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Buy and Bust: When Private Equity Comes for Rural Hospitals

MEXICO, Mo. — When the new corporate owners of two rural hospitals suddenly announced they would stop admitting patients one Friday in March, Kayla Schudel, a nurse, stood resolute in the nearly empty lobby of Audrain Community Hospital: “You’ll be seen; the ER is open.” The hospital — with 40 beds and five clinics — […]

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Medicaid Weighs Attaching Strings to Nursing Home Payments to Improve Patient Care

The Biden administration is considering a requirement that the nation’s 15,500 nursing homes spend most of their payments from Medicaid on direct care for residents and limit the amount that is used for operations, maintenance, and capital improvements or diverted to profits. If adopted, it would be the first time the federal government insists that […]

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Who Doesn’t Text in 2022? Most State Medicaid Programs

West Virginia will use the U.S. Postal Service and an online account this summer to connect with Medicaid enrollees about the expected end of the covid public health emergency, which will put many recipients at risk of losing their coverage. What West Virginia won’t do is use a form of communication that’s ubiquitous worldwide: text […]

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: FDA Takes Center Stage

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The FDA is still lacking a Senate-confirmed leader, but the agency is at the center of several major policy battles. Lawmakers this year must renew the bill […]

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At Nursing Homes, Long Waits for Results Render Covid Tests ‘Useless’

More nursing homes are waiting longer for covid-19 test results for residents and staffers, according to federal data, making the fight against record numbers of omicron cases even harder. The double whammy of slower turnaround times for lab-based PCR tests and a shortage of rapid antigen tests has strained facilities where quickly identifying infections is […]

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Medicare Patients Win the Right to Appeal Gap in Nursing Home Coverage

A three-judge federal appeals court panel in Connecticut has likely ended an 11-year fight against a frustrating and confusing rule that left hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries without coverage for nursing home care, and no way to challenge a denial. The Jan. 25 ruling, which came in response to a 2011 class-action lawsuit eventually […]

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Supreme Court Weighs Biden’s Workplace Vaccine Requirements

The Supreme Court on Friday took up one of the most contentious issues of the covid-19 pandemic, hearing a series of cases challenging the Biden administration’s authority to require workers to get a covid vaccine or be tested for the virus regularly. The issue in the cases, which challenge rules set in November by the […]

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After ‘Truly Appalling’ Death Toll in Nursing Homes, California Rethinks Their Funding

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — About 1 in 8 Californians who have died of covid lived in a nursing home. They were among the state’s most frail residents: nearly 9,400 mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles whom Californians entrusted to a nursing home’s care. An additional 56,275 confirmed covid cases among nursing home residents weren’t fatal. “The […]

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Florida Sen. Rick Scott Off Base in Claim That Rise in Medicare Premiums Is Due to Inflation

An increase in Medicare Part B premiums means “America’s Seniors Are Paying the Price for Biden’s Inflation Crisis” — The headline of a press release from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) [UPDATED at 4:15 p.m. ET] Republicans blame President Joe Biden for this year’s historic surge in inflation, reflected in higher prices for almost everything — […]

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Medicare’s Open Enrollment Is Open Season for Scammers

Finding the best private Medicare drug or medical insurance plan among dozens of choices is tough enough without throwing misleading sales tactics into the mix. Yet federal officials say complaints are rising from seniors tricked into buying policies — without their consent or lured by questionable information — that may not cover their drugs or […]