Latest California Healthline Stories
After Medical Bills Broke the Bank, This Family Headed to Mexico for Care
The Fierro family owed a Yuma, Arizona, hospital more than $7,000 for care given to mom and dad, so when a son dislocated his shoulder, they headed to Mexicali. The care was quick, good, and affordable.
Llámalo “Mexicare”: hartos de cuentas médicas astronómicas, familia cruza la frontera para recibir atención
La familia Fierro le debe a un hospital de Yuma, Arizona, más de $7,000 por dos situaciones médicas. Así que cuando uno de los hijos se dislocó el hombro, fueron a Mexicali, México. La atención fue rápida, buena y económica.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Funding for the Next Pandemic
In his proposed budget, President Joe Biden called for a boost in health spending that includes billions of dollars to prepare for a future pandemic. But that doesn’t include money he says is needed immediately for testing and treating covid-19. Also this week, federal regulators authorized a second booster shot for people 50 and older yet gave little guidance to consumers about who needs the shot and when. Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive air ambulance ride.
The Case of the $489,000 Air Ambulance Ride
Diagnosed with aggressive leukemia on a Western trip, a young man thought his insurance would cover an air ambulance ride home to North Carolina. Instead, questions about medical necessity left him with an astronomical bill.
An $80,000 Tab for Newborns Lays Out a Loophole in the New Law to Curb Surprise Bills
The insurance company said that the birth of the Bull family’s twins was not an emergency and that NICU care was “not medically necessary.” The family’s experience with a huge bill sent to collections happened in 2020, but it exposes a hole in the new No Surprises law that took effect Jan. 1.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Paging the HHS Secretary
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is drawing criticism for his hands-off handling of the covid crisis even though the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and FDA report to him. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor looks to enforce mental health “parity laws” that have failed to achieve their goals. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a large emergency room bill for a small amount of medical care.
Watch: ER Charged $1,012 for Almost No Care
KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal weighs in on the January installment of KHN-NPR’s Bill of the Month, in which a family gets burned over a visit to the emergency room.
The Doctor Didn’t Show Up, but the Hospital ER Still Charged $1,012
A St. Louis-area toddler burned his hand on the stove, and his mom took him to the ER on the advice of her pediatrician. He wasn’t seen by a doctor, and the dressing on the wound wasn’t changed. The bill was more than a thousand dollars.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Contagion Confusion
It’s 2022 and the covid-19 pandemic is still with us, as are congressional efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s big health and social spending bill. But other issues seem certain to take center stage on this year’s health agenda, including abortion, the state of the health care workforce, and prescription drug prices. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Victoria Knight, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.
‘Then the Bill Came’: Year 4 of KHN-NPR’s Bill of the Month Is a Wrap
Our crowdsourced investigation of the high, confusing and arbitrary medical bills generated by our health system is set to begin its fifth year in 2022.