Most nursing homes had fewer nurses and caretaking staff than they had reported to the government for years, according to new federal data, bolstering the long-held suspicions of many families that staffing levels were often inadequate

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He still ended up with a $7,924 bill. You can’t avoid surprise medical bills even with a “PhD in surprise billing.”

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Vox’s emergency room database shows that patients can face steep bills even when they decline treatment

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“The stress and overwhelming crushing defeat of these bills that would come in every week — it had an effect on our quality of life,” Chino says

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Early last year, executives at a small hospital an hour north of Spokane, Wash., started using a company called EmCare to staff and run their emergency room. The hospital had been struggling to find doctors to work in its E.R., and turning to EmCare was something hundreds of other hospitals across the country had done. That’s when the trouble began

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A story by ProPublica and NPR and a Senate investigation prompt a Missouri nonprofit hospital to change its policies and forgive thousands of patients’ debts. But without similar scrutiny, it’s unclear if other hospitals that sue the poor will change

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— and what it reveals about American health care. Last January, Malcolm Bird took his 1-year-old daughter, Colette, to the local emergency room. His wife had accidentally cut the young girl’s pinky finger while clipping her fingernails, and it had begun to bleed. … Colette turned out to be completely fine. A doctor ran her finger under the tap, stuck a Band-Aid on her pinky, and sent the family home

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The Supreme Court case centered on an interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Enacted in 1974, it was designed to help minimize the administrative burden for companies offering health insurance. It also protects self-insured firms — those that directly finance health care coverage rather than outsourcing it to an insurer — from state regulations

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