Stories by Caitlin Owens

How to crack down on surprise medical bills

A new Brookings Institution paper outlines ways to prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills — particularly the patients who are unlikely to know their doctor is out-of-network.

The big picture: The paper argues that any solution must take into account that health care settings often are not normal markets.

Study: FDA, drugmakers let opioid misuse slide

Oxycodone pain pills. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Federal regulators and fentanyl manufacturers didn't take action when it became clear that highly potent fentanyl products were being inappropriately prescribed to as many as half of the patients taking them, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

How it works: The type of fentanyl in question is approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for adult cancer patents who have already built up a tolerance to less potent opioids.

Judges say U.S. owes ACA insurers billions

The Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments saga continues: The Trump administration ended the payments in 2017, Congress failed to fund them, and now 3 judges have said the government is still on the hook for the payments.

The big picture: "If their decisions stand, insurers could recover roughly $12 billion a year, every year, until Congress intervenes to stop the bleeding," Nicholas Bagley writes in the Incidental Economist.

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