Admissions to hospitals for reasons other than COVID-19 fell markedly again in November as cases of infections with the novel coronavirus began to surge anew, suggesting that more people were delaying care due to the worsening pandemic, according to an updated analysis by Epic Health Research Network (EHRN) and KFF. The recent decline follows a
A new issue brief shows where Americans typically get flu vaccines in the U.S. and how much it costs to administer flu and other vaccines. Among the analysis’ findings: while most people get flu vaccines at a doctor’s office or retail health clinic, White people are more likely than Black, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian
Introduction In the closing days of 2020, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the No Surprises Act, providing new federal consumer protections against surprise medical bills. The measure was included in omnibus legislation funding the federal government for fiscal year 2021 and providing stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic. Its enactment followed nearly
A new issue brief examines the most recent data on deaths from COVID-19 and other causes, and finds that COVID-19 is currently the number one cause of death in the United States. As of January 26, 2021, an average of more than 3,000 people per day died of COVID-19 in the U.S. during the first
Published in the Jan. 19 edition of JAMA, this article from KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt lays out the major health policy challenges that will confront President-elect Biden and potential approaches to major reform. While a big reform debate may not be likely this year, one is likely coming as the
A new issue brief summarizes the key requirements for hospitals, insurers, and self-funded employer plans under new federal price transparency rules. As of January 1, 2021, hospitals are required to make payer-negotiated rates for common services available to consumers on an online tool, and for all services in a machine-readable file. A second rule requires
A new KFF analysis examines how new federal rules on price transparency for health services may affect patient decision-making and market pricing. As of January 1, 2021, the United States Department of Health and Human Services requires that hospitals publish payer-negotiated rates for common services on their websites. A second set of rules, which requires
In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt explores what President-elect Biden might do to advance his health care vision both through legislation and through executive orders and waivers and demonstrations in spite of a narrowly divided Congress.
Key Findings As the country hits record numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, pessimism about the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic continues to increase. Half of adults now say the worst is yet to come, returning to levels measured in May. Moreover, the share of the public who say they are worried that they or
As the initial COVID-19 vaccine doses become available to the public, it will be important to ensure people are aware that they can get the vaccine for free. New rules and legislative changes enacted since the pandemic hit eliminated cost sharing for the vaccine. However, people may still be concerned about costs because of their
As the first doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine are delivered to health care workers and other early recipients, many Americans are eager to know not only when the vaccine will be available to them but also whether they will be able to get it at no cost. The answer is that providers are not
As winter sets in and COVID-19 cases and deaths reach records in most parts of the country, more Americans say they wear masks every time they leave home now (73%) than said so in May (52%), a new KFF Health Tracking Poll finds. A small minority (11%) say they wear masks only some of the
Now updated with 2019 data, the National Health Spending Explorer on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker provides up-to-date information on U.S. health spending by federal and local governments, private companies, and individuals. It was developed by the KFF using data from the National Health Expenditure Account and will be updated annually with each data release. A short
The pandemic and resulting economic crisis have upended any expectations about what health spending, utilization, and the subsequent financial performance of insurers might have looked like this year. The unprecedented decrease in health care spending and utilization in the spring led to rising margins and profits for many insurers. In the summer and fall of
A new chart collection looks at how internet access may affect health care in the U.S., as more providers turn to telemedicine during the pandemic. An estimated 25 million Americans – about 8% of the population – lack access to internet at home. Hispanic and Black Americans, seniors, rural residents, and those living in poverty
A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. We have never seen a year in which health spending actually goes down. Now the seemingly impossible is happening, but the reason – COVID-19 – makes it both anomalous and more tragic than a cause for celebration. + Year-to-date spending on health services is
Several COVID-19 vaccines are now in phase 3 trials, and $10 billion in government money has been invested in the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines. As part of this effort, the federal government has paid in advance for hundreds of millions of doses of multiple COVID-19 vaccines and, in some cases, has the
With hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines will be proven safe and effective soon, state and local public health authorities will play a critical role in ensuring the efficient distribution and administration of the vaccine. To assess the readiness of these local governments to take on these responsibilities, KFF reviewed the preliminary vaccine distribution
A new chart collection examines what we know about the cost of common health services in the U.S. The analysis shows that costs for many common health services have risen more rapidly than inflation; for example, the average cost of hospital admission among large employer plans increased by about $10,000 (68%) between 2008 and 2018.
Health insurance can be expensive, and is therefore often out of reach for lower and moderate income families. To make coverage obtainable for families that otherwise could not afford it and to encourage broad participation in health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes provisions to lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs for people with low
In this perspective published by the Washington Post, KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt explains why the popular Affordable Care Act provisions that ensure people with pre-existing conditions can access affordable health insurance can’t easily be preserved if other related provisions are overturned.