In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident.
Republicans say reducing graduation requirements gives flexibility to students who want to work after high school. Critics say health and gym are critical as teen levels of anxiety, STDs and obesity rise.
Agencies intended to keep children safe, physically and mentally, fall woefully short. And when a successful program begins to gain traction, funding to expand it across the state is kneecapped by Lansing politics.
Districts aren’t required to teach sex ed. And when they do, they must stress abstinence until marriage but need not discuss contraceptives. Does state’s rising STD rate among young people change the calculus?
Bridge launched its Health Watch beat in 2019 with stories revealing medical gaps in rural Michigan and the state’s mounting challenge with opioids, suicide, Medicaid eligibility and legalized pot. Here are some highlights.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said it will pay major health providers more for value-based health care, but penalize them for delivering poor care, which the insurer said would ultimately benefit patients.
Insurers say “prior authorization” requirements reduce wasteful spending on unnecessary medications or services. Doctors counter that it can go too far, raising administrative costs and putting patients at risk.
Overdose deaths for opioids and other drugs fell in 2018, the first drop since 2012, with state policies restricting painkiller prescriptions cited. But drug deaths for black residents spiked in Michigan.