Why do hospital costs vary so much?

Why do hospital costs vary so much?

Hospital costs vary widely. The reasons are often in dispute. The value of analysis, though, is clear. “[N]early 30 percent of Medicare‟s costs could be saved without negatively affecting health outcomes if spending in high- and medium-cost areas could be reduced to the level in low-cost areas—and those estimates could probably be extrapolated to the […]

The roundup: Health reform, journalism, costs and hospital safety

The roundup: Health reform, journalism, costs and hospital safety

A British View of the US Health Reform and US Health Journalism | Reporting on Health. The Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California Harvard School of Public Health analysis (in slides) of the health-care crisis HSPH Hundreds of thousands of 20-somethings join parents’ health-care plans under new health law Kaiser Health […]

Roundup: Insurance, Medicaid, technology, house calls

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Roundup: Insurance, Medicaid, technology, house calls

Illinois Insurance Chief (Soon to Head U.S. Insurance Office) Sees Market Becoming More Concentrated  —   Kaiser Health News “Are you hearing anecdotal stories from consumers? “We sure are. People in the pre-Medicare age have a lot of trouble receiving individual and family coverage. Historically someone in that group would receive an offer of coverage […]

Health cost fraud: The Most Wanted

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

Health cost fraud: The Most Wanted

This is for real: a Web site from the Health and Human Services Department showing the most wanted fugitives committing Medicare and Medicaid fraud. For example: “Carlos, Luis, and Jose Benitez, commonly referred to as the Benitez brothers, allegedly schemed to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, pocketing approximately $110 million from Medicare, according […]

Outsourcing help on health costs

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Outsourcing help on health costs

Two health-care cost resources came across our radar today. OffYourDesk.net announces  “Dealing with health insurance paperwork can be frustrating and time-consuming, so why not let us do it?  We’ll handle every aspect of your health insurance claims, so you get the maximum reimbursement you deserve quickly, easily and pain-free.” It costs $195 a year, or […]

Test charges: $401 = $24.80

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Test charges: $401 = $24.80

It’s not the first time medical bills in my family have seemed really confusing. Take a look at these two bills, for the same procedure, performed not long ago. The top one is from the provider for the actual test, a blood test at a lab. The charge was $401, the mysterious “adjustment” $376.20, leaving […]

Aetna sues in New Jersey, Pt. 2

Aetna sues in New Jersey, Pt. 2

The Aetna lawsuit in New Jersey seemed so puzzling that we continued reporting on it, following links. Why would Aetna pay such ridiculous rates, including a payment of $56,980 for a bedside consultation and “$59,490 for an ultrasound that typically costs $74”? That just seems absurd; we have a hard time getting $23.40 out of […]