Lawmakers to Address Medical Bill Sticker Shock

For now, balance billing is perfectly legal in Washington state but there’s an effort under way to pass new legislation protecting consumers from this type of medical bill. Representative Eileen Cody chairs the State House Health Care Committee. She’s also leading negotiations already underway for a second attempt at new legislation.

Even With Obamacare, 29 Million People Are Uninsured: Here’s Why

Estimates vary, but as many as 29 million Americans ­– about one in 10 – lack coverage. Five million people are eligible for Medicaid, but not signed up. Another 13.5 million people are split between eligibility and ineligibility for tax credits. Most people who lack health insurance say that costs are the main reason they don’t have it.

Appeals Court Overturns Mental Health Ruling

A three-judge panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that the state has failed to comply with its own goals but said an order issued last year by U.S. District Judge Pechman in Seattle setting a seven-day deadline for competency evaluations went beyond what the Constitutional requires.

F.D.A. Imposes Rules for E-Cigarettes in a Landmark Move

The Food and Drug Administration issued sweeping new rules that for the first time extend federal regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, banning their sale to anyone under 18 and requiring that adults under the age of 26 show a photo identification to buy them.

Social Service Shortfalls Hinder Health, Boost Medical Spending

States that spend more money on social services and public health programs relative to medical care have much healthier residents than states that don’t, a study out today. Professor Elizabeth Bradley, lead author of the study, is urging more efficient — not more — government spending.

How a Tool to Help Patients Save on Health Care Backfired

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday suggests that health care price transparency tools alone aren’t going to lead to much, if any, savings. The stark truth: Researchers found that the tool was barely used.

State Options To Control Health Care Costs And Improve Quality

The innovations that some states are implementing to reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality can and should be replicated by other states. Following is a comprehensive summary of options that states can choose from to improve the quality and sustainability of their health care systems.