Latest California Healthline Stories
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Leaked Abortion Opinion Rocks Washington’s World
The unprecedented early leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the landmark abortion-rights ruling Roe v. Wade has heated the national abortion debate to boiling. Meanwhile, the FDA, after years of consideration, moves to ban menthol flavors in cigarettes and cigars. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Shefali Luthra of the 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Paula Andalo, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a family whose medical debt drove them to seek care south of the border.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: News You Might Have Missed
Congress is in recess, so the slower-than-average news week gives us a chance to catch up on underreported topics, like Medicare’s coverage decision for the controversial Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm and ominous new statistics on drug overdose deaths and sexually transmitted diseases. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Medicare Advantage Plans Send Pals to Seniors’ Homes for Companionship — And Profits
Many Medicare Advantage plans send caregivers to the homes of seniors periodically to help with housework and provide companionship. But the workers may also prod seniors into activities that boost the plans’ Medicare ratings and federal reimbursements.
Seeking to Shift Costs to Medicare, More Employers Move Retirees to Advantage Plans
Private and public employers are increasingly using the government’s Medicare Advantage program as an alternative to their existing retiree health plan and traditional Medicare coverage. As a result, the federal government is paying the “overwhelming majority” of medical costs, according to an industry analyst.
Researcher: Medicare Advantage Plans Costing Billions More Than They Should
Some insurers pocketed ‘eye-popping’ overpayments, billing records show.
Medicare’s Open Enrollment Is Open Season for Scammers
Medicare officials say complaints are rising from seniors lured into private plans with misleading information or enrolled without their consent. In response, officials have threatened to penalize the private companies selling Medicare Advantage and drug plans if they or agents working on their behalf mislead consumers.
Democrats’ Plans to Expand Medicare Benefits May Pinch Advantage Plans’ Funding
As lawmakers weigh new spending provisions to cover dental, hearing and vision services for Medicare beneficiaries, a group supporting Medicare Advantage plans is airing commercials that raise concerns about the funding for those private plans.
Justice Department Targets Data Mining in Medicare Advantage Fraud Case
The feds’ civil suit links exaggerated patient bills to “tens of millions” in overcharges.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Booster Time
As the delta variant continues to spread around the U.S., the Biden administration is taking steps to authorize covid vaccine boosters, require nursing home workers to be vaccinated and protect school officials who want to require masks despite state laws banning those mandates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House is returning from its summer break early to start work on its giant budget bill, which includes a long list of health policy changes. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover Services So Many Seniors Need?
When the program began half a century ago, backers believed the benefits would expand over time, but politics and concerns about money have stymied most efforts. Now congressional Democrats are looking to add vision, dental and hearing care.