Some people say it’s reasonable for densely populated areas to receive more settlement funds, since they serve more of those affected. But others worry this overlooks rural communities disproportionately harmed by opioid addiction.
The cash represents an unprecedented opportunity to derail the opioid epidemic, but with countless groups advocating for their share of the pie, the impact could depend heavily on geography and politics.
Hospitals strike deals with financing companies, generating profits for lenders, and more debt for patients.
New policies to prevent unpaid medical bills from harming people’s credit scores are on the way. But the concessions made by top credit reporting companies may fall short for those with the largest debt — especially Black Americans in the South.
Penny Wingard, 58, of Charlotte, North Carolina, worries she won’t ever get out from under her medical debt despite new policies that are supposed to prevent medical debt from harming people’s credit scores.
The July launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was celebrated by many mental health providers and advocates, but it triggered concerns, too, from people who say using the service could lead to increased law enforcement involvement or forced hospitalization.
Medical debt is most prevalent in the Southeast, where states have not expanded Medicaid and have few consumer protection laws. Now, North Carolina is considering two bills that could change that, making the state a leader in protecting patients from high medical bills.
Despite a consensus that patients should be able to get mental health care from primary care doctors, insurance policies and financial incentives may not support that.
Three years after a government site launched to connect Americans to treatment, finding addiction care is still a struggle.
A bill one family considered paid wrongfully resurfaced, resurrecting painful memories. It’s a scenario that’s not uncommon but grievously unsettling.