Patients See First Savings From Biden’s Drug Price Push, as Pharma Lines Up Its Lawyers

A restructuring of the Medicare drug benefit has wiped out big drug bills for people who need expensive medicines. But the legal battle over drug negotiations means uncertainty over long-term savings.

KFF Health News’ ‘What the Health?’: Biden Wins Early Court Test for Medicare Drug Negotiations

A federal district court judge dismissed a lawsuit attempting to invalidate the Biden administration’s Medicare prescription-drug price negotiation program. But the suit turned on a technicality, and several more court challenges are in the pipeline. Meanwhile, health policy pops up in Super Bowl ads, as Congress approaches yet another funding deadline. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Lauren Weber of The Washington Post, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KFF Health News’ 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.

In Fight Over Medicare Payments, the Hospital Lobby Shows Its Strength

Medicare pays hospitals about double what it pays other providers for the same services. The hospital lobby is fighting hard to make sure a switch to “site-neutral payments” doesn’t become law.

Cities Know That the Way Police Respond to Mental Crisis Calls Must Change. But How?

Cities are experimenting with new ways to meet the rapidly increasing demand for behavioral health crisis intervention, at a time when incidents of police shooting and killing people in mental health crisis have become painfully familiar.

Colorado Legal Settlement Would Up Care and Housing Standards for Trans Women Inmates

A soon-to-be-finalized legal settlement would offer transgender women in Colorado prisons new housing options, including a pipeline to the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. The change comes amid a growing number of lawsuits across the country aimed at improving health care access and safety for incarcerated trans people.

Acuerdo legal en Colorado mejoraría estándares de atención y vivienda para reclusas trans

El Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos encontró en 2014 que las personas trans en prisión tienen muchas más probabilidades de experimentar violencia sexual tras las rejas tanto del personal como de otros presos.

KFF Health News’ ‘What the Health?’: The Struggle Over Who Gets the Last Word

As science skepticism pervades politics, the Supreme Court will soon consider two cases that seek to define the power of “experts.” Meanwhile, abortion opponents are laying out plans for how Donald Trump, if reelected as president, could effectively curtail abortion even in states where it remains legal. Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, Joanne Kenen of Johns Hopkins University and Politico Magazine, and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews Samantha Liss, who reported and wrote the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” feature about a husband and wife who got billed for preventive care that should have been fully covered.

LISTEN: On the Path to Housing Stability, LA Woman Works With Occupational Therapist

Carla Brown is formerly homeless and has been on the verge of eviction in the past, but working with an occupational therapist has eased the transition to her new apartment.

Ketamine Therapy for Mental Health a ‘Wild West’ for Doctors and Patients

Ketamine, approved by the FDA as an anesthetic in 1970, is emerging as a major alternative mental health treatment, and there are now more than 500 ketamine clinics around the country. But with little regulation and widely varying treatment protocols, it’s a medical “wild West.”

Where Are the Nation’s Primary Care Providers? It’s Not an Easy Answer

Politicians keep talking about fixing primary care shortages. But flawed national data leaves big holes in how to evaluate which policies are effective.

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