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After A Rural Hospital Closes, Delays In Emergency Care Cost Patients Dearly

Nationwide, more than 110 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and in each instance a community struggles to survive in its own way. In Fort Scott, home to 7,800, the loss of its 132-year-old hospital opened by nuns in the 19th century has wrought profound social, emotional and medical consequences. Kaiser Health News and NPR are following Fort Scott for a year to explore deeper national questions about whether small communities need a traditional hospital at all. If not, what would take its place?

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Coordinating Care Of Mind And Body Might Help Medicaid Save Money And Lives

Modern medicine often views the mind and body on separate tracks, both in terms of treatment and health insurance reimbursement. But patients with psychological disorders can have a hard time managing their physical health. So some Medicaid programs, which provide health coverage for people with low incomes, have tried to coordinate patients’ physical and mental health care. The goal is to save state and federal governments money while improving the health of patients.

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Meet and Iowa Hospital Hero: Mike Chapman

Regional Medical Center (RMC) is pleased to announce that Mike Chapman has been honored as a 2019 Iowa Hospital Hero. Mike was a committed RMC employee for over 33 years, serving in a variety of roles and working a variety of shifts. He worked as a welcome desk representative most recently, making sure the first face patients and guests saw was friendly and helpful. Mike also served as an EMT during his career at RMC, responding to countless calls no matter what time of day.

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Trump Administration Moves To Make Health Care Costs More Transparent

Shopping around for the best deal on a medical X-ray or a new knee? The Trump administration has a plan for that. On Monday, it proposed new rules that would provide consumers far more detail about the actual prices hospitals charge insurers. It comes amid growing calls from consumer advocates, who argue transparency can help tackle rising health care costs. But the plan also has the potential to overwhelm patients with data.

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When A Doctor’s Screen Time Detracts From Face Time With Patients

Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, but when not used well they can strain the doctor-patient relationship. But medical providers — and patients — can learn skills to keep communication flowing even when there’s a screen in the room. So what does effective screen-sharing look like?

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Surprise Medical Bill Legislation Takes A Step Forward, But Will It Lead To A Step Back?

The House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday approved its version of legislation to curb surprise medical bills. Though this step was an important advance, there’s still a long way forward before Congress agrees on a legislative solution to this high-profile consumer concern. These bills, the unexpected and often high charges patients face when they get care from a doctor or hospital that isn’t in their insurance network, have been the hot issue on Capitol Hill for months.

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Federal Appeals Court Takes Up Case That Could Upend U.S. Health System

The fate of the Affordable Care Act is again on the line, as a federal appeals court in New Orleans takes up a case in which a lower court judge has already ruled the massive health law unconstitutional. Not only would such a decision immediately affect the estimated 20 million people who get their health coverage through programs created under the law, ending the ACA would also create chaos in other parts of the health care system that were directly or indirectly changed under the law’s multitude of provisions.

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Have Cancer, Must Travel: Patients Left In Lurch After Hospital Closes

Continuity of care is crucial for cancer patients in the midst of treatment, which often requires frequent repeated outpatient visits. So when Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, a rural hospital in Kansas, was slated to close its doors at the end of 2018, hospital officials had arranged for its cancer clinic to remain open. Then “I got the email on Jan. 15,” said Reta Baker, the hospital’s CEO. It informed her that Cancer Center of Kansas, the contractor that operated and staffed the unit, had decided to shut it down too, just two weeks later.

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Senate Panel Makes Surprisingly Fast Work Of ‘Surprise Medical Bills’ Package

It may seem as if the Senate has decided on a way forward to fix the nation’s “surprise medical bill” problem. Members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved a sweeping measure Wednesday that tackles a range of big-ticket health care concerns. One thing the bill specifically does not deal with: the insurance market and the Affordable Care Act, which could be why the package was voted out of the committee in just over two hours with little debate.

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