Kaiser Health News

Medscape News has partnered with Kaiser Health News (KHN) to provide timely, relevant health care policy news on Medscape. KHN is a nonprofit news organization committed to in-depth coverage of healthcare policy and politics. KHN's mission is to provide high-quality coverage of health policy issues and developments at the federal and state levels. In addition, KHN covers trends in the delivery of health care and in the marketplace.


  • Biden's CDC Director Has Long Used Data to Save Lives When Dr Rochelle Walensky stepped up to lead the CDC, she promised to keep telling the truth -- even when it's bad news.
  • Vaccines Came Too Late for at Least 400 Medical Workers As healthcare workers in the US began lining up for their first coronavirus vaccines on December 14, Los Angeles nursing assistant Esmeralda Campos-Loredo, was already fighting for oxygen.
  • Why Are Vaccines Still in Short Supply? The U.S. government has invested billions of dollars in manufacturing and used a wartime act dozens of times to boost supplies, and yet there's still not enough COVID vaccine on the way to meet demand.
  • Feds OK'd Export of N95 Masks as US Workers Cried for More FEMA issued the waiver in the final moments of Donald Trump's presidency last month, allowing a Texas company to export its products after it failed to secure U.S. customers.
  • Organ Transplant Patient Dies After Receiving COVID-Infected Lungs Officials at the University of Michigan Medical School suggested it may be the first proven case of COVID-19 in the US in which the virus was transmitted via an organ transplant.
  • Medicare Cuts Payment to 774 Hospitals Over Patient Complications The penalties, based on patients who stayed in the hospitals between mid-2017 and 2019, are not related to COVID-19. The CDC says 1 in 31 patients acquires a nosocomial infection on any given day.
  • Scientists Call on CDC to Better Protect Workers From COVID The researchers say that even though the CDC has acknowledged the virus can spread through tiny airborne particles, it needs to take "strong immediate" action to update its guidance to reduce the risk.
  • State Lawmakers Propose Tough New Bills to Curb Drug Prices Fed up with a lack of federal action to lower prescription drug costs, state legislators around the country are pushing bills to penalize drugmakers for unjustified price hikes and to cap payment.
  • Lack of COVID Data on People With Intellectual Disabilities A lack of federal tracking means no one knows how many people in disability group housing have fallen ill or died from the virus. Some states are tracking the caseloads, but the collected data varies.
  • Health Workers and Hospitals Grappling With Counterfeit N95 Masks The fakes pouring into the country have fooled health care leaders from coast to coast. As many as 1.9 million counterfeit 3M masks made their way to about 40 hospitals in Washington state.
  • As Contact Tracing Struggles, Biden Looks to Boost It President Biden proposes hiring 100,000 people nationwide as part of a new public health jobs corps. They would help with contact tracing and facilitate vaccination.
  • Why the US Is Underestimating COVID Reinfection As millions of Americans struggle to recover from COVID-19 and millions more scramble for the protection offered by vaccines, US health officials may be overlooking an unsettling subgroup of survivors.
  • Comparing Death Tolls From COVID to Past Wars Each death is unique, a devastating loss that ripples through a family, a network, a community. But in the aggregate, the national death toll can feel abstract, and its repetition in the news can be numbing.
  • A Scandal Erupts Over Vaccination Startup Led by 22-Year-Old It started as a group of college friends who wanted to help during the pandemic. They had tech skills, so they used 3D printers to make face shields.
  • It Matters That People Are Jumping the Vaccine Line As wealthier, craftier, or better connected Americans have 'jumped the line' to get a vaccine, others, often those more vulnerable, have been left behind ultimately undermining confidence in the system.
  • Can Any Public Hospital Survive? New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, is an anomaly. It is a publicly owned hospital that boasts good care at lower prices than most and still flourishes financially.
  • Gaps in Data Make It Impossible to Know Who Got the Vaccine The gaps could mean that well-connected people and health personnel who have no contact with patients are getting vaccines before front-line workers, who are at much higher risk for illness.
  • Can the US Keep COVID Variants in Check? Here's What It Takes The COVID-19 variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, and now Southern California are eliciting two notably distinct responses from US public health officials.
  • New COVID Cases Plunge 25% or More as Behavior Changes The factors involved may be behavior-driven, with people settling back home after the holidays, reacting to news of hospital beds running out in places, or resolving to wear masks and physically distance.
  • Remdesivir Is Big Win for Gilead -- Boosted by Taxpayers Its emergency-use approval by the FDA immediately drew a storm of criticism. The World Health Organization recommended against its use. Politicians railed at its $3,120 price tag.

About Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news service which partners with major news organizations to cover health care policy and politics. KHN is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.