Out-Of-Network Ambulance Rides Can Bring Out-Of-Pocket Expenses. This spring, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts launched a policy aimed at getting more emergency medical services providers to join its network: It began sending checks for out-of-network private ambulance rides directly to plan members rather than to the EMS providers. The move forces these providers to pursue consumers individually for payment. Kaiser Health News.
A new report from the state Division of Health Care Finance and Policy in Massachusetts shows that growth in health care spending in Massachusetts has far outpaced the nation. Indeed, this substantial increase in spending in Massachusetts, which has been ahead of the nation in many regards, is pretty startling. Rachel Zimmerman, commonhealth.wbur.org.
Will employers end health coverage? Last week, the consulting firm McKinsey released a report saying that 30 percent of employers are planning to drop health benefits once health insurance exchanges created under the health reform act open in 2014. The report has provoked a great deal of controversy about its conclusions and methodology; other studies, including one written by a McKinsey expert, have come to very different conclusions. Greg Sargent, The Washington Post.
“Finding ways to meaningfully reduce the growth of public and private health care costs continues to be a vitally important issue for public policy. The growth of public health spending has dominated the recent debate about ways to reduce federal and state budget deficits, and critics of the newly adopted health reform act complain that it does not sufficiently address growth rates for private health care costs.
“But it is difficult to develop public policies that might affect private health care costs without a good understanding of where the money goes and what the cost drivers really are.” Health Reform Source, the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.