Her insurer’s price tool estimated less than $1,375 for a breast MRI. Then she got a bill for $3,200: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Her insurer’s price tool estimated less than $1,375 for a breast MRI. Then she got a bill for $3,200: The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Michelle Smith knew the breast MRI her doctor ordered wouldn’t be covered in full by her insurance, so she turned to an online tool that her insurance company developed to help patients estimate prices,” Sarah Gantz writes over at The Philadelphia Inquirer. “UnitedHealthcare’s price estimator told the 51-year-old Delaware County resident that the cost for […]

The transparency conversation over hospital price lists: Scorn and more scorn

The transparency conversation over hospital price lists: Scorn and more scorn

The newly released hospital price lists have been kicking up a lot of commentary on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The lists, as we’ve been discussing, are being made public in compliance with a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule that hospitals have to post all their list prices online as of Jan. 1. […]

Imagine if we paid for food like we do for healthcare: Dr. Ryan Neuhofel on fee.org

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Imagine if we paid for food like we do for healthcare: Dr. Ryan Neuhofel on fee.org

“Imagine if you purchased food like most Americans obtained healthcare. No, I really want you to try to envision it… ” Dr. Ryan Neuhofel writes over at fee.org. “Struggling? I am a family physician whose father worked in a grocery store, and I enjoy eating at Mexican restaurants immensely, so maybe I can help. An […]

How much does a lipoma excision cost? He saved $1,660. How people shop for health care.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does a lipoma excision cost? He saved $1,660. How people shop for health care.

A report came from a community member about a CT scan: 70490 Ct soft tissue neck w/o dye, charged $440.92, insurance paid nothing, he paid $440.92 at Queens Medical Imaging. He noted, “Performed at NYU imaging center on Austin Street. Seemed a bit too expensive. ” The bill had a different charge, so I asked […]

Top 10 most expensive chronic diseases for healthcare payers: Healthpayer Intelligence

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Top 10 most expensive chronic diseases for healthcare payers: Healthpayer Intelligence

“Chronic diseases are on the rise in the United States, leaving healthcare payers with the challenge of covering care for patients with these expensive, long-term conditions,” Thomas Beaton writes over at Healthpayer Intelligence. “Healthcare spending reached a total of $3.2 trillion dollars in 2015, based upon estimates from CMS. Spending is expected to continue to […]

Hospitals now have to post price lists. Does that mean instant transparency? Uh, no.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Hospitals now have to post price lists. Does that mean instant transparency? Uh, no.

(Updated Feb. 9) Of course we support price transparency in health costs. We think all prices should be public all the time. So let’s examine the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule that hospitals should post their charges online in “machine-readable format” as of Jan. 1. This policy is a tiny step […]

Medicaid patients suffer as layers of private companies profit: The Los Angeles Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Medicaid patients suffer as layers of private companies profit: The Los Angeles Times

“Marcela Villa isn’t a big name in healthcare — but she played a crucial role in the lives of thousands of Medicaid patients in California,” Chad Terhune, lately of Kaiser Health News, writes over at The Los AngelesTimes. “Her official title: denial nurse. Each week, dozens of requests for treatment landed on her desk after […]

Taking surprise medical bills to court: The New York Times

Taking surprise medical bills to court: The New York Times

“Joaquin Lopez had emergency gallbladder surgery after rushing to an emergency room last year. He has been haggling with Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis over what he owes ever since,” Julie Appleby writes over at The New York Times. “The 37-year-old college professor was hit with a nearly $8,000 bill from the out-of-network hospital — […]

She saved $650 on an MRI by asking: How people shop for health care

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

She saved $650 on an MRI by asking: How people shop for health care

A community member writes: “Just wanted to give you some information for this area: Zip code 36532, which is the Alabama eastern shore of Mobile Bay. “Two weeks ago I had an MRI of both hip joints without contrast. The local monopoly healthcare system (Infirmary) charges $2,400. for that test with cash payers being given […]

My TED residency is a wrap; my talk will be online in 2019

Filed Under: Costs

My TED residency is a wrap; my talk will be online in 2019

My TED residency ended in mid-December, and I’m sad. I gave my TED talk on Dec. 5 at TED headquarters at 330 Hudson St. in Manhattan. You probably won’t be surprised to know I talked about revealing health costs. Mine and the other talks from my 20 fellow residents will be edited and posted online […]