Cash prices stay level, while overall costs continue to rise

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 […]

Mayo to favor privately insured over Medicaid patients: The Star Tribune

Mayo to favor privately insured over Medicaid patients: The Star Tribune

Summary: “Mayo Clinic’s chief executive made a startling announcement in a recent speech to employees: The Rochester-based health system will give preference to patients with private insurance over those with lower-paying Medicaid or Medicare coverage, if they seek care at the same time and have comparable conditions,” writes Jeremy Olson at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “The […]

Orphan drugs bring bounty for Big Pharma, at a steep price: Shots, NPR

Orphan drugs bring bounty for Big Pharma, at a steep price: Shots, NPR

Summary: “Before Luke Whitbeck began taking a $300,000-a-year drug, the 2-year-old’s health was inexplicably failing. A pale boy with enormous eyes, Luke frequently ran high fevers, tired easily and was skinny all over, except his belly stuck out like a bowling ball,” Sarah Jane Tribble and Sydney Lupkin write at NPR in a piece about […]

Transparency at health systems: Beckers Hospital Review

Transparency at health systems: Beckers Hospital Review

Summary: “Physician organizations, hospitals and health systems are under increasing pressure to deliver transparent, competitive pricing,” writes Kelly Gooch over at Becker’s Hospital Review. “This pressure is coming from multiple sources, according to Igor Belokrinitsky, principal with Strategy&, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ strategy consulting business, and with PwC US. Federal and state governments are demanding more transparency, while […]

21 statistics on high-deductible plans: Beckers Hospital Review

21 statistics on high-deductible plans: Beckers Hospital Review

Summary: “Hospital and health system executives are well aware of the affects high-deductible health plans have had on hospital finances, from patient collections to bad debt,” Brooke Murphy wrote over at Becker’s Hospital Review, collecting statistics in May 2016. “To help quantify the impact of increasing patient financial obligations on the business of healthcare, here […]

Get health insurance via employer? ACA repeal will affect you, too

Get health insurance via employer? ACA repeal will affect you, too

Summary: “Much of the recent attention on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has focused on the fate of the 22.5 million people likely to lose insurance through a repeal of Medicaid expansion and the loss of protections and subsidies in the individual insurance market,” JoAnn Volk writes over at Health Affairs (Related […]

Escalator clauses, rising prices, and why we should care

Escalator clauses, rising prices, and why we should care

Summary: You may have asked yourself why health prices rise inexorably. Are escalator clauses, the automatic price increases common to many managed care contracts, the driving force behind trend factors? Bill Rusteberg, an independent insurance consultant in Texas, posted on his blog recently about escalator clauses, which he said commonly add 5 percent a year to […]

PriceCheck: Across the nation, community-built health cost guides

PriceCheck: Across the nation, community-built health cost guides

Summary: Our work with PriceCheck, our health cost transparency partnerships with media and other organizations, has stretched across the nation, bringing thousands of people to our partner web sites to share and search prices — from databases, from our reporting, and from our communities. Our interactive software is placed on our partners’ sites, using pricing information […]

Millions have pre-existing conditions that would make them uninsurable: Kaiser Foundation

Millions have pre-existing conditions that would make them uninsurable: Kaiser Foundation

Summary: “A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that 52 million adults under 65 – or 27 percent of that population — have pre-existing health conditions that would likely make them uninsurable if they applied for health coverage under medical underwriting practices that existed in most states before insurance regulation changes made by the Affordable […]