City's Downtown
2019-04-24 23:32:22
by Dan McCue

San Francisco could become the first city in the United States in which large commercial property owners use only renewable energy under a plan unveiled by Mayor London Breed earlier this week. She and city supervisors Vallie Brown and Ahsha... Read More

US Court Allows Patent for Marijuana Formulation
Litigation
US Court Allows Patent for Marijuana Formulation
2019-04-23 21:14:17
by Tom Ramstack

A federal court ruling last week set a precedent for property rights to cannabis products in the quickly growing marijuana industry. U.S. District Judge William Martinez, an Obama appointee who presides in Colorado, ruled that cannabinoid formulations can be considered... Read More

Social Security Costs to Exceed Income in 2020, Trustees Say
Entitlements
Social Security Costs to Exceed Income in 2020, Trustees Say
2019-04-22 23:10:42
by Dan McCue

Both Social Security and Medicare are on unstable financial footing, and lawmakers need to act sooner rather than later to shore up America’s bedrock retirement programs and phase in needed changes, the trustees of both programs said in reports released... Read More

How to Fight ‘Scary’ Superbugs? Cooperation — and a Special Soap
Health
How to Fight ‘Scary’ Superbugs? Cooperation — and a Special Soap

Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy against the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing patients with a special soap. The efforts — funded with roughly $8 million... Read More

For Women, Tourette’s Syndrome Means Added Burdens, and Also Rewards
Health
For Women, Tourette’s Syndrome Means Added Burdens, and Also Rewards

PHILADELPHIA — Sara Henya’s art is her music, and her instrument is the harp. She makes playing look easy, effortless. Her fingers move like cascading water: fluid, graceful, sure. But when her fingers are still, well, that’s a different story.... Read More

Lethal Plans: When Seniors Turn to Suicide in Long-Term Care
Health
Lethal Plans: When Seniors Turn to Suicide in Long-Term Care

When Larry Anders moved into the Bay at Burlington nursing home in late 2017, he wasn’t supposed to be there long. At 77, the stoic Wisconsin machinist had just endured the death of his wife of 51 years and a... Read More

Opioid Treatment Programs Gear Up to Provide Suicide Care
Health
Opioid Treatment Programs Gear Up to Provide Suicide Care

WASHINGTON — It’s long been suspected that the nation’s unprecedented drug overdose epidemic and sharply rising suicide rates are linked. Now health researchers are finding concrete evidence that the two preventable causes of death — which are among the top... Read More

UCSD Patient Gets First Cancer Treatment Made From Stem Cells
Health
UCSD Patient Gets First Cancer Treatment Made From Stem Cells

SAN DIEGO — A new form of cancer immunotherapy has been given to a University of California, San Diego Health patient in the first test of immune cells grown from stem cells. The patient, Derek Ruff, is being treated for... Read More

Heavy Rains, End of Drought Could Help Keep West Nile Virus Subdued — For Now
Health
Heavy Rains, End of Drought Could Help Keep West Nile Virus Subdued — For Now

The end of California’s drought, announced last month amid one of the rainiest winters in memory, could offer a surprising benefit: reduced transmission of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. Longer term, however, more severe droughts associated with climate change could... Read More

On the Border, Volunteer Doctors Struggle to Provide Stopgap Care to Immigrants
Health
On the Border, Volunteer Doctors Struggle to Provide Stopgap Care to Immigrants

EL PASO, Texas — It wasn’t the rash covering Meliza’s feet and legs that worried Dr. José Manuel de la Rosa. What concerned him were the deep bruises beneath. They were a sign she could be experiencing something far more... Read More

Elite Hospitals Plunge Into Unproven Stem Cell Treatments
Health
Elite Hospitals Plunge Into Unproven Stem Cell Treatments

The online video seems to promise everything an arthritis patient could want. The six-minute segment mimics a morning talk show, using a polished TV host to interview guests around a coffee table. Dr. Adam Pourcho extols the benefits of stem... Read More

Congress Passes Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan
Environment
Congress Passes Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan
2019-04-11 12:16:33
by Dan McCue

Bipartisan legislation enacting a long sought after drought plan for seven states in the Colorado River basin has been sent to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature. Senator Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and Representative Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., fast-tracked passage... Read More

Some Congressmen Want to Halt Appalachian Mountaintop Coal Mining
Health
Some Congressmen Want to Halt Appalachian Mountaintop Coal Mining
2019-04-10 13:01:22
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - Residents of Appalachian states warned about severe health and environmental consequences from renewed mountaintop coal mining during a congressional hearing Tuesday. Lawmakers called the hearing to address concerns raised by Trump administration policies to loosen environmental restrictions on... Read More

Medicaid Expansion Boosts Hospital Bottom Lines — and Prices
Health
Medicaid Expansion Boosts Hospital Bottom Lines — and Prices

The Medicaid expansion promoted by the Affordable Care Act was a boon for St. Mary’s Medical Center, the largest hospital in western Colorado. Since 2014, the number of uninsured patients it served dropped by more than half, saving the nonprofit... Read More

8 Republicans Break with GOP on Obamacare Lawsuit
Health
8 Republicans Break with GOP on Obamacare Lawsuit

WASHINGTON — Democratic congressional campaigns have already made health care an early focus of their 2020 messaging, and House Democrats bolstered that effort Wednesday with a symbolic vote that sought to once again put Republicans on record on the issue.... Read More

House Subcommittee Holds Critical Hearing on Surprise Medical Bills with Rare Bipartisan Agreement
Health
House Subcommittee Holds Critical Hearing on Surprise Medical Bills with Rare Bipartisan Agreement
2019-04-02 23:47:05
by Sean Trambley

A robust and important health policy discussion occurred on Capitol Hill yesterday with lawmakers on both sides of aisle appearing to reach a rare consensus on the problems of countless Americans who have been surprised with expensive out-of-network medical bills.... Read More

It Is Time We Come Together to Put Patients First
Opinions
It Is Time We Come Together to Put Patients First

Envision Healthcare is a national physician-led organization of clinical professionals who work alongside hospitals, health systems and insurance companies. A leading national provider of emergency medicine services across the United States, Envision's emergency medicine and hospital medicine clinicians treated more... Read More

Trump Backtracks on GOP Health Plan Push Before Election
Health
Trump Backtracks on GOP Health Plan Push Before Election
2019-04-02 21:02:09
by Dan McCue

President Donald Trump appeared to backtrack Monday night on his renewed push for a Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Taking a break from lambasting congressional Democrats via Twitter for their demands to see Special Counsel... Read More

Single-Payer Health Care Systems Are No Easier in the States
Health
Single-Payer Health Care Systems Are No Easier in the States

WASHINGTON — The hurdles for a government-run, single-payer health care system are amplified at the state level, where universal coverage ambitions are hampered by politics, costs and federal restrictions. These realities ultimately undercut efforts in two of the nation’s most... Read More

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