You’ve Got Facility Fees! | The Health Care Blog

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: “Hospital-based clinics tack on ‘facility fee’ charges, which are separate from the bill for the doctors’ services, for the use of the room in which the patient was seen,” Niran Al-Agba writes over at The Health Care Blog. “One hospital administrator told me to think of it as ‘room rental.’ Facility fees bring in […]

Welcome to New Orleans: PriceCheck expands

Filed Under: Costs

We launched our New Orleans PriceCheck partnership in April 2017, crowdsourcing health prices with partners WVUE FOX 8 Live and I The Times-Picayune. Our partners include FOX 8 Live’s Lee Zurik, a top-flight investigative reporter who with his team just won an Investigative Reporters and Editors award for this medication pricing series, and’s […]

How to save money at the hospital: Elisabeth Rosenthal

Filed Under: Costs

Summary: “Going to the hospital can be scary—but medical bills can be even scarier,” Elisabeth Rosenthal writes over on Medium. “To avoid unnecessary expenses, here are 5 actions you can take during your hospital stay. In my latest book, ‘An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back,’ I write […]

Understanding the guts of the insurance system: Ron Peck

Filed Under: Costs

Summary: Understanding the guts of the system — arcana  such as plan documents, stop-loss, self-insurance, ERISA commitments, balance billing, subrogation and generally chasing down the money — may not seem like fun stuff. But it actually is, when you get to talk about these things with Ron Peck, senior vice president and general counsel at […]

Patients want to shop for care, but have a hard time finding good tools: NPR

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Summary: “Kate and Scott Savett were trying to be responsible when they needed some medical care… Scott, 43, is a chemist and designs software for labs; Kate, 37, works in life insurance,” wrote Elana Gordon, at our partner WHYY public radio in Philadelphia, a bit ago. “They buy their health insurance through Scott’s job, and […]

Us! Us! Trumpcare Needs Milton Friedman: Seeking Alpha

Filed Under: Costs

Summary: Here we are, on “Seeking Alpha,” an investment research site, in a piece written by Larry Abrams: “We would like to mention just two of the many healthcare startups out there with services focused on enhancing consumer-directed healthcare. Both would thrive if Trumpcare were based on Milton Friedman’s ideas. One is a basic healthcare […]

Mississippi’s middle class carries the burden of high medical debt

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: “Americans are no strangers to medical debt, and the burden is most severe in Mississippi, where nearly 40 percent of adults under age 65 owe hospitals or doctors, according to the Urban Institute,” writes Max Blau over at STAT, in a piece that neatly encapsulates much of our reporting on health spending. “But the men […]

Cash prices stay level, while overall costs continue to rise

Summary: A curious thing has happened in health care pricing in this country. While insurance premiums and insured people’s prices for common procedures consistently go up and up and up, cash prices for many common, “shoppable” procedures vary little from year to year. We first started to notice this pattern when we were replicating our […]