“The financial cost of having a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis is growing,” according to Healthline. “Those are the findings of a new study funded by the American Academy of Neurology and published in the organization’s journal Neurology. In it, researchers say they found the average out-of-pocket costs for a number of the drugs used to treat such diseases have skyrocketed over the past 12 years. The biggest reason, the researchers say, is the increasing use of high-deductible insurance plans. Such plans typically offer cheaper premiums than more traditional plans but much higher deductibles. That, plus new, high-priced drugs coming on the market, accounts for the increase in costs, the researchers stated. ‘The main reason for the increase is that more people are in high-deductible health plans or their deductibles are higher even if not classified as high,’ Dr. Brian Callaghan, lead study author and a neurology professor at the University of Michigan as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, told Healthline. ‘The other main reason is that out-of-pocket medication’s costs used to consist just of copays, but now these costs also go toward patient’s deductibles,’ he said.” Healthline, “Why Drug Costs Are Skyrocketing for Conditions Like MS, Parkinson’s.”
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.