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Stories by Jordan Rau

Medicare punishes 2,499 hospitals for high readmissions

The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program - created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the federal government’s effort to penalize hospitals for excessive patient readmissions - is ending its first decade with Medicare cutting payments to nearly half the nation’s hospitals.... Read more»0

Public favors masks in classrooms but balks at mandating vaccinations for students

As the Delta variant spread threatens the safety of classrooms, a poll found nearly two-thirds of parents support schools’ requiring unvaccinated students and teachers to wear masks, but a majority of parents oppose requiring students now eligible for a COVID vaccine to get one.... Read more»0

Despite COVID, many wealthy hospitals had banner year with federal bailout

Some of the nation’s richest hospitals recorded hundreds of millions of dollars in surpluses after accepting the lion’s share of federal health care bailouts. But poorer hospitals — many serving rural and minority populations — got a tinier slice of the pie.... Read more»0

More competition helps restrain Obamacare premiums

A surge in health insurer competition appears to be helping restrain premium increases in hundreds of counties next year, with prices dropping in many places where newcomers are offering the least expensive plans, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal premium records.... Read more»0

Hospitals boost patient safety, but more work is needed

Two major safety shortcomings in America’s hospitals—the frequency with which patients get hurt during their stays and the large number who are readmitted—have decreased as government penalties and other programs targeting them kick in.... Read more»0

Medicare records provide new details of doctor payments

Medicare records are revealing tantalizing new details of payments to doctors, but physicians and database experts caution that the information can be easily misconstrued or misunderstood. ... Read more»0

Rehospitalization rates fell in first year of Medicare penalties

During the first eight months of this year, fewer than 18 percent of Medicare patients ended up back in the hospital within a month of discharge, the lowest rate in years, the government reported Friday.... Read more»0

Study: Immigrants contribute more to Medicare than they take out

As Congress mulls changing America’s border and naturalization rules, a study finds that immigrant workers are helping buttress Medicare’s finances, because they contribute tens of billions a year more than immigrant retirees use in medical services.... Read more»1

Uncertainty over health law casts shadow on innovations

Changes in ideas to improve patient care could be halted if the Supreme Couart throws out the Affordable Care Act, and some experts say they might be hobbled even if the justices excise just parts law.... Read more»0

Stakes high as Supreme Court weighs health law

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision expected this month on the health care law passed two years ago will have wide implications for millions of consumers and the health care and insurance industries.... Read more»0