Health pricing is chaotic: The Wall Street Journal

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

  “To appreciate what’s wrong with the current system, imagine four patients identical in every way except for their insurance coverage. They report to the same doctor for a routine procedure, say, a colonoscopy,” writes Joseph Rago in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, arguing that an unfettered free market will take care […]

What unions pay for health care, and why it matters

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Prices paid by autoworker unions for doctor services for insured people are consistently close to Medicare prices, according to a recent study, while hospital inpatient prices and emergency room prices paid by the unions are significantly higher than Medicare rates. The study, by the National Institute for Health Care Reform, resulted in the graph at right […]

Study Finds New York Hospitals Flout Charity Rules:

From Nina Bernstein at The New York Times,  on how hospitals deal with charity aid: “Ms. Rubel’s medical problem was rare, a result of a benign tumor on her adrenal gland, but the financial consequences were not unusual. She depleted her savings to pay $17,000 for surgery to remove the tumor, and then watched, ’emotionally […]

Satisfied patients: :) and :(, and also =|

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

  “A satisfied patient is not a cheaper patient: however important such a finding may be in these budget-constrained times, that comes as little surprise. More unexpected is the finding that a satisfied patient is not necessarily a healthier patient — that the patient happy with the medical attention he or she receives from a […]

Insurance broker commissions: Medical treatment? Hmmm.

  Commissions are big money for brokers. And how do we know? That’s the primary pay structure for many brokers — the service they provide, in navigating customers to a policy they want, and navigating insurers to customers they want, results in a commission. It’s not always clear who the winner or the loser is, […]

A portrait of the uninsured: Skipping care

Low-income people spend longer amounts of time being uninsured, and skip needed care because they’re uninsured, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund. This in itself may not be surprising, but the depths of the problem are: 35 percent of low-income families and 18 percent of moderate-income families have been uninsured for two […]

As predicted: price lists for surgery, online — in Oklahoma

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

We predicted this: Prices posted online by a surgical center in Oklahoma. “The prices for the procedures below include the facility fee, the surgeon’s fee and the anesthesiologist’s fee. The initial consultation with the surgeon is also included, as is uncomplicated follow-up care. The duration of postoperative care is different for each surgical procedure. Therefore, […]