Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog, Coco, greet hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications. Amy Pearl/WNYC hide caption

itoggle caption Amy Pearl/WNYC

Valerie Davidson was appointed health commissioner by Alaska's Gov. Bill Walker to help him expand Medicaid in the state. She'll look for middle ground with Republicans to get it done, she says. Lori Townsend/Alaska Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption Lori Townsend/Alaska Public Media

More than a year after he was nominated, Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed as the next surgeon general Monday. Back in February, Murthy testified about his nomination before a Senate panel. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Dharapak/AP

Where are the health insurance deals? On the exchanges, many small businesses have concluded. Bjorn Rune Lie/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bjorn Rune Lie/Ikon Images/Getty Images

David Goldhill (second from left) talks with Dan Hilferty of Independence Blue Cross, Kevin Nazemi of Oscar Insurance and Sam Nussbaum of WellPoint in a conversation about health costs. Moderator Avik Roy is at far left. Glen Davis/Forbes hide caption

itoggle caption Glen Davis/Forbes

Marian Grunwald (from left), Earl Elfstrom and Verna Matheson bounced a balloon back and forth with nursing assistant Rick Pavlisich on Dec. 13, 2013, at an Ecumen nursing home in Chisago City, Minn. Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul hide caption

itoggle caption Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul

NPR's analysis of government data found that harsh penalties are almost never used when nursing home residents get unnecessary drugs of any kind. Owen Franken/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Owen Franken/Corbis