Category: Chronic Disease Care

  • 100 Million People in America Are Saddled With Health Care Debt 

    Elizabeth Woodruff drained her retirement account and took on three jobs after she and her husband were sued for nearly $10,000 by the New York hospital where his infected leg was amputated. Ariane Buck, a young father in Arizona who sells health insurance, couldn’t make an appointment with his doctor for a dangerous intestinal infection […]

  • Lawmaker Takes on Insurance Companies and Gets Personal About His Health

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Scott Wiener made a startling revelation at a spring legislative committee hearing: “I was in the hospital. I experienced the most intense abdominal pain that I could even imagine.” The Democratic state senator recalled crawling up the stairs to his landlord’s apartment last July to get a ride to the hospital. The […]

  • Betting on ‘Golden Age’ of Colonoscopies, Private Equity Invests in Gastro Docs

    Mariel needed a new gastroenterologist. Having just moved back to San Antonio, the 30-something searched for a doctor to manage her Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel condition that is successfully managed with medications and lifelong monitoring — including regular colonoscopies. Mariel booked an appointment and learned she would be on the hook for a $1,100 […]

  • ‘An Arm and a Leg’: Need an Expensive Drug? Here’s What You Need to Know

    Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Click here for a transcript of the episode. Lillian Karabaic teaches personal finance to millennials through a podcast and community called Oh My Dollar! — and she needs an expensive drug to treat a chronic condition. That makes her an expert on one of the most complex arrangements in the […]

  • Listen: An Unsettling Investigation Into the Closure of a Chain of Pain Clinics

    Last spring, Lags Medical Centers, a sprawling chain of pain clinics serving more than 20,000 patients in California, abruptly shuttered amid a cloaked state investigation into “credible allegations of fraud.” Tens of thousands of patients were left scrambling for care, most of them low-income Californians covered by state and federal insurance programs. Many have struggled […]

  • California Ballot Will Be Heavy on Health Care

    SACRAMENTO — When Californians go to the polls later this year, they will confront contentious health care choices. Voters will weigh whether to overturn a state law that bans flavored tobacco products and will likely consider increasing the cap on medical malpractice awards. They may also vote on proposals that effectively legalize psychedelic mushrooms and […]

  • Biosimilar Drugs Are Cheaper Than Biologics. Are They Similar Enough to Switch?

    It took years for Elle Moxley to get a diagnosis that explained her crippling gastrointestinal pain, digestion problems, fatigue, and hot, red rashes. And after learning in 2016 that she had Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, she spent more than four years trying medications before getting her disease under control with […]

  • Headed Away to School? Here’s What Students With Health Issues Need to Know

    College is a time of transition, but for those managing chronic medical conditions, it may also be the first time they will be wholly responsible for their own health: setting appointments, securing supplies and pharmaceuticals, and monitoring symptoms. For those heading to schools far from home, it can be especially tricky navigating the complex world […]

  • Diabetes Drug’s New Weight Loss Formula Fuels Cost-Benefit Debate

    The long list of side effects that follow ads for the newer expensive drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes sometimes include an unusual warning: They might cause weight loss. That side effect is one that many people — especially those with Type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity — may desperately want. So it’s […]

  • Watch: More Long Covid Cases Seen in Kids

    The vast majority of the pandemic’s 4.1 million covid infections in children have been mild. However, doctors are concerned about a growing number of long-haul covid cases and a rare but dangerous inflammatory disease, particularly among Black and Latino children. KHN correspondent Sarah Varney, in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, reports on the phenomena. This story […]

  • Little-Known Illnesses Turning Up in Covid Long-Haulers

    The day Dr. Elizabeth Dawson was diagnosed with covid-19 in October, she awoke feeling as if she had a bad hangover. Four months later she tested negative for the virus, but her symptoms have only worsened. This story also ran on Time. It can be republished for free. Dawson is among what one doctor called […]

  • Mysterious Ailment, Mysterious Relief: Vaccines Help Some Covid Long Haulers

    An estimated 10% to 30% of people who get covid-19 suffer from lingering symptoms of the disease, or what’s known as “long covid.” This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free. Judy Dodd, who lives in New York City, is one of them. She spent nearly a year plagued […]

  • They Tested Negative for Covid. Still, They Have Long Covid Symptoms.

    Kristin Novotny once led an active life, with regular CrossFit workouts and football in the front yard with her children — plus a job managing the kitchen at a middle school. Now, the 33-year-old mother of two from De Pere, Wisconsin, has to rest after any activity, even showering. Conversations leave her short of breath. […]

  • Military Exposed to Toxic Fumes From Burn Pits Set to Get Bipartisan Boost

    Lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday planned to roll out what could be the most ambitious attempt ever tried to treat American war fighters poisoned in deployments overseas. The bipartisan bill, modeled on both Agent Orange legislation and the 9/11 health act, aims to help unknown thousands of veterans who got sick after being exposed […]

  • Doctors Found Jet Fuel in Veteran’s Lungs. He Can’t Get Full Benefits.

    The lungs Bill Thompson was born with told a gruesome, harrowing and unmistakable tale to Dr. Anthony Szema when he analyzed them and found the black spots, scarring, partially combusted jet fuel and metal inside. This story also ran on The Daily Beast. It can be republished for free. The retired Army staff sergeant had […]

  • Children’s Hospitals Grapple With Young Covid ‘Long Haulers’

    This story also ran on USA Today. It can be republished for free. A slumber party to celebrate Delaney DePue’s 15th birthday last summer marked a new chapter — one defined by illness and uncertainty. The teen from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, tested positive for covid-19 about a week later, said her mother, Sara, leaving […]

  • Connecticut Is Doling Out Vaccines Based Strictly on Age. It’s Simpler, but Is it Fair?

    With covid vaccines expected to remain scarce into early spring, Connecticut has scrapped its complicated plans to prioritize immunizations for people under 65 with certain chronic conditions and front-line workers. Instead, the state will primarily base eligibility on age. Gov. Ned Lamont pointed to statistics showing the risk of death and hospitalization from covid-19 rises […]

  • Learning to Live Again: A Lazarus Tale From the Covid Front Lines

    This story also ran on LAist. It can be republished for free. The twinkle in his eyes, the delight in his smile, the joyous way he moved his disease-withered frame. They all proclaimed a single, resounding message: Grateful to be alive! “As my care team and my family tell me, ‘You were born again. You […]

  • Los casos prolongados de covid arrojan nueva luz sobre la fatiga crónica

    Cuatro semanas después de que la enfermera pediátrica de San Diego, Jennifer Minhas, se enfermara de covid en marzo pasado, la tos y la fiebre habían desaparecido, pero surgieron nuevos síntomas: dolor en el pecho, ritmo cardíaco acelerado y fatiga severa. Su médico de atención primaria le dijo que tenía ansiedad y que ninguno de […]

  • Long-Haul Covid Cases Cast New Light on Chronic Fatigue Sufferers

    Four weeks after San Diego pediatric nurse Jennifer Minhas fell ill with covid-19 last March, her cough and fever had resolved, but new symptoms had emerged: chest pain, an elevated heart rate and crushing fatigue. Her primary care physician told her she was just anxious, and that none of her other covid patients had those […]

  • Dialysis Industry Spends Millions, Emerges as Power Player in California Politics

    SACRAMENTO — The nation’s dialysis industry has poured $233 million into California campaigns over the past four years, establishing its leading companies as a formidable political force eager to protect their bottom line and influence state policy. This story also ran on Los Angeles Times. It can be republished for free. Most of the money […]

  • During ACA Open Enrollment, Picking a Plan Invites New COVID Complications

    People buying their own health insurance have even more to think about this year, particularly those post-COVID-19 patients with lingering health concerns, the “long haulers,” who join the club of Americans with preexisting conditions. What type of plan is best for someone with an unpredictable, ongoing medical concern? That question is popping up on online […]

  • Push Is On in US to Figure Out South Asians’ High Heart Risks

    For years, Sharad Acharya’s frequent hikes in the mountains outside Denver would leave him short of breath. But a real wake-up call came three years ago when he suddenly struggled to breathe while walking through an airport. An electrocardiogram revealed that Acharya, a Nepali American from Broomfield, Colorado, had an irregular heartbeat on top of […]

  • Déjà Vu for California Voters on Dialysis

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The survival of California’s dialysis clinics is in the hands of its voters this November. Sound familiar? Voters heard the same dire campaign claim two years ago, when the dialysis industry spent a record $111 million to defeat a statewide ballot measure that would have limited clinic revenues. Industry giants DaVita and […]

  • Progressive Group Highlights Trump, Tillis Weakness on Insulin Price Tags

        During the first presidential debate of 2020, President Donald Trump touted his efforts to curb skyrocketing drug prices and declared that insulin is now “so cheap, it’s like water.” The response on social media was swift, and divided, with some people sharing pharmacy bills showing thousands of dollars they’d spent on insulin, while […]

  • Fighting for Patient Protections While Attacking ACA — Hard to Have It Both Ways

    Throughout the 2020 election cycle, candidates’ positions on health care have been particularly important for voters with underlying and often expensive medical needs — in short, those with preexisting conditions. It’s no surprise, then, that protections for people who have chronic health problems like diabetes and cancer have become a focal point for candidates nationwide […]