Kaiser Health News


Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news service committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics. And we report on how the health care system — hospitals, doctors, nurses, insurers, governments, consumers — works. Check out our website at khn.org.

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'Peer Respites' Provide an Alternative to Psychiatric Wards During Pandemic

By Sarah Kwon | Monday Jan 11, 2021
Peer respite sites provide nonclinical support for people experiencing or nearing a mental health crisis.

One Ambulance Ride Leads to Another When Packed Hospitals Cannot Handle Non-Covid Patients

By Sandy West | Monday Jan 11, 2021
COVID-19 patients are overwhelming hospitals, squeezing space and staff needed to treat emergencies.

DIY Contact Tracing Is a 'Last Resort' in Communities Besieged by COVID

By Brett Dahlberg, NPR | Friday Jan 8, 2021
A county in Michigan is asking residents who test positive for COVID-19 to do their own contact tracing.

San Francisco Wrestles With Drug Approach as Death and Chaos Engulf Tenderloin

Thursday Jan 7, 2021
Fentanyl is taking over part of San Francisco as skyrocketing overdoses combined with the pandemic put the city at a precipice like never before.

In Los Angeles and Beyond, Oxygen Is the Latest Covid Bottleneck

By Rae Ellen Bichell, Lauren Weber | Thursday Jan 7, 2021
It's gotten so bad that Los Angeles County officials are warning paramedics to conserve it. Some hospitals are having to delay releasing patients as they don't have enough oxygen equipment to send home with them.

Eureka! Two Vaccines Work, But What About the Others in the Pharma Arms Race?

By Arthur Allen | Tuesday Jan 5, 2021
If trials can't go forward, that could very well have an impact on the world's supply of covid vaccines and eventually on vaccine prices, especially if booster shots are needed in years to come.

Hospital Prices Just Got a Lot More Transparent. What Does This Mean for You?

By Julie Appleby | Tuesday Jan 5, 2021
With the new hospital rule, consumers should be able to see the tremendous variation in prices for the exact same care among hospitals and get an estimate of what they will be charged for care — before they seek it.

Many Health Plans Now Must Cover Full Cost of Expensive HIV Prevention Drugs

By Michelle Andrews | Tuesday Jan 5, 2021
Starting this month, most people with private insurance will no longer have to decide whether they can afford to protect themselves against HIV.

Heading Off the Next Pandemic

By Jim Robbins | Monday Jan 4, 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic heads for a showdown with vaccines it's expected to lose, many experts in the field of emerging infectious diseases are already focused on preventing the next one.

'Last Responders' Brace for Surge in Covid Deaths Across US

By Cyndi Loose | Monday Jan 4, 2021
The crush has overwhelmed morgues, funeral homes and religious leaders, required ingenuity and even changed the rituals of honoring the dead.

In Fast-Moving Pandemic, Health Officials Try to Change Minds at Warp Speed

By Katheryn Houghton | Tuesday Dec 29, 2020
"In public health, we've seen the battle before, but you typically have the time to build your evidence, research showing that this really does save lives," says one county health director. "In the middle of a pandemic, you have no time."

Some Said the Vaccine Rollout Would Be a 'Nightmare.' They Were Right.

By Elisabeth Rosenthal | Sunday Dec 27, 2020
Even before there was a vaccine, some seasoned doctors and public health experts warned, Cassandra-like, that its distribution would be "a logistical nightmare."

More Than 2,900 Health Care Workers Died This Year — And the Government Barely Kept Track

By Christina Jewett, Robert Lewis, Melissa Bailey | Saturday Dec 26, 2020
More than 2,900 U.S. health care workers have died in the COVID-19 pandemic since March, a far higher number than that reported by the government, according to a new analysis.

As Biden Gets Sworn In, White House Will Get Scrubbed Down

By Phil Galewitz | Friday Dec 25, 2020
As Joe Biden lifts his right hand to take the oath of office at noon on Jan. 20 at the Capitol, a team of specially trained cleaners will be lifting their hands to disinfect the White House.

Health Officials Fear Pandemic-Related Suicide Spike Among Native Youth

By Sara Reardon | Wednesday Dec 23, 2020
In a typical year, Native American youth die by suicide at nearly twice the rate of their white peers in the U.S. Mental health experts worry that the isolation and shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could make things worse.

Inside the First Chaotic Days of the Effort to Vaccinate America

By Rachana Pradhan, Lauren Weber, Jay Hancock | Tuesday Dec 22, 2020
The first push of the nation's mass COVID vaccination effort has been chaotic, marked by a lack of guidance and miscommunication from the federal level.

With Few Takers for COVID Vaccine, DC Hospital CEO Takes 'One for the Team'

By Phil Galewitz | Monday Dec 21, 2020
Administrators at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., were thrilled to be among the city's first hospitals to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but they knew it could be a tough sell to get staffers to take the shot.

Ski Resorts Work to Stay Open as COVID Cases Snowball

By Christie Aschwanden | Saturday Dec 19, 2020
How to stay open amid the pandemic is an issue resorts across the U.S. are facing. Mandatory face coverings have become the norm, but other COVID mitigation efforts vary by site.

No More ICU Beds at the Main Public Hospital in the Nation's Largest County

By Bernard J. Wolfson | Friday Dec 18, 2020
As COVID patients have flooded into LAC+USC in recent weeks, they've put an immense strain on its ICU capacity and staff.

As Congress Bickers Over Pandemic Relief, Flight Attendant's Life Is in a Holding Pattern

By Emmarie Huetteman | Thursday Dec 17, 2020
A little over two months ago, just before cutting his hours from few to none, his employer — a major airline — told him Congress could save his job. But lawmakers have shown they can't, or won't, put partisan politics aside.

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