Nov 22, 2019

Electronic health records' lax oversight endangers patients

Plans to ensure patient safety as the nation transitioned to electronic health records have yet to come to fruition a decade later, Kaiser Health News reports with Fortune.

Between the lines: Manufacturers of electronic health records, providers, policy wonks and Congress have either blocked the effort or stalled it through fights over how to do it correctly.

  • For example, health data experts in 2009 wanted to create a national databank to track safety issues related to the new technology, but it never happened.
  • "[T]he parties have squabbled over how best to collect injury data, over who has the power to require it, over who should pay for it, and over whether to make public damning findings and the names of those responsible for safety problems," KHN and Fortune write.

Why it matters: Thousands of patient safety reports related to EHRs have accrued in the meantime.

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Mental health coverage is getting worse

Data: Mental Health Treatment and Research Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

As suicide and overdose rates have increased, mental health and substance abuse insurance coverage has gotten worse, according to a new Milliman report commissioned by the Mental Health Treatment and Research Institute.

Why it matters: Behavioral health treatment often isn't covered by insurance, and it's often unaffordable — including for patients for whom treatment is a matter of life and death.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019 - Health

Health care profits are soaring

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Soaring health care costs are bad news for patients and taxpayers, but great news for the very profitable health care industry.

The big picture: The sector has profited heavily in 2019. Expect more of the same in 2020.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019

Deep Dive: The coming health care collision

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Health insurance through an employer — the way most Americans get it — costs an annual average of almost $23,000 to cover a family. That's enough to buy a new Volkswagen every year.

The big picture: While those costs keep rising, Americans' life expectancy is falling.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019 - Health