Cost and Quality

Latest California Healthline Stories

Despite New Doubts, ‘Hotspotting’ Help For Heavy Health Care Users Marches On

Gov. Gavin Newsom has earmarked nearly $600 million in his 2020-21 state budget plan to provide intensive care management to high-needs, high-risk patients around the state. The programs are similar to an initiative in Camden, New Jersey, that was called into question by a recent study finding hospital readmissions dropped, but at only about the same rate as patients who didn’t receive the same kind of intensive services.

For 2020, California Goes Big On Health Care

California lawmakers are proposing ambitious health care ideas, from creating a state generic drug label to banning the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. Even though Democrats control state government, they’re likely to face pushback from powerful health care industry groups like hospitals. 

Listen: How High-Deductible Plans Hurt Rural America

Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Markian Hawryluk joined Colorado Public Radio’s Avery Lill on “Colorado Matters” to discuss his recent story on how high-deductible health plans are especially hurting the financial health of patients and hospitals in rural America.

High-Deductible Plans Jeopardize Financial Health Of Patients And Rural Hospitals

Small hospitals and patients in rural areas have been hit hard by the boom in high-deductible health plans. Often when a patient arrives at a rural hospital needing critical care, the person is stabilized and transferred to a larger facility. But bills from the first site of care generally get applied to the patient’s deductible. When patients can’t afford their deductible, the smaller hospital winds up eating the costs.

‘An Arm And A Leg’: Watch Your Back — And Your Wallet

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of the book “Crooked,” says chronic low back pain is not a medical condition. Nonetheless, that complaint sends millions of Americans down a path of expensive imaging tests, ongoing therapies and invasive surgery — all with limited effectiveness for many patients. In a conversation with “An Arm and a Leg” podcast host Dan Weissmann, Ramin shares her journey of back pain and recovery.