Julie Appleby
Julie Appleby
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Feeling Left Out: Private Practice Doctors, Patients Wonder When It’s Their Turn for Vaccine

Feeling Left Out: Private Practice Doctors, Patients Wonder When It’s Their Turn for Vaccine

This story also ran on . It can beDr. Andrew Carroll — a family doctor in Chandler, Arizona — wants to help his patients get immunized against covid, so he paid more than $4,000 to buy an ultra-low-temperature freezer from eBay needed to store the Pfizer vaccine.But he’s not sure he’ll get a chance to use it, given health officials have so far not said when private doctor’s offices will get vaccine.“I’m really angry,” said Carroll.Not only are doctors having trouble getting vaccine for patients, but many of the community-based physicians and medical staff that aren’t employed by hospitals...

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Julie Appleby
Jan 13
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Hospital Prices Just Got a Lot More Transparent. What Does This Mean for You?

Hospital Prices Just Got a Lot More Transparent. What Does This Mean for You?

This story also ran on . It can beHospitals face the new year with new requirements to post price information they have long sought to obscure: the actual prices negotiated with insurers and the discounts they offer their cash-paying customers.The move is part of a larger push by the Trump administration to use price transparency to curtail prices and create better-informed consumers. Yet there is disagreement on whether it will do so.As of Jan. 1, facilities must publicly post on their websites prices for every service, drug and supply they provide. Next year, , health insurers must take...

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Julie Appleby
Jan 5
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Hospitals Forced To Be More Transparent About Pricing. Will That Save You Money?

Hospitals Forced To Be More Transparent About Pricing. Will That Save You Money?

Will You Save Money On Hospital Bills With New Price Transparency Rule? : Shots - Health News Under a rule that kicked in Jan. 1, hospitals must now make public the prices they negotiate with health insurers. But health policy experts have divergent views on what that will mean for patients.Julie ApplebyFromHospitals are facing the new year with new requirements to post price information they have long sought to obscure: the actual prices they negotiate with insurers and the discounts they offer their cash-paying customers. The move is part of a larger push by the Trump administration to...

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Julie Appleby
Jan 5
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Surprise! Congress Takes Steps to Curb Unexpected Medical Bills

Surprise! Congress Takes Steps to Curb Unexpected Medical Bills

This story also ran on . It can beMost Americans tell pollsters they’re worried about being able to afford an unexpected medical bill.Late Monday, Congress passed a bill to allay some of those fears. The measure is included in a nearly 5,600-page package providing coronavirus economic relief and government funding for the rest of the fiscal year.Specifically, the legislation addresses those charges that result from a long-running practice in which out-of-network medical providers — from doctors to air ambulance companies — send insured Americans “surprise bills,” sometimes for tens of...

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Julie Appleby
Dec 22
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Supply Is Limited and Distribution Uncertain as COVID Vaccine Rolls Out

Supply Is Limited and Distribution Uncertain as COVID Vaccine Rolls Out

It can beHigh stakes and big challenges await as the U.S. prepares to roll out vaccines against COVID-19, with front-line health care workers and vulnerable nursing home residents recommended as the top priority.Doses could be on their way very soon. An independent advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gave a green light to the first vaccine candidate, made by Pfizer in conjunction with the German company BioNTech — a recommendation expected to be approved by the agency within days. The committee is scheduled to consider a second candidate, made by Moderna, Dec....

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Julie Appleby
Dec 11
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During ACA Open Enrollment, Picking a Plan Invites New COVID Complications

During ACA Open Enrollment, Picking a Plan Invites New COVID Complications

This story also ran on .People buying their own health insurance have even more to think about this year, particularly those post-COVID-19 patients with lingering health concerns, the “long haulers,” who join the club of Americans with preexisting conditions.What type of plan is best for someone with an unpredictable, ongoing medical concern? That question is popping up on online chat sites dedicated to long haulers and among people reaching out for assistance in selecting insurance coverage.“We are hearing from a lot of people who have had COVID and want to be able to deal with the...

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Julie Appleby
Dec 3
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After Kid’s Minor Bike Accident, Major Bill Sets Legal Wheels in Motion

After Kid’s Minor Bike Accident, Major Bill Sets Legal Wheels in Motion

Adam Woodrum was out for a bike ride with his wife and kids on July 19 when his then 9-year-old son, Robert, crashed.“He cut himself pretty bad, and I could tell right away he needed stitches,” said Woodrum.This story also ran on . It can beBecause they were on bikes, he called the fire department in Carson City, Nevada.“They were great,” said Woodrum. “They took him on a stretcher to the ER.”Robert received stitches and anesthesia at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. He’s since recovered nicely.Then the denial letter came.Do you have an exorbitant or baffling medical bill? Join the KHN...

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Julie Appleby
Nov 25
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How COVID Death Counts Become the Stuff of Conspiracy Theories

How COVID Death Counts Become the Stuff of Conspiracy Theories

This story also ran on .In the waning days of the campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly about how the United States tracks the number of people who have died from COVID-19, claiming, “This country and its reporting systems are just not doing it right.”He went on to blame those reporting systems for inflating the number of deaths, pointing a at medical professionals, who he said benefit financially.All that feeds into the swirling political doubts that surround the pandemic, and raises questions about how deaths are reported and tallied.We asked experts to explain how it’s done and to...

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Julie Appleby
Nov 2
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Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

This story also ran on .Facing a pandemic, record unemployment and unknown future costs for COVID-19 treatments, health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans to individuals reacted by lowering rates in some areas and, overall, issuing only modest premium increases for 2021.“What’s been fascinating is that carriers in general are not projecting much impact from the pandemic for their 2021 premium rates,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.Although final rates have yet to be analyzed in all...

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Julie Appleby
Oct 22
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The Affordable Care Act's Fate Is In Flux But 2021 Health Plan Prices Are Stable

The Affordable Care Act's Fate Is In Flux But 2021 Health Plan Prices Are Stable

Obamacare Open Enrollment Starts Nov 1. Here's What's Changing This Year : Shots - Health News The Affordable Care Act's future is uncertain and there's no end in sight to the pandemic. But for the 2021 insurance year consumers can expect to see modest increases in prices, if any.Julie ApplebyFromFacing a pandemic, record unemployment and unknown future costs for COVID-19 treatments, health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans to individuals reacted by lowering rates in some areas and, overall, issuing only modest premium increases for 2021. "What's been fascinating is that carriers...

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Julie Appleby
Oct 20
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Does the Federal Health Information Privacy Law Protect President Trump?

Does the Federal Health Information Privacy Law Protect President Trump?

This story also ran on .Within one day, President Donald Trump announced his COVID diagnosis and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment. The flurry of events was stunning, confusing and triggered many questions. What was his prognosis? When was he last tested for COVID-19? What is his viral load?The answers were elusive.Picture the scene on Oct. 5. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley, flanked by other members of Trump’s medical team, met with reporters outside the hospital. But Conley would not disclose the results of the president’s lung scans and...

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Julie Appleby
Oct 7
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5 Things to Know About a COVID Vaccine: It Won’t Be a ‘Magic Wand’

5 Things to Know About a COVID Vaccine: It Won’t Be a ‘Magic Wand’

This story also ran on .President Donald Trump makes no secret he would like a COVID-19 vaccine to be available before the election. But it’s doubtful that will happen and, even after a vaccine wins FDA approval, there would be a long wait before it’s time to declare victory over the virus.Dozens of vaccine candidates are in various testing stages around the world, with 11 of preapproval clinical trials — including four in the U.S. One or more may prove safe and effective and enter the market in the coming months. What then?Here are five things to consider in making vaccine dreams come...

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Julie Appleby
Oct 5
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Trump’s COVID Program for Uninsured People: It Exists, but Falls Short

Trump’s COVID Program for Uninsured People: It Exists, but Falls Short

“For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, my Administration implemented a program to provide any individual without health-insurance coverage access to necessary COVID‑19‑related testing and treatment.”President Donald Trump, in an , Sept. 24, 2020In a wide-ranging , President Donald Trump this month outlined some of the efforts he has made to affect health care since taking office.This story was produced in partnership with .One involved uninsured people and the current pandemic. The administration, Trump said, set up a program to provide them “access to necessary COVID-19-related...

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Julie Appleby
Oct 2
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Post-COVID Clinics Get Jump-Start From Patients With Lingering Illness

Post-COVID Clinics Get Jump-Start From Patients With Lingering Illness

This story also ran on .Clarence Troutman survived a two-month hospital stay with COVID-19, then went home in early June. But he’s far from over the disease, still suffering from limited endurance, shortness of breath and hands that can be stiff and swollen.“Before COVID, I was a 59-year-old, relatively healthy man,” said the broadband technician from Denver. “If I had to say where I’m at now, I’d say about 50% of where I was, but when I first went home, I was at 20%.”He credits much of his progress to the “motivation and education” gleaned from a new program for post-COVID patients at the...

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Julie Appleby
Sep 30
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Cory Gardner’s Bill Has as Much to Do With Politics as Preexisting Conditions

Cory Gardner’s Bill Has as Much to Do With Politics as Preexisting Conditions

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said he authored legislation “to guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — no matter what happens to Obamacare.”— In a tweet on Sept. 15This story also ran on .Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican running in a tight race for reelection in Colorado, says he wants to protect people with medical conditions.In a mid-September tweet released by his campaign, he promoted legislation he introduced in August that he says will do just that.“People like my mother who battle chronic diseases are heroes,” read the . “I authored the bill to guarantee coverage to...

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Julie Appleby
Sep 18
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Scam Alert: Things a COVID Contact Tracer Wouldn’t Say

Scam Alert: Things a COVID Contact Tracer Wouldn’t Say

This story also ran on .State officials and federal agencies warn there’s a new phone scam circulating: Some callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers try to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims.The grifters apparently are taking advantage of a genuine public health intervention that’s crucial to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus: contact tracing.In one such scheme, detailed in , scammers tell their victims, “I’m calling from your local health department to let you know that you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.” Then they move...

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Julie Appleby
Aug 20
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Your Favorite Store or Restaurant Is Open. How Do You Know It’s OK to Go In?

Your Favorite Store or Restaurant Is Open. How Do You Know It’s OK to Go In?

This story also ran on .Just because many businesses are open again doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. The coronavirus is still on the loose — actually surging in many locations — which means people have to make serious choices about their health all day, every day.Nothing in life is without risk, and decisions ultimately hinge on individual calculations. But, according to the public health experts we consulted, there are steps you can take — and signs to look for — to make you feel comfortable and help you decide whether to open the door and walk in. Sometimes, you may want to opt...

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Julie Appleby
Aug 7
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Could Labs That Test Livestock Ease COVID Testing Backlog for People? Well … Maybe.

Could Labs That Test Livestock Ease COVID Testing Backlog for People? Well … Maybe.

“Five veterinary labs have their CLIA certification to officially test human patients. There are a lot of labs who are doing surveillance testing that don’t need the CLIA certification.”Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, July 26, 2020This story was produced in partnership with .In a heated exchange late last month on , host Jake Tapper pressed Adm. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary who oversees COVID testing efforts for the...

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Julie Appleby
Aug 5
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For COVID Tests, the Question of Who Pays Comes Down to Interpretation

For COVID Tests, the Question of Who Pays Comes Down to Interpretation

This story also ran on .In advance of an upcoming road trip with her elderly parents, Wendy Epstein’s physician agreed it would be “prudent” for her and her kids to get tested for COVID-19.Seeing the tests as a “medical need,” the doctor said insurance would likely pay for them, with no out-of-pocket cost to Epstein. But her children’s pediatrician said the test would count as a screening test — since the children were not showing symptoms — and she would probably have to foot the bill herself.It made no sense. “That’s two different responses for the exact same scenario,” said Epstein, a...

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Julie Appleby
Jul 20
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Conspiracy Theories Aside, Here’s What Contact Tracers Really Do

Conspiracy Theories Aside, Here’s What Contact Tracers Really Do

This story also ran on .In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, contact tracing is downright buzzy, and not always in a good way.Contact tracing is the public health practice of informing people when they’ve been exposed to a contagious disease. As it has become more widely employed across the country, it has also become mired in modern political polarization and conspiracy theories.Misinformation abounds, from tales that people who talk to contact tracers will be sent to nonexistent “FEMA camps” — a rumor so prevalent that health officials in Washington state had to put out a in May...

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Julie Appleby
Jul 15
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Could Trump’s Push To Undo The ACA Cause Problems For COVID Survivors? Biden Thinks So.

Could Trump’s Push To Undo The ACA Cause Problems For COVID Survivors? Biden Thinks So.

“If Donald Trump has his way, complications from COVID-19 could become a new preexisting condition.”Former Vice President Joe Biden during a campaign speech in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, June 25, 2020This story was produced in partnership with .The same day the Trump administration of a lawsuit that would invalidate all of the Affordable Care Act, Joe Biden sharply warned that the suit endangers millions of Americans.The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is even more important now, more than a decade after it was enacted, as the COVID-19 epidemic sweeps the U.S. The virus has killed...

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Julie Appleby
Jul 9
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COVID Catch-22: They Got A Big ER Bill Because Hospitals Couldn’t Test For Virus

COVID Catch-22: They Got A Big ER Bill Because Hospitals Couldn’t Test For Virus

This story also ran on .Fresh off a Caribbean cruise in early March, John Campbell developed a cough and fever of 104 degrees. He went to his primary care physician and got a flu test, which came up negative.Then things got strange. Campbell said the doctor then turned to him and said, “I’ve called the ER next door, and you need to go there. This is a matter of public health. They’re expecting you.”Feb 13Bill of the Month is a crowdsourced investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR that dissects and explains medical bills.It was March 3, and no one had an inkling yet of just how bad the...

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Julie Appleby
Jul 7
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Pandemic Forced Insurers To Pay For In-Home Treatments. Will They Disappear?

Pandemic Forced Insurers To Pay For In-Home Treatments. Will They Disappear?

This story also ran on .After seven days as an inpatient for complications related to heart problems, Glenn Shanoski was initially hesitant when doctors suggested in early April that he could cut his hospital stay short and recover at home — with high-tech 24-hour monitoring and daily visits from medical teams.But Shanoski, a 52-year-old electrician in Salem, Massachusetts, decided to give it a try. He’d felt increasingly lonely in a hospital where the COVID pandemic meant no visitors. Also, Boston’s Tufts Medical Center wanted to free up beds for a possible surge of the coronavirus.With a...

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Julie Appleby
Jun 23
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Si perdiste tu seguro de salud por la crisis de COVID-19, tienes opciones

Si perdiste tu seguro de salud por la crisis de COVID-19, tienes opciones

Noticias en español es una sección de Kaiser Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos.Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita ().El coronavirus y las consecuencias económicas de la pandemia, impulsaron el trabajo del asesor de seguros de salud Mark Van Arnam. Pero él quiere estar aún más ocupado.Para gran parte de las 21 millones de personas que se han quedado sin empleo, la pérdida ha sido doble: el trabajo y el seguro de salud, dijo Van...

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Julie Appleby
Jun 12
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If You’ve Lost Your Health Plan In The COVID Crisis, You’ve Got Options

If You’ve Lost Your Health Plan In The COVID Crisis, You’ve Got Options

The coronavirus pandemic — and the economic fallout that has come with it — boosted health insurance enrollment counselor Mark Van Arnam’s workload. But he wants to be even busier.The loss of employment for 21 million Americans is a double blow for many because it also means the loss of insurance, said Van Arnam, director of the North Carolina Navigator Consortium, a group of organizations that offer free help to state residents enrolling in insurance.Calls to the consortium have increased sharply, but he believes many more people are going without insurance and could use his help. He...

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Julie Appleby
Jun 12
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