How much do ostomy supplies cost? $192 or $45? $63.58 or $14? And where can you buy them?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do ostomy supplies cost? $192 or $45? $63.58 or $14? And where can you buy them?

A friend asked me to tell her where to buy ostomy supplies, preferably the Cymed brand — because she had a friend coming to visit, and as a good hostess, knowing her friend, felt that having ostomy supplies was important for comfort. So I did some research. As always, Reddit is an interesting source of […]

Cost of mammograms — when breast exams leave women with unexpected bills: CBS News

Cost of mammograms — when breast exams leave women with unexpected bills: CBS News

“More than 30 million women get mammograms a year. And while many thought they were free and preventative, they ended up with big bills,” Anna Werner, our partner, writes over at CBS News. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for free mammograms every one to two years for women aged 40 and over. But many […]

How much does an air ambulance cost?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does an air ambulance cost?

The median charge for an air ambulance ride in a helicopter was more than $36,000 in 2017. (Image by Ed Uthman licensed under Creative Commons.) The headline from News 5, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, says it all: It can happen to anyone of us, an air ambulance ride costing $53,000 It happened to Julie and […]

Our unhealthy addiction to health insurance: A direct primary care doctor’s opinion

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Our unhealthy addiction to health insurance: A direct primary care doctor’s opinion

By JEFFREY GOLD, M.D. Whenever I give a talk about healthcare, I ask the audience, “What is the worst addiction problem we have in the United States?” The answers are typically the same and all are good guesses – alcohol, tobacco, opiates, and sugar are most frequently cited. I agree these are all terrible addictions […]

How much do Sovaldi, Mavyret and Harvoni cost? $84 per patient, $25,757 per patient or $94,500 per patient?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do Sovaldi, Mavyret and Harvoni cost? $84 per patient, $25,757 per patient or $94,500 per patient?

“Several states have made alliances with pharma companies to eradicate hepatitis C infections,” Mark Terry writes over at BioSpace. “One of the more recent was between AbbVie and the state of Washington. Another is with Louisiana and Gilead Sciences’ subsidiary Asegua Therapeutics. However, partly because the bidding for these contracts remain confidential, critics are questioning […]

How much does a brain MRI cost, or the triple whammy: Co-insurance, high deductible and a sick kid

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does a brain MRI cost, or the triple whammy: Co-insurance, high deductible and a sick kid

The community member’s report was enough to make you cry. The biggest problem that leaped out at us: A 50 percent co-insurance stipulation in her insurance plan. For an MRI of the brain with and without dye, CPT code 70553, at Virtua Voorhees, these were the prices: CHARGED: 9973.43 INSURED: 2460.0 PAID: 2460.0 Her comment: […]

Costs of Methotrexate, TB test and Humira for rheumatoid arthritis: New year, new insurance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Costs of Methotrexate, TB test and Humira for rheumatoid arthritis: New year, new insurance

She sent in several blood tests with substantial charges from the Mayo Clinic health system, with insurance via an employer. One was a basic metabolic panel, for which she was charged $138, and asked to pay $105 after the insurer’s writedown. She had a TB test too, for $104. She commented: “on top of this […]

New York State makes policy changes in response to our Medical Price Roulette reporting

New York State makes policy changes in response to our Medical Price Roulette reporting

The New York State superintendent of financial services, Linda A. Lacewell, announced that the state Department of Financial Services (DFS) has proposed an amendment to a regulation on New York’s Out of Network Law to protect New Yorkers further from surprise medical bills. In a statement in a press release, Lacewell said she was taking […]

Who gets paid what: The ABC’s of health care pricing

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Who gets paid what: The ABC’s of health care pricing

Pricing is byzantine in the U.S. health care system. For any given procedure or item at any given hospital or clinic, there may be a dozen prices or more. Why? We have what’s called a third-party payer system — many bills are paid not by the patient (the recipient of the service or medication) but […]

We’re live with our CBS News partnership

We’re live with our CBS News partnership

We’ve launched a new partnership with CBS News, bringing transparency to the health care marketplace by telling people what stuff costs, under the name “Medical Price Roulette.” Here’s the first story from Anna Werner, national consumer investigative correspondent at CBS This Morning.  She interviewed Frank Esposito, who faced close to $700,000 in medical costs after […]