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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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Medicare Surprise: Drug Plan Prices Touted During Open Enrollment Can Rise Within a Month

Something strange happened between the time Linda Griffith signed up for a new Medicare prescription drug plan during last fall’s enrollment period and when she tried to fill her first prescription in January. She picked a Humana drug plan for its low prices, with help from her longtime insurance agent and Medicare’s Plan Finder, an […]

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: More Covid Complications for Congress

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 week that Dr. Anthony Fauci declared the pandemic part of covid-19 over was also the week Vice President Kamala Harris and two Democratic members of the […]

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Despite Losing Federal Money, California Is Still Testing Uninsured Residents for Covid — For Now

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is still offering free covid testing to uninsured residents even though the federal government ran out of money to pay for it. While Congress debates whether to put more money into free testing, California is leaning on programs it already had in place: special state-based coverage for uninsured Californians, school testing, […]

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Battle Lines Are Drawn Over California Deal With Kaiser Permanente

[Editor’s note: KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.] California counties, health insurance plans, community clinics, and a major national health care labor union are lining up against a controversial deal to grant HMO giant Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide Medicaid contract as the bill heads for its first legislative hearing Tuesday. The deal, hammered out […]

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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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California Handed Its Medicaid Drug Program to One Company. Then Came a Corporate Takeover.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Prescription drug costs for California’s massive Medicaid program were draining the state budget, so in 2019 Gov. Gavin Newsom asked the private sector for help.  The new Medicaid drug program debuted this January, with a private company in charge. But it was woefully unprepared, and thousands of low-income Californians were left without […]

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ACA Sign-Ups for Low-Income People Roll Out Amid Brokers’ Concerns About Losing Their Cut

Insurance agent Cindy Holtzman was a little surprised by the notice from Bright HealthCare, one of the insurers that offer Affordable Care Act coverage in her area. The company’s February note said its health plan sign-ups saw “extraordinary growth” — passing the “one-million-member mark” in the previous year — and tied that success to the […]

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Journalists Discuss How Legislation Affects Mental Health Care and Abortion Training

KHN senior correspondent Sarah Varney discussed how state abortion restrictions are limiting training options for medical students and residents who want to learn how to perform abortion procedures on Newsy’s “Evening Debrief” on March 30. KHN interim Southern bureau editor Andy Miller discussed a groundbreaking mental health bill on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Lawmakers” on March […]