Tag Archives: states

Report card shows erosion of health insurance coverage in the states

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Chart: Commonwealth Fund

In four of the states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility have among the highest rates of uninsured residents, according to a Commonwealth Fund report.Source: “2020 Scorecard on State Health System Performance,” The Commonwealth Fund, September 2020.

The coronavirus has certainly pushed the health care system into a crisis. Still, even before the pandemic began earlier this year, health insurance coverage in the states already was being eroded and health care costs were rising sharply along with the number of preventable deaths, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund.

In addition to those sad statistics, the fund’s researchers show in the 2020 Scorecard on State Health System Performance that racial and ethnic disparities were getting worse as well. Continue reading

Pandemic changes, or pauses, state approaches to health coverage

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr

Before the new coronavirus pandemic, expanding health insurance was a hot topic in the presidential campaign. States were considering a wide range of health coverage policies, including Medicaid expansion, Medicaid block grants, public options, new subsidies and coverage of immigrants.

Much of the state policymaking has been on hold or is phasing in more slowly as the nation’s health system focuses on COVID-19. States are facing enormous financial stresses due both to the pandemic and the subseqent economic crisis. Continue reading

How can states keep nursing home residents safe during the pandemic? 

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Deborah Crowe

When we first learned of widespread incidence and deaths from COVID-19 in a Seattle-area nursing home, many in the aging and health care fields already knew what was ahead. Since early March, Missouri, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and nearly every other state have reported cases, More than 5,500 nursing home residents had died from coronavirus-related conditions as of April 15.

The real number undoubtedly is higher, since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services only recently announced new regulatory requirements to report cases of COVID-19 directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many deaths early in the pandemic likely were attributed to age-related complications from flu, pneumonia, or pre-existing heart and breathing problems. So how are states helping to protect their most vulnerable residents? Continue reading

Data analysis yields state-by-state dental rankings

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

health care provider working on teeth

Photo by ktpupp via Flickr.

Overall, across America, about 15% of children and one-third of adults have gone longer than a year without a dental visit, federal data show.

But rates of children and adults getting oral health services, and factors that can represent barriers to access – including provider shortages and the cost of care – vary from state to state.

Continue reading

New tip sheet explains ‘partial Medicaid expansion’ – and why it hasn’t happened (yet)

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

Map: Kaiser Family Foundation (as of Nov. 15, 2019)

Since the Supreme Court ruling in 2012, states have been warring over whether or not to expand Medicaid.

Now, some states want to pursue a “partial” expansion – under the same generous federal funding rules. So far, no state has been able to do this – but they are trying. Continue reading

Report: Progress on telehealth adoption by states, but still wide variation

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA), a leading trade group for telehealth providers and advocates, this week released its first report since 2017 that tracks state policies on telehealth.

Telehealth adoption is growing, and more states are embracing policies that improve coverage and reimbursement for telehealth services, according to the report. Lack of reimbursement mechanisms has been one of the biggest barriers to telehealth adoption. Continue reading