Ambulances Stick Patients With Surprise Bills
One patient got a $3,660 bill for a 4-mile ride. Another was charged $8,460 for a trip from one hospital that could not handle his case to another that could. Still another found herself marooned at an out-of-network hospital, where she’d been taken by ambulance without her consent. (Melissa Bailey/Kaiser Health News) And: What to do about those bills.

It’s the Grim Reality of Frequent Work Travel: Health Problems
Their lives may be portrayed as glamorous. In fact, they’re often the opposite. Pity frequent business travelers. (Tammy LaGorge/New York Times)

7 Questions for Alex Azar, Trump’s Health Secretary Nominee
Azar heads first to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, whose members share jurisdiction on health care issues with the Senate Finance Committee, which will ultimately preside over his official confirmation hearing. (Erin Mershon/STAT News)

Australia's Flu Season Has U.S. Health Officials Bracing for a Bad Winter—And Wishing for a New Vaccine
In the land down under, where the 2017 flu season is now a wrap, public health officials reported record-high rates of flu, as well as above-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. The most common flu strain there was the influenza A virus known as H3N2, and the vaccine given to Australians had an effectiveness of only 10%, according to preliminary estimates. (Melissa Healy/Los Angeles Times)

End-of-Year Funding Fight Threatens CHIP, Extenders; Insurers Hopeful for ACA Tax Delays
Beyond CHIP, which could be reauthorized retroactively, lawmakers and lobbyists are looking at so-called Medicare extenders, which are provisions of Medicare that have to be renewed by Congress regularly, including programs that are especially key for rural hospitals. Given the political volatility in D.C., cutting a deal is far from certain, and that's causing uneasiness across the healthcare landscape. (Susannah Luthi/Modern Healthcare)