Why Hospitals Are Getting Into The Housing Business

DENVER — One patient at Denver Health, the city’s largest safety net hospital, occupied a bed for more than four years — a hospital record of 1,558 days.

Another admitted for a hard-to-treat bacterial infection needed eight weeks of at-home IV antibiotics, but had no home.

A third, with dementia, came to the hospital after being released from the Denver County Jail. His family refused to take him back.

Tenn. Block Grant Experiment Would Boost Federal Funding, State Medicaid Chief Says

Tennessee wants to be the first state to test a radical approach for federal financing of Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income people.

The proposal, Tennessee Medicaid Director Gabe Roberts said, would increase the federal government’s contributions by millions of dollars and allow Tennessee to improve care for enrollees, perhaps offering additional services such as limited dental care for some people. But critics fear the plan will harm the poor.

Tennessee, controlled by a Republican governor and legislature, has not expanded its Medicaid program as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

Skin-Lightening Cream Put A Woman Into A Coma. It Could Happen Again.

[UPDATED on Oct. 1]

She had been buying face cream through a friend of a friend for 12 years. This time, it was Pond’s “Rejuveness,” a version of the company’s anti-wrinkle cream that is made and sold in Mexico.

But someone in the Mexican state of Jalisco laced the cream with a toxic skin-lightening compound, and it had a devastating effect on the 47-year-old Sacramento resident.

She showed up at the emergency room this summer slurring her speech, unable to walk or feel her hands and face, public health officials said. She now lies semi-comatose in a hospital.

KHN Files Lawsuit To Force Feds To Disclose Medicare Advantage Audits

Kaiser Health News is suing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to release dozens of audits that the agency says reveal hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges by Medicare Advantage health plans.

The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco under the Freedom of Information Act, seeks copies of 90 government audits of Medicare Advantage health plans conducted for 2011, 2012 and 2013 but never made public. CMS officials have said they expect to collect $650 million in overpayments from the audits. Although the agency has disclosed the names of the health plans under scrutiny, it has not released any other details.

The Delicate Issue Of Taking Away A Senior’s Smartphone

At first, Dr. Robert Zorowitz thought his 83-year-old mother was confused. She couldn’t remember passwords to accounts on her computer. She would call and say programs had stopped working.

But over time, Zorowitz realized his mother — a highly intelligent woman who was comfortable with technology ― was showing early signs of dementia.

Increasingly, families will encounter similar concerns as older adults become reliant on computers, cellphones and tablets: With cognitive impairment, these devices become difficult to use and, in some cases, problematic.

Meet The Health Officials Who Alerted The World To The Alarming Vaping Illness

MILWAUKEE — Dr. Lynn D’Andrea knew something was amiss when three teenagers with similar mysterious, dangerous lung injuries came into the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin one after another, gasping for air.

As the only pulmonologist on duty that Fourth of July holiday week, D’Andrea noticed those alarming cases followed on the heels of another teen who had a non-infectious condition with matching symptoms.

“‘We need to be thinking about something else,’” she told Dr. Michael Meyer, medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, as he later recounted.

As Off-Label Use Spreads, Supplies Of Niche Drugs And Patients’ Patience Grow Short

[UPDATED at 3:15 p.m. ET]

Medical treatment has knocked down tumors in 6-year-old Easton Daniels’ brain, but the drug used also wiped out his immune system.

To bolster his immune function and help keep him healthy, he has visited a hospital for intravenous infusions of immune globulin about every month for the past year and a half.

But in early July, his family was stunned by a letter from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: “All of Easton’s appointments canceled until further notice,” said his dad, Jeremy Daniels, who works in custodial services for a school.

Hill Hodgepodge: Pelosi Draws From Democrats, GOP And Trump For Drug Plan

House Democratic leaders on Thursday unveiled an aggressive plan to lower drug prices through negotiations between federal health officials and the makers of some of the most expensive drugs.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered the proposal through months of closed-door meetings primarily with other Democrats and experts on drug pricing.

But she and other Democratic leaders also incorporated ideas from legislation introduced in July by the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and backed by President Donald Trump, including capping drug prices based on the rate of inflation — a measure that other Republicans said they would not support.

Which Was Worse: The Bachelor Party Hangover Or The Hangover From The ER Bill?

DENVER — Two days before his wedding, Cameron Fischer had one heck of a bachelor party, hitting a few bars in the Old Town section of Fort Collins, Colo., with his friends into the wee hours. The next morning, the 30-year-old IT professional from nearby Loveland woke up with a killer hangover.

“I couldn’t keep anything down,” Fischer said. “I just felt miserable.”

He was in such bad shape that, with their wedding day fast approaching, Fischer’s fiancée urged him to leave their rehearsal dinner in Denver and head to an emergency room to be rehydrated.

As Texas Cracks Down On Abortion, Austin Votes To Help Women Defray Costs

Austin is about to become the nation’s first city to fund groups that help women seeking abortions pay for related logistical costs, such as a babysitter, a hotel room or transportation.

The move pushes back against a Texas law that took effect Sept. 1. The state law bans local governments from giving money to organizations that provide abortions — even if that money doesn’t pay for the procedure.