Julie Appleby reports on the implementation of the health care overhaul law, the interplay of health care treatments and costs, trends in health insurance, and policy issues affecting hospitals and other medical providers. Her KHN stories have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and MSNBC, among others. Before joining KHN in March 2009, Appleby spent 10 years on the health care industry and policy beat for USA Today. She also worked at the San Francisco Chronicle
, the Financial Times
in London and the Contra Costa Times
in Walnut Creek, Calif. She serves on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists and her education includes a Master of Public Health degree. | Contact: JulieA@kff.org | @Julie_Appleby
The Treasury Department has clarified its rules as a deadline looms for people asked to confirm their citizenship or immigration status.
But insurers oppose many of the premium assistance efforts, saying they would lead to sicker enrollees who will raise costs for everyone.
Consumer groups complain people have been misled about the narrow networks of hospitals and doctors in their plans. Insurers say they are trying to hold down prices.
The University of Utah improved quality and reduced costs by tracking each patient’s care.
The most satisfied were those who received subsidies; the least satisfied had their previous plans canceled.
Many are encouraging the use of less-costly regimens and paying the same for drugs, whether they’re given in hospital outpatient settings or doctors’ offices.
Expert panels suggest those with less serious liver disease wait for drugs in development.
But experts say it’s too early to draw conclusions about the impact on premiums.
Even estranged spouses must generally file joint returns to get subsidies for health coverage, putting them at potential risk.
The price tag of the breakthrough treatment raises questions about the proper costs of pharmaceuticals.