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Still no evidence of Arizona governor’s claim that victims are being billed for rape kits

Gov. Doug Ducey’s claim that facilities in some Arizona counties are charging victims to process their rape kits is disputed by almost every county, and those advancing the claim refuse to reveal where it’s happening.... Read more»

'Are you going to keep me safe?' Hospital workers sound alarm on rising violence

Eighteen months after the start of the pandemic, front-line health care workers say they are experiencing an alarming rise in violence in their workplaces - something hospital executives were already attuned to workplace violence before the pandemic struck.... Read more»

Major insurers running billions of dollars behind on payments to hospitals and doctors

Anthem Blue Cross, the country’s second-biggest health insurance company, is behind on billions of dollars in payments owed to hospitals and doctors because of onerous new reimbursement rules, computer problems and mishandled claims, say hospital officials in multiple states.... Read more»

Hospitals confront climate change as patients sick from floods and fires crowd ERs

Doctors, nurses and hospitals increasingly are seeing patients sickened by climate-related problems, but hospital groups have resisted sustainability commitments on the grounds they will bring more red tape and costs.... Read more»

From Uber vouchers to patient advocates: What it takes to increase ER addiction treatment

A report found that despite widespread consensus on the importance of addiction treatment in the ER and an unprecedented rise in overdose deaths, many hospitals fail to screen for substance use, offer medications to treat opioid use disorder or connect patients to follow-up care.... Read more»

Arizona’s COVID-19 infection rate is back at winter surge levels

Arizona’s COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise to levels not seen since the winter surge - the state last week averaged more than 2,000 cases per day - and local doctors and pediatricians have been urging Gov. Doug Ducey to rescind mask bans.... Read more»

A chilling cure: Facing killer heat, emergency rooms use body bags to save lives

As a deadly heat wave scorched the Pacific Northwest last month, overwhelming hospital emergency rooms in a region unaccustomed to triple-digit temperatures, doctors resorted to a grim but practical tool to save lives: human body bags filled with ice and water.... Read more»

As suicide rates climb, 'Arizona model' leads nation in crisis care

Other states are starting to emulate what has become known as the “Arizona model” for crisis care, in which suicide hotlines, mobile crisis units and crisis facilities are electronically linked, creating a comprehensive system of services to address the first 24 hours of a person’s psychiatric emergency. ... Read more»

Feds propose shakeup for emergency room billing

Federal officials for more than a decade have let hospitals decide on their own how much to charge Medicare for certain emergency room overhead and staffing costs called “facility” fees — a controversial policy some critics believe invites overcharges. Now in a major turnabout, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are seeking tighter controls over the fees as part of a plan to redirect billions of dollars Medicare spends annually on outpatient health care. ... Read more»

Emergency room visits on the rise

Over the past decade, emergency room visits have increased by 11 percent. In 2007, there were approximately 117 million visits to emergency rooms and the number could rise even higher as more people obtain health coverage under the health care reform law.... Read more»