Uninsured people are often the most billed by hospitals, data shows


The Wall Street Journal reports an investigation into hospital rates and uninsured people. Reports from Atlanta show that language barriers are linked to poor access to health care. Meanwhile, HIV prevention clinics are worried about Gilead’s reimbursement cuts.

The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals often charge uninsured people the highest prices, new data shows

Raul Macias was rushed to an emergency room last November with pain in his back up to his legs. His breathing was shallow. Doctors at Avera St. Luke Hospital in Aberdeen, SD, have discovered a potentially fatal tear in the wall of its largest artery. They transferred him to Avera Health Heart Hospital, where he stayed for three days. Avera then billed the uninsured Mr Macias for some of the highest prices hospitals charge any payer, according to the Wall Street Journal in an analysis of previously confidential hospital pricing data from Avera. (Evans, Mathews and McGinty, 7/6)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Study Links Language Barriers to Much Lower Access to Health Care

Language barriers severely limit access to health care for US residents with limited English proficiency – a population of more than 25 million nationwide, including more than 500,000 in Georgia. That’s the main takeaway from a new study published Tuesday in Health Affairs, a leading health policy research journal. According to the study authors, a group of researchers at Harvard Medical School and Hunter College at the City University of New York, Spanish speakers receive about a third less care than other Americans, even with differences in health of base, age, income and health insurance. taken into account. Although there have been multiple policy initiatives at the federal level aimed at strengthening language services in hospitals and clinics, the study indicates that they may have had limited effectiveness: the main language disparities in access to health care has only increased in the past two decades. (Grinspan, 7/6)

NBC News: ‘This will stop us’: HIV prevention clinics prepare for Gilead reimbursement cuts

Tony Christon-Walker was determined to set up an HIV prevention clinic in Birmingham, Alabama that would succeed where others have long struggled to tackle the scourge of the virus among fellow queer black men. Director of prevention and community partnerships at the nonprofit AIDS Alabama, he spent much of 2019 hiring clinic staff of people of color. They were trained to provide the kind of assertive care that he said “reflects our culture” and that would encourage local men at risk of HIV to return. (Ryan, 7/7)

In other developments in the healthcare industry –

Modern healthcare: Sutter workers protest over staffing in hospitals

Sutter Health’s services and technology workers plan to protest low staffing levels at eight hospitals, saying they are leading to longer wait times and a lack of patient safety. Workers will establish “danger zones” at each hospital in July to illustrate the dangerous conditions they claim patients and employees face. Danger zones will include warning tape, orange cones, large signs and uniformed caregivers and PPE giving speeches to draw attention to delays in care caused by understaffing, said Tom Parker , Senior Communications Specialist at SEIU-UHW. (Devereaux, 7/6)

Modern Healthcare: Cleveland Clinic, Teaching Hospitals After First Quarter Financial Results

For the first quarter of 2021, the Cleveland Clinic and teaching hospitals each posted operating revenues close to their projections as healthcare systems emerge from the financial challenges of COVID-19, according to recently released financial information. Cleveland Clinic’s operating profit for the first three months of the year was $ 61.7 million, compared to an operating loss of $ 39.9 million in the first quarter of 2020. It was slightly lower. lower than the clinic expected in terms of operating performance, but that’s not important, said Steven Glass, clinic chief financial officer. He also notes that the Clinic established its projections last fall before the winter surge. (Coutré, 7/6)

Fox News: Texas hospital delivers 100 babies in 91 hours

A Texas hospital recently set a new baby boom record when staff delivered more than 100 newborns over two two-day periods. The first round of rapid deliveries began on June 24 and saw 25 girls and 27 boys deliver in 47 hours at Andrews Hospital for Women at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Forth Worth, WFAA.com reported. The second round, which began on June 28, saw staff welcome 55 more babies, including a pair of twins, in 44 hours. (Huh, 7/6)

Billings Gazette: Montana Family Medicine Residency Announces 2021 Graduates

Eight family physicians graduated June 30 from Montana Family Medicine Residency, based at RiverStone Health. Five will stay in Montana and a sixth is planning to return after a year. (7/4)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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