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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...

    As Medicaid Access Expands, So Does Cancer Survival

    More lower-income Americans are surviving cancer due to expanded Medicaid health care coverage, a new study shows.

    Researchers found a link between long-term survival of patients newly diagnosed with cancer -- across all stages and types of the disease -- and expanded Medicaid income eligibility. In other words, survival odds improved in states that granted Medicaid coverage at high...

    It's Still Tough to Find Prices on Most U.S. Hospital Websites

    U.S. hospitals have been required to make their prices public since 2019, but 18 months into the rule more than half weren't doing it, a new study finds.

    In 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule requiring hospitals to publish their "chargemasters" on their websites. A chargemaster is a rundown of a hospital's services, along with their list prices - something akin to the manufactur...

    For the Poor, Even a Small Medical Bill Can Trigger Coverage Loss

    WEDNESDAY, May 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) - When people with low incomes are asked to help pay for their health insurance, some drop their coverage, even when bills as low as $20 per month arrive.

    That's the upshot of a new study of Medicaid expansion in the state of Michigan.

    Leaving the insurance plan means people may miss out on preventive care or timely treatment of illnesses. It...

    Obamacare Gave More Breast Cancer Survivors Access to Breast Reconstruction

    Breast reconstruction rates rose significantly among Black women after Obamacare expanded access to Medicaid, a new study says.

    It also found a large increase in reconstruction rates among women with lower income and education levels.

    The findings suggest "that Medicaid expansion was highly effective in doing what it was supposed to do -- breaking down barriers to care," said lead r...

    Job Losses Hit Americans Hard in Pandemic, Report Confirms

    American families that suffered job losses during the pandemic are struggling to pay their bills and afford food, and many have turned to government help, a new study finds.

    Researchers analyzed data from nearly 7,700 adults who took part in an Urban Institute survey in December 2019 and from more than 7,700 who took part in a December 2020 survey.

    Despite major nationwide job losse...

    Pandemic Has Affected Kids' Dental Health: Poll

    Could the COVID-19 pandemic be taking a toll on kids' teeth?

    A new, nationwide poll found the pandemic has made it harder for parents to get their kids regular dental care. But on the other hand, many say their youngsters are now taking better care of their teeth.

    The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine surveyed almost 1,900 parents ...

    Support for Obamacare Grows as Biden Takes Control: Poll

    The popularity of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, continues to grow, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying they want the law to remain as is or be improved, a new Harris/HealthDay poll shows.

    About 34% of U.S. adults think the Affordable Care Act should remain in place, and another 28% believe it should stay but have some parts changed, according to poll results taken...

    If Elected, Joe Biden Has Big Plans for Health Care

    If Joe Biden becomes the next president, he would have clear and ambitious plans for the nation's health -- expanding the Affordable Care Act, empowering public health agencies to deal with COVID-19, and passing a stimulus bill that would support struggling doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.

    The question is how much he'll be able to accomplish with a Senate that remains in the han...

    Obamacare Means 2 Million Fewer Americans Face Catastrophic Medical Bills Each Year

    Since the passage of "Obamacare," fewer Americans are facing insurmountable medical bills -- but the benefit does not seem to be reaching people with private insurance, a new study shows.

    Researchers found that after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, the number of Americans incurring "catastrophic" health care expenses each year dropped -- from 13.6 million in 2010 to 11....

    Breast Cancer Caught Earlier in U.S. States With Expanded Medicaid: Study

    Early-stage breast cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in U.S. states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare than in those that haven't, researchers say.

    Their new study looked at a database of more than 71,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 31 states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act and 14 states that did not.

    In the expan...

    Obamacare Helps Poorer Americans Spot Cancer Earlier: Study

    Medicaid expansion under Obamacare may have decreased the number of poorer Americans diagnosed with advanced cancer, a new study suggests.

    The study focused on Ohio, which was among the first states to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.

    The researchers found that in the three years after expansion, low-income residents saw a 15% dro...

    Obamacare Linked to Fewer Leg Amputations for Minorities

    There's been a significant drop in diabetes-related lower leg amputations among non-white patients in states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, a new study finds.

    About one-third of people with diabetes develop a foot ulcer, which is the most common cause of foot infection and leg amputation. More than half who have a diabetes-related leg amputation die within five years -- a rat...

    Are Food Allergies Under-Diagnosed in Poor Families?

    Food allergies may be under-diagnosed among children covered by Medicaid, a new study suggests.

    "We were surprised to find such a large discrepancy in estimates of food allergy prevalence in children on Medicaid compared to the general population," said senior study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a pediatrician and food allergy researcher at Children's Hospital of Chicago.

    "Our fin...

    Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Might Have Cut U.S. Cancer Deaths

    Cancer death rates have declined more in U.S. states that expanded Medicaid after the Affordable Care Act than in those that didn't, a new study finds.

    "This is the first study to show the benefit of Medicaid expansion on cancer death rates on a national scale," said lead author Dr. Anna Lee, a radiation oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

    ...

    Obamacare May Have Boosted Use of Mammograms

    Medicaid expansion under Obamacare has increased access to mammograms for impoverished older women, a new study suggests.

    In those states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women who didn't have access to this breast cancer screening tool have it now, the study authors said.

    "The ACA created a natural experiment in which some states expanded Medica...

    Obamacare May Help Many Laid-Off Workers Get Health Insurance

    Millions of Americans in industries hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic could be eligible for financial help with health insurance, a new study says.

    Many of the newly unemployed might not know they can get public insurance or subsidies for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces, according to an analysis published this month by the Urban Institute, a Wash...

    As Unemployment and COVID-19 Cases Rise, Who Will Pay for Care?

    The coronavirus pandemic is spreading across the United States at the same time that millions have been laid off from their jobs.

    That raises the obvious question -- how will those newly unemployed folks pay for medical care if they become infected with the coronavirus?

    Recent bills passed by Congress ensure that people won't have to pay out of pocket for any COVID-19 testin...

    U.S. Drug Prices Have Risen Three Times Faster Than Inflation

    Over the course of a decade, the net cost of prescription drugs in the United States rose more than three times faster than the rate of inflation, a new study finds.

    The net cost of a drug refers to the sticker price minus manufacturer discounts.

    Researchers in the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing (CP3) conducted the analysis on net...

    Fewer American Families Weighed Down by Medical Bills

    The number of people struggling to pay their medical bills declined dramatically during the last decade, as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage and financial protection for the sick.

    The percentage of families who had problems paying medical expenses in the previous year declined from about 20% in 2011 to 14% in 2018, according to a new report from the U...