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Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

The Friday Breeze Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend. Happy Friday! As you all know, when I come across an outrageous medical mystery story I like to drag you all down with me because horrified…

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Biden Doubles Down On Obamacare

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KHN Investigation On Opioid Prescribers Pains Some Readers And Tweeters

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. In Defense Of Opioid Prescribers Articles such as this one are leaving elderly patients with debilitating pain and also hospice patients struggling to get adequate pain control (“Surgeons’ Opioid-Prescribing Habits…

Listen: Opioid Trial In Oklahoma Wraps Up

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Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

The Friday Breeze Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend. Happy Friday! If you want a smile after this long week, be sure to check out today’s Google Doodle. I feel like this is the right…

Medicare Going In ‘Right Direction’ On Opioid Epidemic

Prescriptions for two drugs used to treat opioid addiction increased significantly from 2016 to 2018 for people on Medicare, according to a federal report out Wednesday. About 174,000 Medicare beneficiaries received such a medication — either buprenorphine or naltrexone — to help them with recovery in 2018, according to the Office of Inspector General in…

Florida Is The Latest Republican-Led State To Adopt Clean Needle Exchanges

A green van was parked on the edge of downtown Miami, on a corner shadowed by overpasses. The vehicle serves as a mobile health clinic and syringe exchange, where people who inject drugs like heroin and fentanyl could swap dirty needles for fresh ones. One of the clinic’s regular visitors, a man with heavy black…

Meth In The Morning, Heroin At Night: Inside The Seesaw Struggle of Dual Addiction

In the 25 years since she snorted her first line of meth at a club in San Francisco, Kim has redefined “normal” so many times. At first, she said, it seemed like meth brought her back to her true self — the person she was before her parents divorced, and before her stepfather moved in.…

Surgeons’ Opioid-Prescribing Habits Hard To Kick

As opioid addiction and deadly overdoses escalated into an epidemic across the U.S., thousands of surgeons continued to hand out far more pills than needed for postoperative pain relief, according to a KHN-Johns Hopkins analysis of Medicare data. Many doctors wrote prescriptions for dozens of opioid tablets after surgeries — even for operations that cause…

Opioid Operators: How Surgeons Ply Patients With Painkillers

Even as awareness of the opioid crisis grew, prescribing habits of surgeons changed very little from 2011 to 2016, found a data analysis by Kaiser Health News and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Our team looked at surgeons whose Medicare patients filled a prescription for opioids within a week of having one of seven…