Latest California Healthline Stories
Members of Congress and others complain Medicare’s revamped Plan Finder had problems. Federal officials say they can help consumers who got bad information change their plans next year. But details about how switching will work are yet to come.
“Warmlines” are phone lines or electronic chat options for people who are not having a full-blown mental health crisis but who could use support to stave off one. They are a growing trend in mental health outreach to supplement existing hotlines, with one successful warmline in the Bay Area recently expanding to cover all of California.
The annual accounting of national health spending is out. And the 2018 health bill for the U.S. was $3.6 trillion, consuming nearly a fifth of the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, Congress is nearing the end of the year without having finished either its annual spending bills or several other high-priority health items. Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Markian Hawryluk about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month.”
Consumers are admonished to be “smart shoppers,” but that’s difficult if health care prices are clear as mud. When Sarah Macsalka’s son needed stitches, she did her best to avoid the ER and still ended up with a $3,000 bill.
The pharmaceutical industry’s argument that capping drug prices would compromise drug innovation stands “on very shaky ground.”
Harvard psychiatrist Arthur Kleinman shed his “veil of ignorance” during 11 years serving as the primary family caregiver for his wife, who had a rare form of early Alzheimer’s disease. In a new book, “The Soul of Care,” he offers suggestions for transforming health care ― just as caregiving transformed him.
Health care workers face a greater threat of workplace violence than workers in most other industries. Hospitals are installing security cameras and panic buttons, arming security guards with stun guns and teaching their employees how to handle potentially violent situations.
Public health officials are adopting a law enforcement tool, the mass spectrometer, to instantly identify potentially deadly levels of opioids in local drug supplies.
Called “Ready, Set, PrEP,” the federal program will provide medication that can reduce the chances of getting AIDS to at-risk patients who don’t have insurance.
“Street medicine” programs seek out people living in back alleys and under highways. It’s a public health approach designed to build trust and eventually connect homeless patients to other services.