Pharmacy Discount Plans–A Good Option?

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Call me late to the party, but until recently, I knew very little about pharmacy-run discount plans for generic drugs. From Walgreens to Walmart, chains now offer customers a way to fill prescriptions for bargain-basement prices. Some have a signup cost. Others don’t. Either way, they usually cover several hundred generic meds. Companies will all […]

Waste and fraud in Medicare

Filed Under: Costs, Providers, Regulators

It’s an article of faith that one of the biggest sources of  health-care cost abuses is Medicare. The government pays bills for the elderly under this system, and it’s widely regarded as fraud-ridden and inefficient. So it was no particular surprise to read the other day that Medicare recovery audit contractors have returned $237.8 million […]

The Day: Costs of care, data security, insurance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Comparative effectiveness research would help find the most effective medical treatments at the lowest prices, but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea. The Value of Comparison.  The New York Times. Significant concerns about the security of electronic patient health information are raised in two reviews from the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of […]

Morning Meds: Google Pharmacy Ads, Generics and More

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Regulators

News we’ve been reading from the world of prescription drugs and pharmacy: *The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether Google illegally displayed ads for pharmacies operating outside legal bounds, according to The New York Times. The Times dug the story out of a financial statement filed with the SEC last week that reads: Department […]

Patients and doctors, all dissatisfied

Doctors and patients have wildly differing perspectives on the health-care marketplace,  and yet they share a feeling of dissatisfaction. Both constituencies were interviewed in a pair of newly released studies by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Talking About Health Care Payment Reform with U.S.Consumers and Talking with Physicians about Improving Payment and Reimbursement. The big […]

Individual responsibility for health care

‘”The internet has changed people’s relationships with information,” writes the invaluable Susannah Fox at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a new report about the social life of health information. ‘Our data consistently show that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals continue to be the first choice for most people with health concerns, […]

Morning Meds

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

I’m new here to ClearHealthCosts, and jumping right into the pharmacy beat. I’m looking forward to it–even for those of us who rarely darken the door of a local hospital may have longtime prescriptions that need to be filled. And like nearly everything in the health care world, figuring out how to get the most […]

Remember the uninsured?

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

The continued stream of dispiriting news about rising health costs sometimes threatens to overwhelm us. Uninsured people are able to pay for about 12 percent of their hospitalization bills, according to a report released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services. The bills that go unpaid are then passed on to people who […]

The Day: Billing Errors, Dollars to Docs, Legislative Update

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

News of the day: Ways to save money, a pair of stories from ProPublica (with graphics and charts) about where the money goes in medicine, and more! How to Spot and Fight  Medical Billing Errors mint.com Financial Ties Bind Medical Societies To Drug and Device Makers – ProPublica. With USA Today Medical Groups Shy About […]