Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
After guidelines for operations were issued in October 2017, surgeons in Michigan reduced by nearly one-third the number of pills they prescribed, with no reported drop in patient satisfaction.
Critics worry the delays come at a steep cost: Medicare paying for millions of unnecessary exams and patients subject to radiation for no medical benefit.
The decline was true of for-profit hospitals, so-called nonprofit hospitals and those designated as city, county, district or state hospitals.
Observation patients may have to pay a larger share of the hospital bill than if they were admitted to the hospital. Plus, they have to pick up the tab for any nursing home care.
Hospital costs in the U.S. are so high that it made financial sense for a surgeon from Milwaukee and a patient from Mississippi to meet at a private Mexican hospital.
In an area where average emergency room claims reached 842% of Medicare rates, residents of a Colorado county found relief by joining forces and negotiating prices directly with the local hospital.
Public health advocates say new HPV guidelines don't provide doctors and patients ages 27-45 clear guidance about who in this age group are good candidates for vaccination.
The CEO of Centene, a company now entangled in a broader federal inquiry, met with Sen. Bob Casey to allay concerns that patients are being neglected.
Critics say authorized generics hurt long-term competition and often perversely increase costs, even in the short term.
Under Medicare, doctors are paid based on the average sales price of the prescribed drug, which critics say gives them an incentive to pick the more expensive option.