Health Care

Vending machines expand scope, impact of public health initiatives

The self-serve kiosks distribute health and hygiene products for free, which experts say improves accessibility to essential services and helps an increasingly pinched public health workforce.

Governors roundly condemn Alabama ruling that effectively halts IVF

Republican leadership in the state is working on legislation that would narrow the impact of the ruling after several Alabama fertility clinics halted the procedures.

After promising to make government health care data more accessible, the Biden administration now wants to clamp down

Researchers across the country fear a new proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will increase fees and decrease access to data used to support major health care reforms.

States’ prescription boards tackle high drug costs

At least 11 states are developing drug cost review boards to identify and address costs of expensive medications.

Prevention pays off: Wellness programs help states care for an aging population

There are ways to stave off the health and financial challenges that come with an older population, experts say.

Private equity’s growing footprint in home health care draws scrutiny

The home health care industry is lucrative—and lightly regulated.

One city’s effort to cancel $2B in residents’ medical debt

New York City joins a growing number of local governments looking to purchase and eliminate residents’ medical debt in a bid to improve communities’ health and economic outcomes.

Workforce shortages plague rural hospitals, legislation to address it stalls

Experts worry that without legislation incentivizing entry into various medical professions, rural healthcare systems will increasingly suffer from personnel shortages.

How governments are tackling medical debt

Medical debt can stymie communities’ economic mobility as unpaid hospital bills chip away at public dollars. That’s why local governments are looking to forgive residents’ medical debt, which experts say can be especially helpful for rural areas.

Most people dropped in Medicaid ‘unwinding’ never tried to renew coverage, Utah finds

Medicaid officials in Utah conducted a survey to answer a burning question in health policy: What happened to people dropped from the program in the post-pandemic "unwinding"?

Medication aides could help states remedy health care worker shortages

Nursing homes are squeezed between a workforce shortage and a swelling older adult population. States are trying to address both issues with one solution: medication aides.

States hope doulas can deliver better maternal health outcomes

Lawmakers are pouring resources into health care services like doula programs to improve comprehensive reproductive and maternal health care.

How $37 billion in federal funding is being used to improve at-home caregiving

Shared first by Vice President Kamala Harris, new data on American Rescue Plan funding for home and community-based service highlights successes and underscores the need for more.

GSA partners with state, local governments on text alert service

The pilot program helps state and local governments notify residents of critical deadlines. Norfolk, Virginia, has already been using the service to remind people about Medicaid reenrollment.

Biden wants states to ensure Obamacare plans cover enough doctors and hospitals

A proposal from the federal government would standardize open enrollment periods across all states, require states to assess the accessibility of their insurer networks and expand adult dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Housing and care costs leave aging Americans with limited options

With adults over 65 already 17% of the U.S. population, communities need to prepare for the growing number of older adults who need both affordable housing and care, experts say.

1 in 3 people dropped by Utah Medicaid left uninsured, a ‘concerning’ sign for nation

Without Medicaid coverage, more individuals nationwide are left without uninsured. Observers warn people may delay seeking needed care or be left with unaffordable bills when they get it without access to health insurance coverage.

Health insurers have been breaking state laws for years

States have passed hundreds of laws to protect people from wrongful insurance denials. Yet from emergency services to fertility preservation, insurers still say no.

States expect ‘big jump’ in Medicaid spending

As pandemic-era federal funding support winds down, state Medicaid directors said in a survey that they anticipate their share of the costs to increase even as enrollment declines.

Expanded health insurance for immigrants gains traction in states

By increasing access to health insurance, including for immigrants lacking permanent legal status, states can reduce the burden of health care costs for communities.