At least 43 million Americans have overdue medical bills on their credit reports, according to a 2014 report on medical debt by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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Fort Scott, Kan., fills up on weekday afternoons as locals grab pizza, visit a coffeehouse or browse antique shops and a bookstore. Like other rural communities, the commercial areas also include empty storefronts.
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Over the past decade, hospitals have been rapidly building outpatient clinics or purchasing existing independent ones. It was a lucrative business strategy because such clinics could charge higher rates, on the premise that they were part of a hospital. Medicare's recent rule change puts a damper on all that.
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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, incidents of serious workplace violence are four times more common in health care than in private industry. Most assaults come from patients and patients' families.
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Before it closed March 1, the 25-bed Columbia River Hospital, in Celina, Tenn., served the town of 1,500 residents. The closest hospital now is 18 miles from Celina — a 30-minute or more drive on mountain roads.
A certified nursing assistant wipes Neva Shinkle's face with chlorhexidine, an antimicrobial wash. Shinkle is a patient at Coventry Court Health Center, a nursing home in Anaheim, Calif., that is part of a multicenter research project aimed at stopping the spread of MRSA and CRE — two types of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics.
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The uncompensated care costs among Colorado hospitals dropped by more than 60 percent after the state expanded Medicaid coverage — a savings of more than $400 million statewide. But a new report asks why the hospitals didn't pass some of those savings on to patients.
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