A CPAP machine can help some get better sleep, but insurers don’t make it easy: NPR

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

A CPAP machine can help some get better sleep, but insurers don’t make it easy: NPR

“Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night,” Marshall Allen of ProPublica writes over at NPR’s Shots blog. “Without his knowledge, it was spying on him. From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, […]

What’s the cost for an emergency room visit for a twisted ankle? How to successfully argue a bill.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

What’s the cost for an emergency room visit for a twisted ankle? How to successfully argue a bill.

A friend recently told me about an emergency room visit for a twisted ankle that nearly cost her $3,500 — and how she successfully argued a bill. We’re leaving out the name of the hospital and insurer, and also my friend’s name; the point here is not to name names but to give helpful advice […]

U.S. first in health spending and worst on major health indicators: JAMA Network

U.S. first in health spending and worst on major health indicators: JAMA Network

The United States ranks first in spending and worst in obesity, life expectancy and infant mortality, compared to other high-income countries, according to a March 2018 article in JAMA Network by Irene Papanicolas, PhD; Liana R. Woskie, MSc1; and Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH1. Here are the findings: “In 2016, the US spent 17.8% of […]

To fight high drug prices, Utah will pay for public employees to go fill prescriptions in Mexico: The Salt Lake Tribune

To fight high drug prices, Utah will pay for public employees to go fill prescriptions in Mexico: The Salt Lake Tribune

“Amid a flurry of national proposals to bring exorbitant U.S. drug prices in line with other countries’ charges, one Utah insurer has a different option for patients: Pay them to go to Mexico,” Erin Alberty writes over at The Salt Lake Tribune. PEHP, which covers 160,000 public employees and family members, is offering plane tickets […]

How much does Nucala cost? Or how to argue a bill

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does Nucala cost? Or how to argue a bill

A friend writes: “Tufts Medicare Preferred on numerous occasions failed to give me cost and alternative information related to Nucala (asthma) injections that I needed to make a reasonable decision. After three injections, I received a bill for my first injection copay of $576.74 indicating a total of $1730.22. I had had no previous indication […]

A complete workers comp price list from North Carolina

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

A complete workers comp price list from North Carolina

Wonk alert! Anyone who knows us knows how much we love price lists. Here’s a new one: It’s a site that gives access to a full workers comp price list for North Carolina, called the “N.C. Industrial Commission Medical Fee Schedule.” You can download a spreadsheet that has the prices for workers comp settlements for […]

1,495 Americans describe the financial reality of being really sick: The New York Times

1,495 Americans describe the financial reality of being really sick: The New York Times

“The whole point of health insurance is protection from financial ruin in case of catastrophic, costly health problems,” Margot Sanger-Katz writes over at The New York Times. “But a recent survey of people facing such problems shows that it often fails in that basic function. The survey, of some of the country’s most seriously ill […]

Pharma chief defends 400% drug price rise as a ‘moral requirement’: The Financial Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Pharma chief defends 400% drug price rise as a ‘moral requirement’: The Financial Times

“A pharma executive has defended his decision to raise the price of an antibiotic mixture to more than $2,000 a bottle, arguing there was a ‘moral requirement to sell the product at the highest price,’” David Crow writes over at The Financial Times. “Last month, Nostrum Laboratories, a small Missouri-based drugmaker, more than quadrupled the […]

Kaiser health tracking poll: The election, pre-existing conditions and surprises on medical bills

Kaiser health tracking poll: The election, pre-existing conditions and surprises on medical bills

“The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds recent political events weighing heavy on the minds of voters when it comes to the 2018 midterm elections,” Bryan Wu, Cailey Muñana, and Mollyann Brodie write over at KFF.org. (The chart here shows who the respondents feel is to blame for high health costs.) “Three in ten voters […]