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Tech 'Glitch' Is Causing Kids to Lose Medicaid Coverage

A Medicaid “glitch” is removing health care coverage for potentially millions of children, U.S. health officials warned Wednesday.

Automated systems involved in a large-scale eligibility review are causing entire households to be removed from Medicaid coverage, according to a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 31, 2023
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  • Paperwork Causing Many Americans to Lose Medicaid Coverage, White House Warns

    Large numbers of Americans who were dropped from Medicaid this spring lost their coverage because of paperwork problems, and not because they weren't still eligible for the public health insurance program.

    “I am deeply concerned about high rates of procedural terminations due to ‘red tape' and other paperwork issues,” Health and Human Services Secretary

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 31, 2023
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  • More Cancer Patients Got Palliative Care After Obamacare

    New research finds that Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- brought an unexpected benefit: increases in how many patients got palliative care.

    “Our findings are encouraging, especially with growing evidence of the important benefits of palliative care for patients with cancer,” said lead study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 6, 2023
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  • Feds Urge States to Slow Down on Dropping Folks From Medicaid as Pandemic Relief Ends

    Large numbers of people are losing their Medicaid health coverage as pandemic relief measures end, and the federal government is asking states to slow down the purging of rolls.

    Some people losing coverage could still be eligible and are being cut only for administrative reasons, such as not responding in time with their forms or not understanding the renewal process, the Biden Administra...

    In an Aging America, a Looming Shortage of Home Health Care Workers

    Over the last decade, an aging American population has increasingly turned away from nursing homes in favor of trained caregivers who can provide critical help in the home with basic daily tasks.

    But a new investigation warns the need for at-home care has vastly outpaced a much smaller growth in the pool of home care workers.

    The result: between 2013 and 2019, the number of availabl...

    For 'Near Poor' Seniors, Medicaid 'Cliff' Could Keep Health Care Out of Reach

    The so-called "Medicaid cliff" is a perennial threat for millions of American seniors whose incomes put them just above the poverty line.

    While impoverished seniors often have Medicaid to help cover their health care expenses, seniors who make just a little bit more have to pay the higher out-of-pocket costs of Medicare themselves.

    The upshot: They're much less likely to go to the ...

    Birth Complications? Risk May Rise Depending on Where in U.S. You Live

    Where a woman lives in the United States has a lot to do with whether she has severe maternal complications from childbirth, according to new research using Medicaid data.

    Her race or ethnicity also greatly affects this, researchers found.

    "Near misses" -- where complications could have led to the death of the woman during pregnancy or delivery -- are highest in Washington, D.C., nu...

    On Medicaid & Need Mental Health Services? Where You Live in U.S. Matters

    Medicaid reimbursement for mental health services varies widely across the United States, making it hard for many folks who need help to get it, a new study finds.

    Researchers found as much as a fivefold difference among states in Medicaid reimbursement rates.

    Even though Medicaid, the go...

    IUDs, Contraceptive Implants Tough to Access for Women on Medicaid

    People covered by Medicaid insurance may not have easy access to some of the most effective, longer-acting birth control methods, new research claims.

    Investigators found that while about 48% of physicians who treat Medicaid patients provided prescription contraception like the birth control pill, only 10% offered longer-acting methods like IUDs and implants. Birth control is considered a...

    Primary Care Visits Shorter, More Prone to Error for Non-White Patients: Study

    Do all patients get the same amount of face-to-face time when visiting their primary care doctor?

    Apparently not, claims a new study that found Black and Hispanic patients -- as well as patients with public health insurance like Medicaid or Medicare -- tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to the length of office visits.

    In some cases, shorter visits can potentially ...

    US to Allow Medicaid to Pay for Drug Treatment in Prisons

    Soon, the federal government will allow states to use Medicaid funds to treat prisoners for drug addiction and mental health services.

    In an announcement made during a visit to the Camden County Jail in New Jersey on Tuesday, Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said stat...

    Big Changes Are Coming to U.S. Health Care as Pandemic Emergencies Expire

    Americans received unprecedented access to health care during the pandemic, including hassle-free public insurance and free tests, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

    Now, they need to prepare for most of that to unwind, experts say.

    “Essentially, Congress and the administration moved to a model of universal health coverage for COVID vaccines, treatments and tests” during the ...

    Obamacare Helped Women in Some Southern States Get Better Breast Cancer Care

    The Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid makes it more likely that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer earlier rather than at an advanced, harder-to-treat stage, new research suggests.

    Not all U.S. states expanded Medicaid coverage after the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) made it possible in 2010. That's because the Supreme Court made it optional for states ...

    In a First, Medicaid Extends Coverage to Prison Inmates

    Some inmates in California could begin getting certain limited health services, including substance abuse treatment and mental health diagnoses, using Medicaid funds.

    Typically, inmates lose Medicaid coverage while in the prison, jail or juvenile justice system.

    This change will be the first time ever that Medicaid has provided some coverage for inmates, the Associated Press

    Pandemic Funding Saved More Americans From Medical Debt

    The number of Americans who had trouble paying their medical bills dropped precipitously between 2019 and 2021, and funds from the American Rescue Plan and other federal pandemic relief programs may have been a reason why.

    Overall, 10.8% of Americans responding to a federal survey in 2021 said they had had problems covering medical bills that year, down from 14% in 2019, according to rese...

    Millions Could Lose Medicaid by April as Pandemic Rules Ease

    Millions of Americans are about to lose Medicaid coverage that they gained — and maintained hassle-free — through the pandemic.

    The end-of-year spending bill that Congress passed will “unwind” a continuous Medicaid enrollment requirement that states had to honor to get additional federal pandemic funds, explained

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 4, 2023
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  • Obamacare May Have Helped Extend Lives of Young Cancer Patients

    Young adults with cancer, especially those who are Hispanic or Black, had better outcomes because of coverage available to them under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    New research explored the impact of Medicaid coverage under the ACA, also known as Obamacare, linking it to with better survival for 18- to 39-ye...

    Cost of Epilepsy Meds Continues to Soar

    Costs for epilepsy medications in the United States are skyrocketing, outpacing inflation and straining federal insurers Medicare and Medicaid, according to new research.

    Spending on antiseizure medications more than doubled in eight years for the government insurers, largely because of third-generation and brand-name drugs, the study found.

    "While it's very important that Medicare ...

    Tougher Federal Penalties to Come for Failing Nursing Homes

    About 88 nursing homes in the United States are on a watch list for worrisome care that puts residents in danger, but now they will face tougher penalties for any future violation.

    Those tougher penalties could include the loss of federal funding if they receive more than one ...

    When Adults Sign Up for Medicaid, Kids Can Benefit

    Some adults who sign up for Medicaid also bring their unenrolled but eligible kids into the system, a new study reports.

    For every nine adults who gained access to Medicaid in Oregon due to a special enrollment lottery, one previously eligible child was added to the rolls as well, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Their study called this an examp...

    Staffing Shortages Have U.S. Nursing Homes in Crisis

    There's a shortage of nursing home beds for the elderly in America due to a severe staffing crisis that has caused long-term care facilities to cut back on new admissions, new research shows.

    Three out of five nursing homes (61%) have limited new admissions due to staffing shortages, according to a

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 29, 2022
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  • Obamacare May Have Helped Lower Suicide Rates

    Suicide rates are rising more slowly in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study finds.

    "Suicide is a public health problem, and our findings indicate that increasing access to health care -- including mental health care -- by expanding Medicaid eligibility can play an imp...

    Obamacare Helped Extend Lives of People With Cancer

    Cancer survival rates rose more in states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare than in those that did not, and rates increased most among Black patients and those in rural areas, according to a new study.

    "Our findings provide further evidence of ...

    Pandemic Medicaid Rules Allowed More Women to Stay Insured After Childbirth

    Far fewer U.S. women lost health insurance coverage after giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic than in previous years, likely due to a federal law that prevented Medicaid from dropping people, researchers say.

    But they noted that the Fa...

    Crowdfunding for Medical Costs Almost Always Fails

    You have almost certainly seen the pleas while scrolling through social media: Called crowdfunding, folks try to raise money to pay for their sick loved one's mounting medical bills.

    But new research shows these grassroots campaigns rarely raise enough money to make a difference.

    According to GoFundMe, which corner...

    Calif. Universal Health Care System Bill Faces Monday Deadline

    California lawmakers must vote by Monday on whether to keep a bill to create a universal health care system moving forward.

    Monday, Jan. 31, is the last chance for California Democrats in the Assembly to keep the

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • January 31, 2022
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  • After Heart Attack, Cardiac Rehab Begins Road to Recovery

    Your heart is in an incredibly vulnerable state if you've suffered a heart attack or are fighting heart failure, and cardiac rehabilitation could be an important part of your recovery.

    Unfortunately, not enough older folks appear to be taking advantage of this life-saving therapy.

    Fewer than one in 10 eligible Medicare beneficiaries get recommended heart failure rehab treatments, th...

    Here's How to Get Your Free Home COVID Test Kits

    Home COVID tests are now available at no cost to most Americans, as part of the Biden administration's effort to increase testing around the United States.

    Folks can buy home tests online or in stores and be

  • Dennis Thompson
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  • January 18, 2022
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  • Medicaid Rules May Affect Americans' Cancer Survival

    The chance of someone who is covered by Medicaid surviving cancer may depend in part on where they live, a new analysis finds.

    In states that had lower Medicaid income eligibility limits, cancer survival rates were worse for cancers both in early and late stages compared to states with higher Medicaid income eligibility limits, Amer...

    Many Seniors on Medicare Falling Into Medical Debt

    "Medicare For All" gets tossed around a lot by advocates of universal health coverage, but a new study finds that today's Medicare is far from free for seniors and people with disabilities.

    Instead, a large number of beneficiaries are sliding into medical debt and delaying needed health care due to financial holes in the system, according to findings published online Dec. 10 in

    1 in 3 U.S. Children Lack Adequate Health Insurance

    Though they live in one of the world's richest nations, a growing number of young Americans are without ample health insurance.

    A new study reports that 34% of U.S. kids age 17 and under were "...

    Medicaid Expansion Saved Lives in Affected States: Study

    In a sign that the expansion of Medicaid has really worked, new research finds that death rates have declined in states that expanded the public health insurance program.

    Medicaid expansion began in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare") and has provided health coverage for an additional 12 million Americans. Expansion is optional, and nearly one-quarter of st...

    Almost 13 Million Americans Per Year Skip Meds Due to Cost

    Nearly 13 million U.S. adults a year skip or delay filling needed prescriptions due to high price tags, new research shows.

    This figure includes more than 2.3 million Medicare beneficiaries and 3.8 million privately insured working-age adults who didn't get needed medications each year in 2018 and 2019 because of cost, according to a nationally representative survey of U.S. households.

    Racial Disparities Persist With Childhood Cancers

    Black kids and Hispanic kids with cancer fare worse than their white counterparts, a large, nationwide study finds.

    "This study suggests that improving health insurance coverage and access to care for children, especially those with low [socioeconomic status], may reduce racial/ethnic survival disparities," Jingxuan Zhao, an associate scientist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, a...

    How the COVID Pandemic Made the Opioid Epidemic Worse, Even as Telehealth Helped

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the U.S. opioid crisis in ways bad and good, increasing the risk of use and overdose but also spurring innovative approaches to treatment.

    The pandemic has definitely been linked to an increase in opioid use and overdose deaths, Tufts University's Thomas Stopka said during a HealthDay Now video interview.

    "We've been seeing increases in o...

    Millions Who Joined Medicaid During Health Emergency Could Soon Lose Coverage

    When the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, a new crisis in insurance coverage in the United States may begin.

    Fifteen million Americans who enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic could lose their coverage when the emergency declaration ends, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute, a social policy think tank.

    Its researchers said states can minimize disenrollment by k...

    Hospitalizing the Unvaccinated Has Cost U.S. Nearly $6 Billion

    The cost of providing hospital care for unvaccinated Americans has reached $5.7 billion in just three months, CBS News reported.

    Between June and August, about 287,000 people who were not vaccinated were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the United States, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, which collaborated to track healt...

    Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Helped Americans' Blood Pressure

    With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

    The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

    "Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

    Average COVID Hospitalization Is 150 Times More Expensive Than Vaccination

    While the cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines is nominal -- and free to consumers in the United States -- the cost of paying for hospitalizations for people who've contracted the virus is dramatically higher.

    The average financial cost of hospitalization for a COVID-19 patient insured by Medicare - at $21,752 -- is about 145 times the reimbursement Medicare pays for vaccinating one pe...

    Little Change in Number of Uninsured in  Pandemic's First Year

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the economy and jobs, it didn't result in fewer Americans having health insurance.

    The number of 18- to 64-year-olds in the United States without health insurance held steady at 11% between March 2019 and April 2021, according to a survey by the Urban Institute, a social policy research organization.

    "Unlike the last recession, los...

    American Dental Association Pushes for Dental Coverage Under Medicaid

    Dental care should be a required part of Medicaid coverage for adults in every state, the American Dental Association and nearly 130 other organizations urge in a letter to Congress.

    The groups called on lawmakers to support and advance a bill called the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act.

    "Poor oral health hurts more than our mouths," the

  • Robert Preidt
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  • August 20, 2021
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  • Did Obamacare Expand Access to Insurance for Minorities? In Some U.S. States, Hardly at All

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced the ranks of uninsured Americans, but a recent study shows that many U.S. states did little to close racial gaps in health coverage.

    Researchers found that in the two years after the ACA came into force, some U.S. states showed large reductions in the number of Black, Hispanic and low-income residents who were uninsured.

    Other states, however, s...

    Patients of Color Less Likely to Get Specialist Care Than White Patients

    People of color are consistently less likely to see medical specialists than white patients are, a new U.S. study finds, highlighting yet another disparity in the nation's health care system.

    Researchers found that compared with their white counterparts, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans had significantly fewer visits to doctors of various specialties -- ranging from...

    PrEP HIV Prevention Pills to Be Free for Insured Americans

    Nearly all health insurers must cover the entire cost of HIV prevention treatments, the U.S. government says.

    That includes the two approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada and Descovy, all clinic visits and lab tests, NBC News reported.

    The guidance, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with the Department of Lab...

    Many Hit Hard by Pandemic Now Swamped by Medical Debt

    The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

    More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

    "T...

    More Americans Gaining Access to Opioid Addiction Treatment, But Race Matters

    Opioid addiction treatment has become more widely available to Medicaid recipients under the Affordable Care Act, but Black patients are much less likely than white patients to get that treatment, a new study finds.

    "Opioid use disorder can be treated, just like any other disease, but treatment is most successful when the patient has regular, unimpeded access to trained clinicians who can...

    Cancer Survivors Fared Better Financially After Obamacare

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has eased financial struggles for younger adult cancer survivors, a new study finds.

    University of Michigan researchers analyzed data from more than 20,000 participants in the National Health Interview Survey and found that cancer survivors ages 18 to 64 were less likely to delay treatments and had less difficulty paying for medications or dental care from 20...

    Cost a Barrier to Cervical Cancer Screening for Many U.S. Women

    Many women in the United States aren't screened for cervical cancer because they can't afford it, a new study finds.

    Screening helps reduce cervical cancer cases and deaths, but disparities in screening rates exist based on income, insurance status, race and ethnicity.

    "Low-income women need greater access to insurance coverage options, Medicaid eligibility, or free screening progra...

    U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Challenge to Affordable Care Act

    The landmark Affordable Care Act, which has expanded health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans, has withstood a third challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    In a 7-2 decision, a majority of justices ruled on Thursday that plaintiffs involved in the case did not sustain any injury that gave them standing to sue, The New York Times reported.

    The decision left un...

    $10,000: What New Parents Might Pay for Childbirth, Even With Insurance

    Having a baby is expensive. The cost of diapers, a crib, a car seat and all the other infant necessities can really add up, and now a new study shows that having a child comes with its own hefty hospital price tag for many U.S. families.

    About one in six families in the Michigan Medicine study spent more than $5,000 to have a baby. For privately insured families whose babies required time...