A federal lawmaker has introduced a House bill that would close one of a laundry list of oversight gaps revealed in a recent KHN investigation of the system regulators use to ban fraudsters from billing government health programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicare Advantage, the private-sector alternative to original Medicare, now enrolls nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries. But it remains controversial because — while most of its subscribers like the extra benefits many plans provide — the program frequently costs the federal government more than if those seniors remained in the fully public program. That controversy […]
In-person mental health care is hard to arrange in rural nursing homes, so video chats with faraway professionals are filling the gap.
Any day now a conservative federal judge in Texas could upend the national abortion debate by requiring the FDA to rescind its approval of mifepristone, a drug approved in the U.S. more than 20 years ago that is now used in more than half of abortions nationwide. Meanwhile, a controversial study on masks gets a clarification, although it may be too late to change the public impression of what it found. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.
Very little in the proposed budget released by the Biden administration is likely to become law, particularly with Republicans in charge of the U.S. House. Still, the document is an important statement of the president’s policy priorities, and it’s clear health programs are among those he feels are important. Meanwhile, five women who were denied abortions when their pregnancies threatened their lives are suing Texas. Shefali Luthra of The 19th, Victoria Knight of Axios, and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Harris Meyer, who reported and wrote the two latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” features. Both were about families facing unexpected bills following childbirth.
While Medicare was designed as health insurance for those 65 and older, it also covers people with disabilities who are young enough to still get pregnant. Yet they often struggle to get their birth control covered and end up with large medical bills — or instead opt for hysterectomies or tubal ligations, which Medicare sometimes will cover.
Hospitals in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma are among the first to apply for a new rural hospital payment model that shifts the focus of services away from overnight stays to outpatient and emergency care. Still, experts say the law needs to be amended to provide the right mix of care for rural communities.
With Medicare and Social Security apparently off the table for federal budget cuts, the focus has turned to Medicaid, the federal-state health program for those with low incomes. President Joe Biden has made it clear he wants to protect the program, along with the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans will likely propose cuts to both […]
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