Photo by Sean Stayte via flickr.
Senate GOP leaders today scrapped this week’s planned vote on their version of Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, with plans for a quick turnaround on the bill faltering in the face of fierce opposition from voters and a wide variety of interest groups.
After the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would cause 22 million Americans to lose their health insurance, organizations representing physicians, hospitals, small businesses and Medicare patients and other interest groups said the BRCA would have a devastating effect on the health insurance system. Continue reading
AHCJ’s Rural Health Journalism Workshop brought journalists from across the United States to Cincinnati to hear from experts who focus on the health challenges facing the nation’s 46 million rural residents.
Almost 60 attendees of the ninth annual workshop gained a better understanding of what’s happening – or will be happening – in rural regions, and journalists returned to work with dozens of story ideas. Continue reading
The phenomenon of rural hospital closures has gotten a fair amount of attention in the last few years with all the Affordable Care Act finger-pointing. But as the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center notes, the problem really emerged and caught the attention of policymakers in the late 1980s.
For a few years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an annual report, but closures slowed down about 20 years ago, and interest waned. The pace of closures picked up again during the Great Recession of 2008-09, before the ACA’s passage. Continue reading
In two days in December, the Charleston Gazette-Mail published two blockbuster articles about the opioid crisis in West Virginia, the results of months of reporting by Eric Eyre, the paper’s statehouse reporter.
Anyone who read them would recognize that Eyre’s work was outstanding, if only for the numbers he included in each piece. Over six years, the nation’s largest drug distributors shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to pharmacies in the state, he reported. In that same period, 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers, he wrote. Drug distributors shipped enough hydrocodone and oxycodone for each of the state’s 1.8 million residents to have 433 pills. Continue reading
A shortage of qualified geriatric health providers to address the often complex health needs of rural seniors around the United States requires some innovative approaches. One effort is the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), which helps train and support primary care practices in rural areas to offer better care management.
GWEP is funded through the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). It concentrates on improving services such as the Medicare annual wellness visit, chronic care management, advance care planning and dementia care. Continue reading