When insurers drop medications for cheap alternatives, the effects can be devastating for some patients: Philly.com

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When insurers drop medications for cheap alternatives, the effects can be devastating for some patients: Philly.com

“Splashing around in the pool, skin slick with sunscreen, Shane Butcher was a normal 9-year-old kid on a perfect summer day. And then he wasn’t,” Sarah Gantz writes over at The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He floated toward the edge of the pool, energy suddenly replaced by a vacant expression, his blood sugar plummeting so low he […]

Doctors, hospitals sue patients posting negative online comments: USA Today

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Doctors, hospitals sue patients posting negative online comments: USA Today

“Retired Air Force colonel David Antoon agreed to pay $100 to settle what were once felony charges for emailing his former Cleveland Clinic surgeon articles the doctor found threatening and posting a list on Yelp of all the surgeries the urologist had scheduled at the same time as the one that left Antoon incontinent and impotent a decade ago,” […]

Health insurers are vacuuming up details about you: ProPublica

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Health insurers are vacuuming up details about you: ProPublica

“To an outsider, the fancy booths at last month’s health insurance industry gathering in San Diego aren’t very compelling,” Marshall Allen writes over at ProPublica, in a story jointly published with NPR. “A handful of companies pitching ‘lifestyle’ data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like ‘social determinants of health.’ But dig deeper and the implications […]

Texans missing or delaying needed treatment because health costs too high: Houston Chronicle

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Texans missing or delaying needed treatment because health costs too high: Houston Chronicle

“Six in 10 Texans say someone in their household has recently skipped or postponed needed health care and medication because the cost is now out of reach, according to a new national study,” Jenny Deam writes over at The Houston Chronicle. “Rising costs also mean Texans, even those with insurance, struggle significantly to pay the […]

Most in U.S. say high costs of medical treatments are a big problem: Pew Research Center

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Most in U.S. say high costs of medical treatments are a big problem: Pew Research Center

“Americans have mixed assessments about the overall value of medical treatments today, even while a strong majority says science has generally improved the quality of U.S. health care, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey,” write Isadora Milanez and Mark Strauss on the Pew Research blog. “At the same time, a substantial majority considers […]

Hey there, U.S. House of Representatives!

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Hey there, U.S. House of Representatives!

We’re always interested in seeing who’s visiting and what they’re doing. On a lazy July Friday afternoon, it was the U.S. House of Representatives, where someone spent 10 minutes perusing our front page. These screenshots are from the analytics service Clicky, which will tell us — depending on how your internet is configured — who […]

Obamacare is proving hard to kill: The New York Times

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Obamacare is proving hard to kill: The New York Times

“As health insurers across the country begin filing their proposed rates for 2019, one thing is clear: The market created by the Affordable Care Act shows no signs of imminent collapse in spite of the continuing threats by Republicans to destroy it,” Reed Abelson writes over at The New York Times. “In fact, while President […]

Those who don’t qualify for government aid aren’t buying Obamacare plans: The Washington Post

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Those who don’t qualify for government aid aren’t buying Obamacare plans: The Washington Post

“There’s an ever-growing chasm between the number of Americans who receive government subsidies — meant to offset the cost of buying health insurance on the individual marketplaces — and those who don’t under the 2010 law known as Obamacare,” Colby Itkowitz writes over at The Washington Post.  “Fresh enrollment data released Monday by the Centers for Medicare […]

Medicare requests information about physician self-referral law or ‘Stark law’

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Medicare  requests information about physician self-referral law or ‘Stark law’

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a request for information on the Stark law, also known as physician self-referral law. The RFI in the Federal Register suggests that the intent is to loosen restrictions on this practice. From the request: “When enacted in 1989, the physician self-referral law (section 1877 of the […]

How to shop for an MRI: His was $600

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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How to shop for an MRI: His was $600

A friend asked the other day if it was possible to shop for an MRI. I sent him our “10 questions to ask” post, and after a little while, he emailed me to say he had a shoulder MRI for $600 at Union Square Imaging in New York. I asked him if he could tell […]