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How much do diabetic test strips cost? Our new PriceCheck project

Posted by on September 29, 2014

10871254373_830db0f77eSummary: Managing chronic conditions like diabetes can be  costly, even if you have insurance. We’re starting a segment in our PriceCheck project to crowdsource the price of a common diabetic supply, the test strip. This is the fourth item in our PriceCheck series; the first three were mammograms, MRI’s, and IUD’s. You can not only share on our PriceCheck page, but also search to see the results of our data collection, and you can find the three partners’ blog posts here on our collective page, or join our community on our Facebook page.

 

 


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Reference pricing is not a substitute for competition in health care, FTC economists point out

Posted by on September 23, 2014

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Summary: In an effort to limit health cost increases, some economists suggest that the answer is reference pricing — an insurer sets a price that it regards as the “reference” and business is conducted from that price. Apart from the obvious question of who sets the price, there are a raft of other issues, as pointed out in this nice Federal Trade Commission blog post by Keith Brand, Christopher Garmon and Martin Gaynor, from the federal Bureau of Economics.

 

 


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After Obamacare, two-thirds of insured women get birth control pills free: Vox

Posted by on September 21, 2014

Summary: “The number of privately insured women getting no-cost birth control pills has more than quadrupled under Obamacare, new data from the Guttmacher Institute shows. The new research, published in the journal Contraception, shows the percent of privately-insured women who paid nothing for the pill rose from 15 percent in the fall of 2012 up to 67 percent this spring.” –Sarah Kliff, vox.com After Obamacare, two-thirds of insured women now get their birth control pills free – Vox.

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Our most popular posts: you care more now about flu than sex

Posted by on September 16, 2014

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Summary: Our analytics tell us what are our most popular topics. Flu season is here: we can tell because the top post on our blog for the last seven days was about flu shots; before that, three of the top five posts were about birth control pills, STD tests and vasectomies (sex and the web — who’s surprised?). Click on the blue hotlink to see our most popular posts ….

Most popular in the last 7 days

 

How much does a flu shot cost? $14.99 at Costco, $31.99 at Walgreen’s. Here’s a 2013 price list, and map. More stats
How much does a sleep study cost? Well, $600 or $5,070 More stats
How much does a blood test cost? It could be $6, or $167 More stats
How much does an STD test cost? $0 or $600? One man’s journey, and some prices More stats
Q: How much do birth-control pills cost? A: $9 to $63, or $68 to $112. More stats
How much does a vasectomy cost? Part 1: From $300 to $3,500-plus More stats
Simple Search More stats
How much does teeth cleaning cost? From $50 to $299 More stats
How much does a mammogram cost? Our survey with WNYC: $0 to $2,786.95! More stats
Aren’t all mammograms free because of the Affordable Care Act? More stats
How much does a gall bladder removal cost? More stats
Walk-In Clinic Visit More stats
Useful Links More stats
CBC Blood Test With Differential More stats
Birth-control pills: What’s in a name? Oh, and what do they cost? More stats
How much does a vasectomy cost? Oh, and is it covered? Part 2 of our series More stats
How much does an annual well-woman exam cost? Things you should know

 

Most popular in the last quarter

 

Q: How much do birth-control pills cost? A: $9 to $63, or $68 to $112. More stats
How much does a sleep study cost? Well, $600 or $5,070 More stats
How much does a blood test cost? It could be $6, or $167 More stats
How much does an STD test cost? $0 or $600? One man’s journey, and some prices More stats
How much does a vasectomy cost? Part 1: From $300 to $3,500-plus More stats
Simple Search More stats
How much does a flu shot cost? $14.99 at Costco, $31.99 at Walgreen’s. Here’s a 2013 price list, and map. More stats
How much does a gall bladder removal cost? More stats
How much does teeth cleaning cost? From $50 to $299 More stats
How much does a mammogram cost? Our survey with WNYC: $0 to $2,786.95! More stats
How much does a vasectomy cost? Oh, and is it covered? Part 2 of our series More stats
Walk-In Clinic Visit More stats
Useful Links More stats
Aren’t all mammograms free because of the Affordable Care Act? More stats
CBC Blood Test With Differential More stats
Alphabet soup: HCPCS codes, as well as ICD, DRG, CPT More stats
Birth-control pills: What’s in a name? Oh, and what do they cost? More stats
How much does an MRI cost? Part 1 More stats

 

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Cost-conscious care: We’re in the medical school curriculum

Posted by on September 16, 2014

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UAB

Summary: Medical students are learning to address cost issues — so we were flattered the other day to notice that we’re included in the curriculum of resources for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The other procedure pricing resources: healthcarebluebook.com and also the Medicare pricing schedule. Topics: eliminating waste and over-ordering, health costs and payment models; high-value prescribing; and other subjects.

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Yes, you are paying a lot more for your employer health plan: The Washington Post

Posted by on September 12, 2014

 

Summary: “It’s not your imagination. If you have employer health insurance, you’re probably paying more and more out of your own pocket,” Jason Millman writes in The Washington Post. 

 

 

 


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Stanford ends Anthem pact; Anthem fires back, using PriceCheck data

Posted by on September 6, 2014

 

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Summary: Price transparency has some unexpected consequences. Stanford, the big university-centered health system, cut off its contract with Anthem Blue Cross, the big California insurer, yesterday. Anthem struck back at Stanford, announcing publicly that Stanford had ended the contract, and citing our PriceCheck information in its press release.

 

 


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Saving money: Paying cash for health care even if you’re insured

Posted by on September 5, 2014

how to cut health-care costs

Summary: People are telling us they are paying cash for common medical procedures, even if they’re insured — and getting lower prices. Is this common? Is it legal? Why don’t more people ask for lower cash rates, and why don’t more providers offer? Answers to these questions and more …

 

 

 

 


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Health cost transparency now: A doctor speaks out

Posted by on September 5, 2014

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Summary: Transparency, now: that’s what one doctor acquaintance says about health costs. Doctors are increasingly upset by health care pricing. When I heard not long ago from a California surgeon who had learned of our work via our PriceCheck project in California, I asked him if he wanted to do an interview for our blog telling us what he knows and what he’s learned. Read on for a post from Dr. Stephen Rakower, or ….

 

 


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Preventive care coverage via the A.C.A.: A toolkit from the National Women’s Law Center

Posted by on September 3, 2014

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Summary: The Affordable Care Act mandates that preventive coverage of many types should be free under A.C.A. plans. But we have learned that not every plan is covering things in the same way. What to do? Here’s a toolkit from the National Women’s Law Center that covers just about every eventuality. What’s covered, how it’s covered, sample scripts and letters.

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