Health Inc. : Shots - Health NewsAs spending on care rises, the business of health keeps getting more important. We feature news on and analysis of drugmakers, health insurers, hospitals, doctors and others in the business of providing health care.
Health insurers say the U.S. government owes them more than $12 billion in payments that were rescinded by a Republican-controlled Congress. The money was supposed to subsidize insurers' expected losses between 2014 and 2016.
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Jennifer Brooks, who had repeatedly visited the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, was sued by Southeastern Emergency Physicians for $8,500 in unpaid medical bills.
Enrollment help was plentiful for insurance sign-ups in the early years of the Affordable Care Act, such as at this clinic in Bear, Del., in 2014. Though the Trump administration has since slashed the outreach budget, about 930,000 people have signed up for ACA health plans so far this year.
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"The profession we love has been taken over," psychiatrist and novelist Samuel Shem tells NPR, "with us sitting there in front of screens all day, doing data entry in a computer factory."
In 2015, the New York legislature in Albany passed a law to end the practice of surprise medical billing. Research suggests overall health care costs have risen as a result.
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 1,500 self-funded health plans, sued Sutter Health for antitrust violations. The closely watched case, which many expected to set precedents nationwide, ended in a settlement Wednesday. Above, Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif.
While prescriptions for durable medical equipment, such as orthotic braces or wheelchairs, have long been a staple of Medicare fraud schemes, some alleged scammers are now using telemedicine and unscrupulous health providers to prescribe unneeded equipment to distant patients.
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U.S. Justice Department Charges 35 People In Fraudulent Genetic Testing Scheme
Medicare Advantage health plans, mostly run by private insurance companies, have enrolled more than 22 million seniors and people with disabilities — more than 1 in 3 people who are on some sort of Medicare plan.
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Carrie Barrett, a former defendant in a suit brought by Methodist Hospital, testifies during service at Apostolic Fellowship Church in Memphis, Tenn., on Sept. 15. Her debt to the hospital was cleared following an MLK50 and ProPublica investigation into the debt collection practices.
Andrea Morales for MLK50
Some insurers using this new payment model offer a single fee to one OB-GYN or medical practice, which then uses part of that money to cover the hospital care involved in labor and delivery. Other insurers opt to cut a separate contract with the hospital.
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A pharmacist collects packets of boxed medication from the shelves of a pharmacy in London, U.K. A proposal announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday would allow the government to directly negotiate the price of 250 U.S. drugs, using what the drugs cost in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom as a baseline.
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Visitors and park rangers at historic Fort Scott check out a medevac helicopter operated by Midwest AeroCare during the Kansas town's Good Ol' Days festival.
Sarah Jane Tribble/Kaiser Health News
Unlike Planned Parenthood which pulled out of Title X family planning funding, many clinics still take the funding and must comply with new rules on discussing abortion. Doctors worry it will affect their relationships with patients.
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UK Biobank has granted 10,000 qualified scientists access to its large database of genetic sequences and other medical data, but other organizations with databases have been far more restrictive in giving access.
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Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, picked up in a 2016 New York City drug bust. "Basically, [fentanyl] is so cheap to produce and it's so powerful, that drug dealers began realizing it was a way to increase their profits," Fentanyl, Inc. author Ben Westhoff says. But miscalculations of the amount used can be deadly.
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UK Biobank, based in Manchester, England, is the largest blood-based research project in the world. The research project will involve at least 500,000 people across the U.K., and follow their health for next 30 years or more, providing a resource for scientists battling diseases.
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