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Weekly Line: Opioids killed 47,500 people in 2017. But the death count is only the tip of the iceberg.

February 15, 2019


The United States opioid epidemic killed more than 47,500 people in 2017. 

The 10 healthiest (and unhealthiest) US cities, according to WalletHub

February 15, 2019


All but two of the 10 healthiest cities in the United States are on the West Coast, and three of the top cities are in California, according to an analysis by WalletHub released Monday. See how your city fared on American Health Line's interactive map.

Medicare wants to revamp ambulance payments, aiming to prevent avoidable ED visits

February 15, 2019


HHS on Thursday announced the launch of a new voluntary payment model for emergency ambulance services—called the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) model—that would allow Medicare to reimburse first responders for care delivered on-site or via telemedicine, even if patients are not taken to a hospital.

Spending in employer-sponsored plans reached an all-time high in 2017. Here's how employers are fighting back.

February 15, 2019


Spending in employer-sponsored health plans reached a record high in 2017, and the major cause was higher prices—not higher utilization, according to the Health Care Cost Institute's annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report released Tuesday.

CVS has been teasing its new, in-store 'HealthHUBs' for months. Here's what's inside.

February 15, 2019


CVS Health recently launched three of its newly remodeled concept stores, called "HealthHUBs," which include spaces for patients to meet with clinicians, labs for blood testing, and more.

Big hospital mergers lead to better patient care, right? Maybe not.

February 15, 2019


While many health care stakeholders argue that big, merged health systems "can offer better care at lower costs," research suggests that rates of mortality and serious complications might rise after a merger, according to Austin Frakt, a professor and director of the Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System.

'Hot tears and pure terror': What happens when patients remember surgeries they were supposed to forget?

February 15, 2019


Conscious sedation is an anesthetic technique intended to leave patients in a so-called "gray zone" between consciousness and unconsciousness, but little is known about how often patients remember painful procedures that occurred while they were sedated—or how damaging such memories might be.

In the states: Georgia seeks partial Medicaid expansion, Maine co-op asks SCOTUS to hear case on risk corridor payments, and more

February 15, 2019


American Health Line rounds up the latest health care news in the states.

'Medicare at 50': Inside Democrats' latest plan to dramatically expand Medicare

February 14, 2019


A group of House and Senate Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill that would allow U.S. residents to buy into Medicare once they reach age 50, and would allow them to use Affordable Care Act tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies to do so.

The 10 best #HealthPolicyValentines of 2019

February 14, 2019


You've endured a long, cold winter, and now, at long last, it's here: Valentine's Day, when #HealthPolicyValentines take over our Twitter feeds—and our hearts. American Health Line's gathered 10 of our favorites from this year's batch, from "It's the prices, Cupid" to "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's S05.91XA (unspecified injury of right eye and orbit, initial encounter)."

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