Feb 11, 2020 - Health

Kidneys on flights are getting delayed like luggage

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Transporting kidneys on commercial flights for transportation can put the organs in jeopardy, thanks to delays and logistical problems, Kaiser Health News and Reveal reports.

Why it matters: Organs can only be outside of the body for a certain number of hours before doctors will refuse to put them inside patients.

By the numbers: Data on more than 8,800 organ and tissue shipments were collected voluntarily between 2014 and 2019 by the United Network for Organ Sharing.

  • Nearly 170 organs could not be transplanted and almost 370 endured what the system calls “near misses,” with delays of two hours or more.
  • 22 additional organs were transportation “failures” and were able to be transplanted elsewhere.

The bottom line: Organ distribution lacks a centralized transportation system, relying on multiple partners like non-profits, doctors, career services and several domestic airlines to transport a kidney. It can lead to confusion and logistics problems where in the end, the patient suffers.

Go deeper

How doctors have shaped the fight around surprise medical bills

Doctors' extensive lobbying on surprise medical bills is partly to blame for Congress' inaction on the issue, reports Kaiser Health News.

Why it matters: "As Congress begins its 2020 legislative session, there is evidence the doctors' message has been received: The bills with the most momentum are making more and more concessions to physicians."

Go deeperArrowFeb 13, 2020 - Health

Airlines cut back on U.S.-China flights due to coronavirus fears

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 aircraft. Photo: Nik Oik/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Several airlines — including major U.S. carriers like Delta, United and American — are suspending some or all of their China flights through February because of coronavirus fears.

The big picture: Airlines said demand for flights to China has plummeted due to the virus' spread. Large companies in other industries — from technology to packaged food — have suspended business trips, CNBC reports.

Go deeperArrowJan 31, 2020 - World

Health care prices still rising faster than use of services

Photo: Ricky Carioti/ The Washington Post via Getty Images

Employers, workers and families continued to spend a lot more on health care in 2018, but that wasn't because people used more services, according to the latest annual spending report from the Health Care Cost Institute, which analyzes commercial health insurance claims.

The bottom line: Higher prices remain the main culprit for exploding spending among those with private health insurance.

Go deeperArrowFeb 14, 2020 - Health