Feds Move to Rein In Prior Authorization, a System That Harms and Frustrates Patients

When Paula Chestnut needed hip replacement surgery last year, a pre-operative X-ray found irregularities in her chest. As a smoker for 40 years, Chestnut was at high risk for lung cancer. A specialist in Los Angeles recommended the 67-year-old undergo an MRI, a high-resolution image that could help spot the disease. But her MRI appointment … Read more

Struggling to Survive, the First Rural Hospitals Line Up for New Federal Lifeline

Just off the historic U.S. Route 66 in eastern New Mexico, a 10-bed hospital has for decades provided emergency care for a steady flow of people injured in car crashes and ranching accidents. It also has served as a close-to-home option for the occasional overnight patient, usually older residents with pneumonia or heart trouble. It’s … Read more

Idaho Dropped Thousands From Medicaid in the Pandemic’s First Years

During the first two years of the covid-19 pandemic, while the federal government was trying to prevent people on Medicaid from losing health coverage, Idaho dropped nearly 10,000 people from the safety-net program. Federal law generally banned states from dropping people, and federal officials said Idaho acted improperly. Idaho officials, however, said they didn’t think … Read more

Proposed Medicare Advantage Changes Cannot Accurately Be Called ‘Cuts,’ Experts Say

“It’s President Biden who is proposing to cut Medicare Advantage.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in a tweet on February 6, 2023 More than 60 million people rely on Medicare for health coverage, and raising the alarm about potential cuts to the program is a perennial talking point among both Republicans and Democrats. On Feb. 6, … Read more