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Covid-Overwhelmed Hospitals Postpone Cancer Care and Other Treatment

It’s a bad time to get sick in Oregon. That’s the message from some doctors, as hospitals fill up with covid-19 patients and other medical conditions go untreated. Charlie Callagan looked perfectly healthy sitting outside recently on his deck in the smoky summer air in the small Rogue Valley town of Merlin, in southern Oregon. […]

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Journalists Explain Ramifications of Theranos Trial and Texas’ New Abortion Law

KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal discussed health tech and the start of the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, who founded the biological screening company Theranos, on WGN’s “The John Williams Show” on Wednesday. KHN senior correspondent Julie Appleby discussed abortion law in Texas, covid-19 and vaccination rates on NPR’s weekly news roundup “1A” on Sept. 3. […]

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Lack of a Vaccine Mandate Becomes Competitive Advantage in Hospital Staffing Wars

In the rural northeastern corner of Missouri, Scotland County Hospital has been so low on staff that it sometimes had to turn away patients amid a surge in covid-19 cases. The national covid staffing crunch means CEO Dr. Randy Tobler has hired more travel nurses to fill the gaps. And the prices are steep — […]

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Meet the Mississippi Lawyer Who Helped Start the Fight for Charity Care

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, famous for taking on Big Tobacco in the ’90s and winning, worked on a series of ill-fated national lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals. The goal? Get nonprofit — or “charity” — hospitals to actually provide charity care instead of price-gouging and dunning low-income patients.  Scruggs […]

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Hard Lessons From a City That Tried to Privatize Public Health

If you were growing up in Detroit in the 1970s or ’80s, chances are you knew the city’s Herman Kiefer public health complex by both sight and reputation. Opened at the turn of the century and later enhanced by renowned industrial architect Albert Kahn, the imposing brick complex was named after a local infectious disease […]

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Facing Headwinds on New Alzheimer’s Drug, Biogen Launches Controversial Campaign

Do you sometimes lose your train of thought or feel a bit more anxious than is typical for you? Those are two of the six questions in a quiz on a website co-sponsored by the makers of Aduhelm, a controversial new Alzheimer’s drug. But even when all responses to the frequency of those experiences are […]

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After 18 Months, Sutter Antitrust Settlement Finally Poised for Formal Approval

More than 18 months after Sutter Health agreed to a tentative settlement in a closely watched antitrust case joined by the California Attorney General’s Office, the judge presiding over the case indicated she would sign off on the terms, pending agreement on attorney fees. The nonprofit health care giant, based in Sacramento, stood accused of […]

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Hospital ‘Trauma Centers’ Charge Enormous Fees to Treat Minor Injuries and Send People Home

The care was ordinary. A hospital in Modesto, California, treated a 30-year-old man for shoulder and back pain after a car accident. He went home in less than three hours. The bill was extraordinary. Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center charged $44,914 including an $8,928 “trauma alert” fee, billed for summoning the hospital’s top surgical specialists […]

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Dying Patients With Rare Diseases Struggle to Get Experimental Therapies

At 15, Autumn Fuernisen is dying. She was diagnosed at age 11 with a rare degenerative brain disorder that has no known cure or way to slow it down: juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease. “There’s lots of things that she used to be able to do just fine,” said her mom, Londen Tabor, who lives with her […]

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Drugmakers’ Spending on Stock, Dividends and Executive Pay Exceeds Research, Democrats Say

The largest drug companies are far more interested in enriching themselves and investors than in developing new drugs, according to a House committee report released Thursday that argues the industry can afford to charge Medicare less for prescriptions. The report by the House Oversight and Reform Committee says that contrary to pharmaceutical industry arguments that […]