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Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

“We expected to find a larger difference between plans on and off the exchange,” said researcher Simon Haeder. “In both cases, it was very unlikely to get an appointment.”

Picture of Gerald Kominski

The rising prevalence of "narrow" health insurance networks has set off alarms. But do such networks keep patients from getting good care? Not necessarily. The more relevant question is whether a provider network is adequate or not.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

Health insurance premium hikes have been modest in recent years, but out-of-pockets costs are another story. Our Thursday webinar on "Out of Pocket: Surprise Costs After Health Reform" offered a primer on the trends and a host of story ideas for reporting on these topics.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

Tradeoffs are a recurring theme when it comes to Obamacare plans — lower premiums often come with a smaller range of doctors to choose from, as a new database bears out. But as earlier research has shown, the relation between the size of physician networks and quality of care is, well, complicated.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

Health insurers will often limit the size of provider networks to control costs, frustrating patients who suddenly find their doctor is now out-of-network. But do such "narrow networks" mean poorer quality care and access? Not necessarily, says a recent study of California plans.

Picture of Kellie  Schmitt

Rampant consolidation among hospitals and doctors' practices was the theme of our Tuesday webinar with guests Paul B. Ginsburg of USC and Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times. Here's a recap of what they had to say on how the trend is shaping U.S. health care, and what might be done in response.

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The deadline is Friday, December 14, to apply for the 2019 California Fellowship, which provides $1,000 reporting grants and six months of expert mentoring to 20 journalists, community engagement grants of up to $2,000, specialized mentoring, to five.  

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