The Real Reason the U.S. Spends Twice as Much on Health Care as Other Wealthy Countries
A sweeping new study of health-care expenditures found that the United States spends almost twice as much on health care as 10 other wealthy countries, a difference driven by high prices—including doctors' and nurses' salaries, hospital charges, pharmaceuticals and administrative overhead. (Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post)

Long Miles, Lonely Roads: In Rural Texas, Dying at Home Means Little is Easy
Hospice providers in the more remote western and southern parts of the state shared stories with STAT of nursing shortages, scheduling gymnastics, run-ins with wildlife, and the wear and tear of long days in cars for the men and women who treat people at home. Distance sometimes forces hard conversations: At the moment they and their caregivers need help most, a nurse may not quickly be at their side. (Megha Satyanarayana/Stat)

Oregon Medical Students Face Tough Test: Talking About Dying
All medical schools and residency programs in the U.S. are required to include specific instruction in communication skills to gain accreditation, according to Lisa Howley, senior director of strategic initiatives and partnerships for the Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC. (JoNel Aleccia/Kaiser Health News)

Could Nanny Cams Improve Nursing Home Care? That’s One of Many Proposed Fixes
An investigation released last week by the state Legislative Auditor, a government watchdog, found “failed” management in the Office of Health Facility Complaints led to lost files and “poor decisions” when staff investigated abuse complaints. (Christopher Magen/Twin Cities Pioneer Press)

Hospitals are Confronting a New Opioid Crisis: An Alarming Shortage of Pain Meds
Some hospice providers in Florida, Maryland, and Hawaii are already reporting they have run out of some opioid products and are struggling to replenish supplies needed to help patients, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. (Casey Ross/Stat)