Two generic medications become one expensive drug: The Atlantic

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Two generic medications become one expensive drug: The Atlantic

“Everything happened so fast as I walked out of the doctor’s exam room. I was tucking in my shirt and wondering if I’d asked all my questions about my injured shoulder when one of the doctor’s assistants handed me two small boxes of pills. ‘These will hold you over until your prescription arrives in the […]

Even with insurance, Americans can’t afford their medical bills: The Atlantic

Even with insurance, Americans can’t afford their medical bills: The Atlantic

“The current debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act is obscuring a more pedestrian reality. Just because a person is insured, it doesn’t mean he or she can actually afford their doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, and other medical bills,” Helaine Olen writes over at The Atlantic, in a piece examining charity care and crowdfunding […]

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers making money on the ACA: Axios

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers making money on the ACA: Axios

“We reported earlier this month that the large publicly traded health insurance companies have reaped enormous profits so far in 2017. But the not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans — the ones that have been the linchpins of the volatile Affordable Care Act marketplaces — have been doing a lot better than last year, too,” […]

Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Commonwealth Fund

Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Commonwealth Fund

“More than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries spent 20 percent or more of income on health care in 2016. Policymakers should consider how proposals to reform Medicare would affect those with poor health or low income,” a Commonwealth Fund analysis finds. “Abstract: Fifty-six million people — 17 percent of the U.S. population — rely on […]

Tulane Health CEO slams ‘Cracking the Code’ work; meanwhile, New Orleans woman saves $3,786 with our data

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Tulane Health CEO slams ‘Cracking the Code’ work; meanwhile, New Orleans woman saves $3,786 with our data

As we wrap up our first three weeks of reporting on health care pricing in the New Orleans metro area, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve been able to save some people large amounts of money — and the medical establishment in the area is not universally happy with our work. “Tulane Medical Center president and […]

Profits are booming at health insurance companies: Axios

Profits are booming at health insurance companies: Axios

“The largest health insurance companies in the United States reaped historically large profits in the first quarter of this year, despite all the noise surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplaces. Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group — the big five for-profit insurers — cumulatively collected $4.5 billion in net earnings in the first […]

Blood test costs — $284 or $34 a few blocks away? Cracking the Code

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Blood test costs — $284 or $34 a few blocks away? Cracking the Code

“When UnitedHealthcare exited the Affordable Care Act exchange in Louisiana last year, Kim Spencer was one of around 29,000 people forced to find a new insurance plan under the federal health care law. She chose Humana, then found a new primary care physician at Tulane University Medical Center, based on recommendations from friends,” our partner […]

Facility fees startle patients who think they’re paid up: “Cracking the Code”

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Facility fees startle patients who think they’re paid up: “Cracking the Code”

“When Nancy DuBois began experiencing shoulder pain early last year, she worried she might need rotator cuff surgery. She saw a specialist at Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, near the Tulane football stadium, who diagnosed her instead with a frozen shoulder, a common condition caused by injury or over-use. The visit, including an x-ray and […]

In network and billed for $1,400: “Cracking the Code” looks at balance billing

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

In network and billed for $1,400: “Cracking the Code” looks at balance billing

“Steve Fair woke up at 2 a.m. in his room at the Sheraton New Orleans to find that his uvula – the tissue that hangs from the back of one’s palate – had swollen to the size of a Hershey’s Kiss. Worried it might block his airway, he and his wife rushed down to the […]

Studies Show Diabetes Members’ Overall Costs: AIS Health

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Studies Show Diabetes Members’ Overall Costs: AIS Health

“A group of commercially insured members with diabetes cost two-and-a-half times what a similar group without the condition cost, according to a recent analysis of pharmacy and medical claims data,” Angela Maas writes at AIS Health. “But when members with diabetes took a statin to prevent heart disease per 2013 updated guidelines, their risk for […]