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UVA Health Still Squeezing Money From Patients — By Seizing Their Home Equity

Doris Hutchinson wanted to use money from the sale of her late mother’s house to help her grandchildren go to college. Then she learned the University of Virginia Health System was taking $38,000 of the proceeds because a 13-year-old medical bill owed by her deceased brother had somehow turned into a lien on the property. […]

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 3: Patchwork of Urgent Care Frays After a Rural Hospital Closes

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Emergency care gets complicated after a hospital closes. On a cold February evening, when Robert Findley fell and hit his head on a patch of ice, his wife, Linda, called 911. The delays that came next exposed the frayed patchwork that sometimes stands in for rural health […]

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‘No Mercy’ Chapter 2: Unimaginable, After a Century, That Their Hospital Would Close

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Closing a hospital hurts. In Fort Scott, Kansas, no one was a bigger symbol for that loss — or bigger target for the town’s anger — than hospital president Reta Baker. Baker was at the helm when the hospital doors closed. “I don’t even like going out […]

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Rural Hospitals Teeter on Financial Cliff as COVID Medicare Loans Come Due

This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). Note to Readers: Sarah Jane Tribble spent more than a year and half reporting on a small town in Kansas that lost its only hospital. This month, KHN and St. Louis Public Radio will launch “Where It Hurts,” a podcast exploring […]

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Hospitals, Nursing Homes Fail to Separate COVID Patients, Putting Others at Risk

This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details). Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center were on edge as early as March when patients with COVID-19 began to show up in areas of the hospital that were not set aside to care for them. Explore Our Database KHN and […]

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HHS Plan to Improve Rural Health Focuses on Better Broadband, Telehealth Services

Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). Knowing it may be met with some skepticism, the Trump administration Thursday announced a sweeping plan that officials say will transform health care in rural America. Even before the coronavirus pandemic reached into the nation’s less-populated regions, rural Americans were sicker, poorer and older […]

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Another COVID Mystery: Patients Survive Ventilator, But Linger in a Coma

This story is part of a partnership that includes WBUR, NPR and KHN. This story can be republished for free (details). Leslie Cutitta said yes, twice, when clinicians from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston called asking whether she wanted them to take — and then continue — extreme measures to keep her husband, Frank Cutitta, alive. […]

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COVID Data Failures Create Pressure for Public Health System Overhaul

This story also ran on USA Today. This story can be republished for free (details). After terrorists slammed a plane into the Pentagon on 9/11, ambulances rushed scores of the injured to community hospitals, but only three of the patients were taken to specialized trauma wards. The reason: The hospitals and ambulances had no real-time […]

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Lost on the Frontline

These stories are co-published with The Guardian. This story can be republished for free (details). Note: As of August 10, 2020, all updates to Lost on the Frontline are available at khn.org/lost-on-the-frontline. America’s health care workers are dying. In some states, medical personnel account for as many as 20% of known coronavirus cases. They tend […]

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Avoiding Care During the Pandemic Could Mean Life or Death

These days, Los Angeles acting teacher Deryn Warren balances her pain with her fear. She’s a bladder cancer patient who broke her wrist in November. She still needs physical therapy for her wrist, and she’s months late for a cancer follow-up. But Warren won’t go near a hospital, even though she says her wrist hurts […]