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 […]

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 […]

Blondie and the beast: Medical coding errors (Part I)

Summary: “When Maria spoke to the collections agency about the latest bill she’d received for her daughter’s surgery, the woman on the other end of the phone was encouraging: ‘You only owe $10,000. It WAS $44,000. You should be happy!’ Mandi Bishop writes over at Tincture. “Only $10,000. For a surgery that should not have […]

Why we don’t wear hearing aids: Our series on the cost of hearing aids

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Katherine Bouton, a former editor at The New York Times, is the author of “Shouting Won’t Help: Why I  — and 50 Million Other Americans — Can’t Hear You.” This was originally posted on her Psychology Today blog, “What I  Hear,” and is reposted with permission as the first part of our new series, “How […]

What it means to you: Oct. 1 and buying health insurance, an overview

You may have been hoping you could ignore the topic of health insurance, but Oct. 1 is almost here, and with it the new health insurance landscape brought by the Affordable Care Act. And we’re going to help you navigate through it. Here is an outline of what we’ll write about, basically a handbook on […]

New models of payment: Going direct, and cutting out the middleman

  This is the second part in our series of new models of payment in the health-care marketplace, touching employers and individuals. The first part is here. * * * * * Employers, patients and other health-care marketplace parties are increasingly cutting insurance companies out of the equation. We’ve written about cost-plus and Medicare-plus, which […]

Washington state cancer patients at risk for bankruptcy: Health Affairs

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

“Much has been written about the relationship between high medical expenses and the likelihood of filing for bankruptcy, but the relationship between receiving a cancer diagnosis and filing for bankruptcy is less well understood. “We estimated the incidence and relative risk of bankruptcy for people age twenty-one or older diagnosed with cancer compared to people […]