Sarah Jane Tribble

Sarah Jane Tribble

Sarah Jane Tribble, senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News, covers the state of health care in rural America.

A bitter battle over the ‘orphan drug’ program leaves patients’ pocketbooks at risk

By: - May 2, 2023

A prescription drug that helps Lore Wilkinson walk and talk despite a rare muscle disease cost her so little for more than a decade that she didn’t even use her insurance to pay for it. But now, her Medicare insurance is shelling out about $40,000 for a one-month supply of the drug, and she fears […]

Legal questions, inquiries intensify around rural Missouri hospital closures

By: - March 23, 2023

A year after private equity-backed Noble Health shuttered two rural Missouri hospitals, patients and former employees grapple with a broken local health system or missing out on millions in unpaid wages and benefits. The hospitals in Audrain and Callaway counties remain closed as a slew of lawsuits and state and federal investigations grind forward. In […]

After Platinum Health took control, all workers at two Missouri hospitals were fired

By: - September 22, 2022

The news, under Noble Health letterhead, arrived at 5:05 p.m. on a Friday, with the subject line: “Urgent Notice.” Audrain Community Hospital, Paul Huemann’s workplace of 32 years, was letting workers go. Word travels fast in a small town. Huemann’s wife, Kym, first heard the bad news in the car when a friend who’d gotten […]

Collapse of private equity-backed Missouri hospitals mired employees in medical bills

By: - August 16, 2022

The first unexpected bill arrived in December, just weeks before Tara Lovell’s husband of 40 years died from bladder cancer. Lovell worked as an ultrasound technologist at the local Audrain Community Hospital, in Mexico, Missouri, and was paying more than $400 a month for health insurance through her job. The town’s struggling hospital, the sole […]

Buy and Bust: When private equity comes for rural hospitals

By: - June 15, 2022

This article was originally published by Kaiser Health News. MEXICO, Mo. — When the new corporate owners of two rural hospitals suddenly announced they would stop admitting patients one Friday in March, Kayla Schudel, a nurse, stood resolute in the nearly empty lobby of Audrain Community Hospital: “You’ll be seen; the ER is open.” The […]