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Marilyn Bartlett spent two years running Montana's employee health plan. She made better deals with hospitals and drug benefits managers and saved the plan from bankruptcy. Mike Albans for NPR hide caption

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Mike Albans for NPR

A Tough Negotiator Proves Employers Can Bargain Down Health Care Prices

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Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, in Oakland, Calif. is one of hundreds of hospitals serving poor patients that will get some reprieve from Medicare's readmissions penalties. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images hide caption

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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Michael Vigil, an oil contractor from Douglas, Wyo., traveled 250 miles to Denver to have his aortic valve replaced in May. He said he would have preferred his local hospital do the procedure. Courtesy of Michael Vigil hide caption

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Courtesy of Michael Vigil

Changes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could affect how some hospitals operate. David Sacks/Getty Images hide caption

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David Sacks/Getty Images

The results of genetic testing — whether done for health reasons or ancestry searches — can be used by insurance underwriters in evaluating an application for life insurance, or a disability or long-term-care policy. Science Photo Library RF/Getty Images hide caption

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Science Photo Library RF/Getty Images

Good hospice care at the end of life can be a godsend to patients and their families, all agree, whether the care comes at home, or at an inpatient facility like this AIDS hospice. Still, oversight of the industry is important, federal investigators say. Bromberger Hoover Photography/Getty Images hide caption

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Bromberger Hoover Photography/Getty Images

HHS Inspector General's Report Finds Flaws And Fraud In U.S. Hospice Care

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Medicare's proposed changes to doctors' compensation will reduce paperwork, physicians agree. But at what cost to their income? andresr/Getty Images hide caption

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andresr/Getty Images

Some Doctors, Patients Balk At Medicare's 'Flat Fee' Payment Proposal

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Emergencies happen at all hours, but the cost of staffing an emergency department at night is higher than by day, according to emergency care providers. Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

Many Medicare patients don't realize they can sometimes pay less out of pocket for a prescription drug if they pay cash, instead of the insurance copay. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Not seeing clearly can hamper a child's academic achievement, social development and long-term health, research shows. The right pair of glasses can make a big difference. FatCamera/Getty Images hide caption

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FatCamera/Getty Images

Catherine Fitzgerald, the author's mother, spent four nights in a hospital after falling in her home. But Medicare refused to pay for her rehab care, saying she had only been an inpatient for one night. Alison Kodjak/NPR hide caption

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Alison Kodjak/NPR

Free-standing ERs tend to have lower standby costs than hospital-based facilities that have to be ready to treat dire injuries. But the free-standing ERs typically receive the same Medicare rate for emergency services. sshepard/Getty Images hide caption

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sshepard/Getty Images

Under current law, Medicare requires patients to get a referral before seeing an audiologist to diagnose hearing loss. Leyla B / EyeEm/Getty Images hide caption

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Leyla B / EyeEm/Getty Images

After a lifetime of agricultural work on the U.S. mainland, Ausberto Maldonado retired home to a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. But he has diabetes, and especially since Hurricane Maria, has been struggling to get by. Sarah Varney/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Sarah Varney/Kaiser Health News

Time's Running Out For Many Frail, Older People In Puerto Rico

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Leon Beers, a retired railroad engineer who lives near Sacramento, Calif., has a form of Parkinson's disease. His live-in caregiver, Timothy Wehe, helps him get outside using a walker. Bert Johnson for KHN hide caption

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Bert Johnson for KHN

Confused about whether your health plan is ACA-compliant? To be sure you're using your state's official marketplace, start with HealthCare.gov, and click on "see if I can change." Hero Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Hero Images/Getty Images

Patients with a history of polyps who need more subsequent tests may have to pick up some of those costs. PeopleImages/Getty Images hide caption

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PeopleImages/Getty Images

Colin Campbell, shown last month in his home near Los Angeles, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease — ALS — eight years ago. He gets Medicare because of his disability, but was incorrectly told by several agencies that he couldn't use it for home care. Instead, he pays $4,000 a month for those services. Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Each year, hundreds of hospitals lose 1 percent of their Medicare payments through the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program. The penalties — now in their fourth year — were created by the Affordable Care Act to drive hospitals to improve the quality of their care. Maskot/Getty Images hide caption

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Maskot/Getty Images

Proposed changes to the tax law could eliminate the deduction for medical expenses. Those who use it generally have very high medical expenses, often for a disabled child, a serious chronic illness or expensive long-term care not covered by health insurance. PeopleImages/Getty Images hide caption

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PeopleImages/Getty Images