Industry News: Volume 3, Issue 19

Medical crowdfunding isn’t a solution for skyrocketing health care costs

By Annalisa Merelli – In the United States, health care costs are so out of control that medical crowdfunding has become commonplace. The idea is simple: turn your social network into a financial safety net to cover the cost of expensive treatments or long illnesses. Millions of Americans have started crowdfunding campaigns for medical bills, and tens of millions have donated to them, mostly through the undisputed sector leader, GoFundMe.

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Mental health inequities will cost U.S. $478B in ‘unnecessary’ expenses in 2024

By Dave Muoio – Inequities in mental health across the U.S. will run the country nearly half a trillion dollars in avoidable costs through 2024—and could escalate to $1.3 trillion in 2040 if left unchecked, according to a recent report from Deloitte.

The projection, put together by the firm’s Health Equity Institute and the School of Global Health at Meharry Medical College, attributes most of the “avoidable and unnecessary expenses” to premature death ($332.2 billion in 2024) and productivity loss ($116 billion in 2024) that disparately affect certain demographics.

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Hospital closure in rural North Carolina underscores health care’s place as a top issue in battleground state -Weeds have punctured through the vacant parking lot of Martin General Hospital’s emergency room. A makeshift blue tarp covering the hospital’s sign is worn down from flapping in the wind. The hospital doors are locked, many in this county of 22,000 fear permanently.

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Why health systems are faring better so far in 2024

By Tara Bannow – Americans, especially Medicare beneficiaries, are getting more medical care these days. Demand from aging Baby Boomers is keeping people in doctor’s offices, and health care providers are continuing to build capacity post-Covid.

Those trends — the same ones that tanked health insurance stocks a few weeks ago — made a strong mark on nonprofit health systems’ first quarter financial reports.

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Medicaid Unwinding Deals Blow to Tenuous System of Care for Native Americans

By Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez – About a year into the process of redetermining Medicaid eligibility after the covid-19 public health emergency, more than 20 million people have been kicked off the joint federal-state program for low-income families.

A chorus of stories recount the ways the unwinding has upended people’s lives, but Native Americans are proving particularly vulnerable to losing coverage and face greater obstacles to reenrolling in Medicaid or finding other coverage.

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 Ascension faces class action lawsuits for Black Basta ransomware attack

By Susan Morse – Ascension is facing two class action lawsuits for the May 8 ransomware attack that reportedly continues to disrupt operations due to disconnection from the Epic EHR and cause long ER wait times for some of the health system’s 140 hospitals.

On May 12, Katherine Negron filed a class action complaint against Ascension in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. On May 13, Ana Marie Turner filed a similar lawsuit in federal court for the Western District of Texas.

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Babyscripts teams up with Lyft to provide transportation to maternal health services

By Emma Beavins – Digital maternal health company Babyscripts announced a partnership Tuesday with Lyft Healthcare to offer sponsored rides for people who are pregnant or postpartum and face barriers to transportation.

Though Babyscripts is a digital-first, tele-maternal health company, it acknowledges that pregnant individuals also need in-person care. 

“Access is one of the biggest challenges to maternal health and infant health—and a patient’s outcomes can come down to whether or not they go to their doctor appointments,” Anish Sebastian, CEO and co-founder of Babyscripts, said in a statement. 

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