Latest California Healthline Stories
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.
Even the savviest Medicare drug plan shoppers can get a shock when they fill prescriptions: That great deal on medications is no bargain after prices go up.
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.
Federal health officials haven’t taken a clear position on whether a high-dose influenza vaccine — on the market since 2010 — is the best choice for people 65 and older. Many in that group already opt for the costlier enhanced shot. Those who get the standard vaccine are disproportionately members of ethnic and racial minorities.
Esta vacuna reforzada contra la influenza, podría ser más efectiva contra el virus, pero es más costosa. Y no suele estar disponible para las poblaciones más vulnerables.
In the battle against covid, pharmacies became a key place for consumers to seek vaccines and testing. Some states are expanding pharmacists’ work to include directly prescribing drugs for customers who seek some routine, point-of-care tests, such as those for flu or strep throat. But doctor groups oppose the move.
Prosecutors say opioid-seeking patients drove hours to get their prescriptions filled in Celina, Tennessee, where pharmacies ignored signs of substance misuse and paid cash — or “monkey bucks” — to keep customers coming back.
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.
KHN senior correspondents Jenny Gold and Anna Maria Barry-Jester joined KVPR’s Kathleen Schock on “Valley Edition” to discuss their investigation into the abrupt closure of one of California’s largest chain of pain clinics — and the patients left behind.
Medicare has proposed limiting coverage of Aduhelm, the costly new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and several prominent groups representing patients and their families are pressing the program to make it more widely available. But among individuals facing the disease, the outlook is more nuanced.