A Striking Gap Between Deaths of Black and White Babies Plagues the South
Infant mortality rates across the South are by far the worst in the U.S. A look at South Carolina — where multimillion-dollar programs aimed at improving rates over the past 10 years have failed to move the needle — drives home the challenge of finding solutions, especially in rural communities.
How a 2019 Florida Law Catalyzed a Hospital-Building Boom
In Wesley Chapel, Fla., near Tampa, residents will soon have three general hospitals within a five-minute drive. The new construction is part of a hospital-building boom across Florida unleashed almost four years ago, when the state dropped a requirement that companies obtain government approval to open new hospitals.
Feds Move to Rein In Prior Authorization, a System That Harms and Frustrates Patients
The federal government wants to change the way health insurers use prior authorization — the requirement that patients get permission before undergoing treatment. Designed to prevent doctors from deploying expensive, ineffectual procedures, prior authorization has become a confusing maze that denies or delays care, burdens physicians with paperwork, and perpetuates racial disparities. New rules may not be enough to solve the problems.
Hospitals’ Use of Volunteer Staff Runs Risk of Skirting Labor Laws, Experts Say
Hospitals using volunteers is commonplace. But some labor experts argue that deploying unpaid workers to do work that benefits the organization’s bottom line lets for-profit hospitals skirt federal labor laws, deprives employees of work, and potentially exploits the volunteers.
Public Health Agencies Try to Restore Trust as They Fight Misinformation
As public health departments work on improving their message, the skepticism and mistrust often reserved for covid-19 vaccines now threaten other public health priorities, including flu shots and childhood vaccines.
Mass Shootings Reopen the Debate Over Whether Crime Scene Photos Prompt Change or Trauma
After almost every mass shooting, a debate is renewed over whether to publish the photos of the carnage the guns have inflicted.
Hurricane Ian Shows That Coastal Hospitals Aren’t Ready for Climate Change
Hundreds of medical centers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts face serious risks from even relatively weak storms as climate change accelerates sea-level rise — not to mention big ones like Category 4 Hurricane Ian.
Wastewater Surveillance Has Become a Critical Covid Tracking Tool, but Funding Is Inconsistent
Dashboards that rely on positive covid test results reported to local health departments no longer paint a reliable picture of how covid is spreading in an area. Some experts say wastewater surveillance is the most accurate way to measure viral activity. Meanwhile, some wastewater labs face funding shortfalls.
The $18,000 Breast Biopsy: When Having Insurance Costs You a Bundle
An online calculator told a young woman that a procedure to rule out cancer would cost an uninsured person about $1,400. Instead, the hospital initially charged almost $18,000 and, with her high-deductible health insurance, she owed more than $5,000.
To Retain Nurses and Other Staffers, Hospitals Are Opening Child Care Centers
More than two years into the pandemic, parents face a child care crisis. That’s why some hospitals are considering starting child care centers to address recruitment and retention troubles.