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Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Digital Government

Data science proved what Pittsburgh’s Black leaders Knew: Racial disparities compound covid risk

Covid lessons taught that health authorities must adopt software practices to ensure that race and other demographic data is entered into electronic records and then shared among counties, states, research institutions and the public.

Digital Government

V-Safe: How everyday people help the CDC track COVID vaccine safety with their phones

The v-safe registry lets inoculated people report their experiences, including serious suspected side effects, directly to the CDC through smartphones, adding to the data gathered from clinical trials and other safety monitoring systems.

Digital Government

States pull back on COVID data even amid delta surge

Just as hurricane warnings are needed ahead of storm, full information on COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations is vital during the pandemic, public health experts say.


Tech companies mobilize to schedule vaccine appointments, but often fall short

Cities, states, businesses and tech volunteers are creating vaccination scheduling websites and apps, but frustration abounds because of misunderstood or changing rules and the unpredictably short supply of vaccine.

Digital Government

Huge gaps in vaccine data make it next to impossible to know who got the shots

There are 64 immunization registries in the United States that gather information for states, territories and a handful of large cities, and they aren’t connected. Meanwhile, real-time data in the U.S. public health system is virtually nonexistent.

Emerging Tech

Government-funded scientists laid the groundwork for billion-dollar vaccines

Basic research conducted at the National Institutes of Health, Defense Department and federally funded academic laboratories has been the essential ingredient in the rapid development of vaccines in response to COVID-19.

Digital Government

COVID data failures create pressure for public health system overhaul

There are signs the COVID-19 pandemic has created momentum to modernize the nation’s creaky, fragmented public health data system, in which nearly 3,000 local, state and federal health departments set their own reporting rules and vary greatly in their ability to send and receive data electronically.

Digital Government

NIH project homes in on COVID racial disparities

The National Institutes of Health has launched studies of the disparity that they hope will better prepare the country for the next great epidemic.

Digital Government

Trump administration’s sudden shift on COVID data leaves states in the lurch

Changes in the reporting of the data will make it harder for health and public officials, as well as the general public, to understand how the virus is spreading.


To stem COVID, this small Indiana city decided to test all public-facing employees

An affluent Indianapolis suburb took an unusual step to keep residents safe: All city employees who deal directly with the public were tested weekly even if they showed no symptoms.

Digital Government

As coronavirus strikes, crucial data in electronic health records hard to harvest

Pooling data from the digital records systems in thousands of hospitals has proved a technical nightmare, largely because software built by rival technology firms often cannot retrieve and share information to help doctors judge which coronavirus treatments are helping patients recover.


Coronavirus fuels explosive growth in telehealth -- and concern about fraud

The administration’s lifting of telehealth restrictions could inadvertently unleash a wave of billing fraud and abuse and risk patient safety -- especially if officials yield to industry pressure to make many of the emergency policy changes permanent.


Massachusetts recruits 1,000 'contact tracers' to battle COVID-19

Contract tracing may help Massachusetts control a second wave of infections that could come when stay-at-home orders and advisories are lifted.


Some states are reporting incomplete COVID-19 results, blurring the full picture

Several states are reporting only positive COVID-19 test results from private labs, a practice that paints a misleading picture of how fast the disease is spreading.

Digital Government

New federal rules will let patients put medical records on smartphones

Patients will be able to download their electronic health records and other health care data onto their smartphones, giving them a greater say in health care decisions.


On front lines, first responders brace for coronavirus -- and their own protection

First responders sickened by COVID-19 could create gaps in the workforce at a time when their services may be in high demand.


Why it’s so hard to predict how much funding 9/11 first responders need

"Connecting 9/11 exposures and health conditions is an extremely challenging task, in part because this was a unique exposure and because some health conditions may not occur for many years following the event," said Dr. John Howard, the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Digital Government

Why Missouri's the last holdout on a statewide Rx monitoring program

Ongoing fears about privacy violations have left Missouri without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, forcing its cities, neighboring states and the federal government to create a patchwork of incomplete workarounds.


Paper jam: California's Medicaid program hits 'print' when the feds need info

Stuck with decades-old technology, the nation’s largest Medicaid program forces federal officials to sift through thousands of documents by hand rather than sending electronic files.

Digital Government

Latest snag in ACA sign-Ups: Those who guide consumers are hitting roadblocks navigators are hitting snags completing a mandatory certification course, experiencing more technical glitches and getting less help from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.