Today's word count is 841, or a 3-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Addiction treatment in the U.S. is critically necessary yet deeply flawed.
The big picture: Drug overdoses kill tens of thousands of Americans a year, but treatment is often inaccessible. The industry is also riddled with subpar care and, in some cases, fraud.
Not only do treatment centers often lack proven treatment methods, but they also often use ineffective ones.
Insurance companies are required to cover mental health on par with their physical health coverage, but have often ignored those rules.
The bottom line: Providers, insurers and regulators all need to do a lot more if we're going to have a functioning treatment system.
Go deeper: How to change treatment for opioid addiction
The administration has requested for Congress to give it an additional $2.5 billion to fight the novel coronavirus, Politico reports.
Yes, but: Some experts say that's not enough.
A man in Miami went to the hospital to receive a test for the coronavirus after developing flu-like symptoms, only to receive the news that he didn't have it — and a $3,270 medical bill, the Miami Herald reports.
The episode would be a great parody of the health care system, if it wasn't real.
The kicker: The patient works at a medical device company that doesn't offer health insurance to its employees.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.
Why it matters: The constant battering of governments, global health organizations, nonprofits and scientists in general is furthering distrust in the very institutions that are needed to organize a global response to what may be turning into a pandemic, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
Trust in public institutions and in science is key to global public health — and for the most part, many countries still retain this trust, per Wellcome Global Monitor.
Legal and financial troubles continue to mount for two prominent opioid manufacturers, Axios' Bob Herman writes.
Driving the news: As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Purdue Pharma launched a $24 million ad campaign to tell people how they can file claims against the company if they or family members were hurt or killed by Purdue's prescription opioids, AP reports.
The big picture: The prospect of multibillion-dollar settlements — which are still a long way from being hashed out — is bringing painkiller companies that were once immensely wealthy to their knees.
The U.S. is still grappling with old diseases like measles — as well as enduring problems like addiction and heart disease — even as it tries to combat new threats like the coronavirus, the Washington Post reports with Kaiser Health News.
Why it matters: While we race for new treatments in the wake of new threats, we're also beset by plenty of problems we know how to solve, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.