The day: Costs of treatment and surgery, Canada, Medicare

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

“Physicians don’t see the price tags and they never get the bill. Doctors are the true consumers of health care dollars, but the rules of economics falter when the consumers aren’t the ones that pay up. This disconnect is a fundamental cause of the uncontrollable inflation of health care costs in the US. Ignorance about cost fuels spiraling inflation in healthcare because without cost-related restraint in utilization there is no incentive for suppliers of healthcare services to get any cheaper.” Ian Metzler wrote this initially for costsofcare.org, a Boston nonprofit; it was recently republished on thehealthcareblog.com

How to minimize the costs of surgery. Dr. Christopher Chang gives some suggestions on kevinmd.com.

The Canadian health care system is roughly comparable to the U.S. system, but costs much less. Paul Krugman blogs at The New York Times.

Wonkish, pretty and informative: Run, don’t walk, to this compelling interactive map with information about health-care costs. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Consumers, the American Medical Association and the regulators line up to protect their interests: Déjà Vu: Debate Over Medicare Claims Database Heats Up. iHealthBeat, from the California HealthCare Foundation.

“The latest attempt by House Republicans to roll back the health system reform law would allow health insurance companies to sell policies across state lines while revoking coverage expansions and consumer health insurance protections in the law.” By Doug Trapp, AmedNews.

“A new study from Duke University Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute covers 216 cancer patients, mostly older females with breast cancer. It found their self-reported, out-of-pocket, cancer-related costs averaged $712 a month. Some 30% of respondents said their expenses were a ‘significant burden’ and 11% called them a ‘catastrophic problem.’ … All but one of those surveyed had insurance, mostly Medicare, and 83% had prescription-drug coverage.” Katherine Hobson, WSJOnline.