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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How patient satisfaction translates to more money: Randi Oster

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Summary: Patient satisfaction is a big deal in health care these days. I talked about the topic with Randi Redmond Oster, the head of Help Me Health and the multi award winning author of “Questioning Protocol,” which details her journey with her son, who has Crohn’s disease, and his multiple operations. “What I discovered was […]

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 […]

What your doctor wishes you knew about insurance: Guest post

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Summary: If one were to survey the public, it is not obvious whether being sick would rank as more frustrating than dealing with health insurance —- especially in these times of health reform and uncertainty. Doctors also sometimes find dealing with health insurance difficult —- especially when their patients don’t understand their responsibilities. Here is […]

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

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 […]