KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Advice For Getting Coverage For An ER Visit; Accessing Lab Results

In health care marketplace news, outlets examine coverage for emergency room visits and patients' efforts to get direct lab reports. Also, a new study finds that the health care workforce is continuing to grow.

Los Angeles Times: When A Health Insurer Won't Pay For An ER Visit
According to Dr. David John, an emergency room physician in Stafford Springs, Conn., and former chair of quality and patient safety for the American College of Emergency Physicians, it's quite typical for a patient to enter the ER with symptoms indicating a serious medical condition but leave with a diagnosis that sounds anything but urgent. ... By law, health plans are required to pay for emergency room visits for medical situations in which an average person believes his or her health or life is threatened (called the prudent layperson standard), according to John. Your ultimate diagnosis cannot influence whether your emergency room visit is paid for by your insurer (Zamosky, 4/5).

Kaiser Health News: Q & A: Should You Have Access To Your Lab Results?
Federal officials are weighing a rule that would allow patients to get direct access to their lab results, but there are concerns from medical professionals (Andrews, 4/6).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Health Care Hiring Boom Projected To Continue, Regardless Of Law
Health-care employment will continue to grow much faster than employment generally, with the number of jobs in home care and other ambulatory settings projected to jump more than 40 percent by 2020, a new study suggests. New figures from the Labor Department highlight an expected hiring shift away from hospitals, as the system puts greater emphasis on  preventive care and reduced admissions, said Jean Moore, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the State University of New York at Albany (Hancock, 4/6).

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