Kaiser health tracking poll: The election, pre-existing conditions and surprises on medical bills

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Kaiser health tracking poll: The election, pre-existing conditions and surprises on medical bills

“The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds recent political events weighing heavy on the minds of voters when it comes to the 2018 midterm elections,” Bryan Wu, Cailey Muñana, and Mollyann Brodie write over at KFF.org. (The chart here shows who the respondents feel is to blame for high health costs.) “Three in ten voters […]

How much does Luzu cost? Athlete’s foot cures from $3.99 to $432

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

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How much does Luzu cost? Athlete’s foot cures from $3.99 to $432

“Ever hear of a drug called Luzu? For athlete’s foot?” The conversation started in the gym, where a woman who knows I do health care costs had a story to tell. I said, “I bet you’re going to tell me it’s really expensive,” She said “Yep.” What happened: Her podiatrist recommended this medication for athlete’s […]

When a doctor’s recommendation turns into $2,380 in bills, or how much does an MRI cost?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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When a doctor’s recommendation turns into $2,380 in bills, or how much does an MRI cost?

A community member shared with us the bare bones of a story: Two MRI bills at an imaging center in Scarborough, Maine, resulted in a bill for $2,380. “Doctor advised ‘spinal MRI’,  no indication given that procedure would be expensive or be billed separately for thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine,” wrote the community […]

Doctor suffers accident, ends up with $27,000 going to debt collection

Filed Under: Costs

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Doctor suffers accident, ends up with $27,000 going to debt collection

“Dr. Matthew Wetschler can no longer practice medicine. Matthew Wetschler is a Stanford-trained emergency room doctor. He’s also a friend,” Christina Farr writes over at CNBC. “In November 2017 while surfing in San Francisco near his home in Ocean Beach, he hit his head hard on a shallow sand bar and broke his neck. He […]

How much does a hysterectomy cost? $125,000 or $7,700?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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How much does a hysterectomy cost? $125,000 or $7,700?

How much does a hysterectomy cost? Depends on the kind of hysterectomy, of course, and where it takes place. A community member sent in the bill here from a procedure in a Pasadena hospital. Total charges weere $125,585.84, insurance company writedown of $107,674.84. The insurer paid $13,607.52, and the patient was responsible for $4,303.48. Here’s […]

Misleading insurance company paperwork, Chapter 436

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Misleading insurance company paperwork, Chapter 436

Is it a payment or an adjustment? Wait, it’s both! This bill for a colonoscopy clearly identifies the sum of $722.13 as both a payment and an adjustment. The vertical “payments” column is quite clear. Just as clearly, there was no payment at all, judging from the horizontal selection. We have seen a lot of insurance […]

Lax oversight leaves surgery center regulators and patients in the dark: Kaiser Health News

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Lax oversight leaves surgery center regulators and patients in the dark: Kaiser Health News

“The first man died in April 2014. Another died later that month. Then on July 18 of that year, a woman was rushed to a hospital where she was told she was lucky to be alive,” Christina Jewett, Kaiser Health News and Mark Alesia, USA Today Network, write in an investigative piece on regulation at […]

Hospital finances are stronger than ever, California doctor says

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Hospital finances are stronger than ever, California doctor says

By David Belk, M.D. David Belk, a California doctor, has an interest in pricing and has researched and written on this topic for The Huffington Post and at his own site, TrueCostOfHealthCare.org. He sent this via email the other day, and I asked if I could repost it. The next time hospitals tell you they’re […]

LabCorp program offers discounted fees on lab tests for uninsured people or cash patients

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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LabCorp program offers discounted fees on lab tests for uninsured people or cash patients

LabCorp, the national lab test chain, has a program called “LabAccess Partnership program,” with discounted fees on a menu of routine clinical tests for patients who are uninsured or whose health care benefits do not cover clinical laboratory testing. Other payment options separate from private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, Labcorp says on its site, include […]