Medicare patients win right to appeal nursing home gap

A three-judge federal appeals court panel in Connecticut has likely ended an 11-year fight against a frustrating and confusing rule that left hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries without coverage for nursing home care, and no way to challenge a denial.  The Jan. 25 ruling, which came in response to a 2011 class-action lawsuit eventually joined…

Parents find Covid disruption is the new normal

This is parenting in Southern California in the days of Omicron, swimming in an ocean of angst, with currents constantly shifting direction, an awkward soup of fear, determination and gratitude for those doing the hard work of keeping schools working.

Supreme Court weighs Biden workplace vaccine mandates

The Supreme Court on Friday took up one of the most contentious issues of the Covid-19 pandemic, hearing a series of cases challenging the Biden administration’s authority to require workers to get a Covid vaccine or be tested for the virus regularly.

As patients got Covid in hospitals, oversight fell short

Hospitals, like Riverside, with high rates of Covid patients who didn’t have the diagnosis when they were admitted have rarely been held accountable due to multiple gaps in government oversight, a KHN investigation has found. While a federal reporting system closely tracks hospital-acquired infections for MRSA and other bugs, it doesn’t publicly report Covid caught in individual…

Hospitals charge a facility fee — for a video visit

Days before the appointment, she got a notice from the hospital informing her that she would receive two bills for the visit. One would be for the doctor’s services. The second would be for a hospital facility fee, even though she and her son would be at home in Cheshire, Connecticut, and never set foot…

Covid vaccine mandates: Where do they stand?

Large portions of COVID-19 vaccine requirements have been temporarily blocked, as lawsuits challenging the mandates continue to be filed nationwide. And just Wednesday, Senate Republicans and two moderate Democrats voted to overturn the vaccine and testing requirements for large businesses.

Time to change the definition of ‘fully vaccinated’?

As more indoor venues require proof of vaccination for entrance and with winter — as well as omicron, a new Covid variant — looming, scientists and public health officials are debating when it will be time to change the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include a booster shot.

Travel insurance left him a $38,000 bill

Seven Corners gave written preapproval for the procedures recommended by Dr. Brian Chen. To be safe, An Tran called the insurer “many times” to confirm it would cover the expense, but no one she spoke with would give her a definitive answer, she said. Chen, however, assured An that insurance companies typically covered the treatment,…

Medicare’s open enrollment is open season for scammers

Federal officials say complaints are rising from seniors tricked into buying policies — without their consent or lured by questionable information — that may not cover their drugs or include their doctors. In response, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has threatened to penalize private insurance companies selling Medicare Advantage and drug plans if…

Thousands get Covid in hospitals after admitted for something else

More than 10,000 patients were diagnosed with Covid in a U.S. hospital last year after they were admitted for something else, according to federal and state records analyzed exclusively for KHN. The number is certainly an undercount, since it includes mostly patients 65 and older, plus California and Florida patients of all ages.