Columnist

Kathleen Kozak

Kathleen Kozak, M.D., is an internal medicine physician at Straub Clinic and Hospital. She is also the host of The Body Show on Hawaii Public Radio.
Health Beat: Patients Seeking Pain Relief Should Not Be Treated As Criminals Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Health Beat: Patients Seeking Pain Relief Should Not Be Treated As Criminals

Stephanie Deegan is one of many patients who cannot get opioids as easily, but she still needs help for severe pain.

Health Beat: Vaping Should Be Banned Until Proven Safe Flickr.com

Health Beat: Vaping Should Be Banned Until Proven Safe

E-cigarette companies have an incentive to prove their product is safe.

Health Beat: If You Want Patients To Give Up Opioids, Make The Alternatives Cheaper Pöllö via Wikimedia Commons

Health Beat: If You Want Patients To Give Up Opioids, Make The Alternatives Cheaper

Other pain treatments have proven effective, so why should they cost more?

Health Beat: How Many Stars Does Your Drug Rehab Deserve? Getty Images/iStockphoto

Health Beat: How Many Stars Does Your Drug Rehab Deserve?

Doctors and hospitals work off a rating system. Why can’t rehabilitation programs?

Health Beat: Why More Transparent Hospital Prices Won’t Lower Health Costs Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Health Beat: Why More Transparent Hospital Prices Won’t Lower Health Costs

In Hawaii, most patients have limited choices of where they can go for medical treatment and they’re unlikely to choose hospitals based on posted costs.

Health Beat: Nasty Surprises For Patients Who Travel For Treatment Flickr.com

Health Beat: Nasty Surprises For Patients Who Travel For Treatment

If they don’t participate in your insurance plan, medical providers can charge whatever they want. It’s time for some limits on that.

Health Beat: Would Knowing The True Cost Of Drugs Make A Difference? Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Health Beat: Would Knowing The True Cost Of Drugs Make A Difference?

Not only do patients have no idea about the actual prices of their prescriptions, but their doctors don’t either.

Health Beat: The Trouble With Drug Coupons And Free Copay Cards Flickr.com: Images_of_Money

Health Beat: The Trouble With Drug Coupons And Free Copay Cards

Brand-name pharmaceutical companies are convincing consumers to keep using products that cost insurance companies far more than generic equivalents.

Health Beat: If We Want The FDA To Do A Better Job, Let It Share The Profits Flicker.com

Health Beat: If We Want The FDA To Do A Better Job, Let It Share The Profits

New products approved by the Food and Drug Administration can make a lot of money. Maybe the cash-strapped agency should get a percentage.

Health Beat: Opioid Makers Should Have To Pay For The Problems They’ve Created Flickr: Dexters

Health Beat: Opioid Makers Should Have To Pay For The Problems They’ve Created

Put the money toward research, treatment and finding ways to better the health of everyone, the same as we did with tobacco settlements.

Health Beat: We Can Have Medicare-For-All And Private Insurance Ale Proimos/Flickr.com

Health Beat: We Can Have Medicare-For-All And Private Insurance

All of the choices now available to Medicare recipients could live on, even in a single-payer system.

Health Beat: Dodging The High Cost Of Prescription Drugs Via Wikimedia Commons

Health Beat: Dodging The High Cost Of Prescription Drugs

The U.S. government and pharmaceutical companies can’t seem to solve the problem, but some creative work-arounds are taking shape.