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

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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

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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 an ultrasound cost? She saved $75.

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How much does an ultrasound cost? She saved $75.

This share came in recently from an anonymous community member — for an ultrasound of the head and neck, medical billing code 76536, with a charge of $146.91 at Oaks Radiology in Phoenixville, Pa., The comment: “Paoli Hospital quoted about $1000 without insurance, 40% discount if you pay cash up front, $221.77 with [Independence Blue […]

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

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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 […]

Colorado hospitals’ profits among highest in U.S. as patients pay more

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Colorado hospitals’ profits among highest in U.S. as patients pay more

“Colorado hospitals hiked prices by 76 percent over a seven-year stretch as they pushed their profits to among the largest in the nation and built more aggressively than hospitals in all but one other state, according to data the state plans to use to change spending priorities,” Christopher N. Osher writes at The Denver Post. “Along […]

Despite red flags at surgery centers, overseers award gold seals: Kaiser Health News

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Despite red flags at surgery centers, overseers award gold seals: Kaiser Health News

“At his surgery center near San Diego, Rodney Davis wore scrubs, was referred to as ‘Dr. Rod’ and carried the title of director of surgery,” Christina Jewett writes over at Kaiser Health News, in another troubling piece about flaws in accreditation. “But he was a physician assistant, not a doctor, who anesthetized patients and performed […]

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

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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 […]

Lax oversight leaves surgery center regulators and patients in the dark: Kaiser Health News

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Lax oversight leaves surgery center regulators and patients in the dark: Kaiser Health News

“The first man died in April 2014. Another died later that month. Then on July 18 of that year, a woman was rushed to a hospital where she was told she was lucky to be alive,” Christina Jewett, Kaiser Health News and Mark Alesia, USA Today Network, write in an investigative piece on regulation at […]

Hospital finances are stronger than ever, California doctor says

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Hospital finances are stronger than ever, California doctor says

By David Belk, M.D. David Belk, a California doctor, has an interest in pricing and has researched and written on this topic for The Huffington Post and at his own site, TrueCostOfHealthCare.org. He sent this via email the other day, and I asked if I could repost it. The next time hospitals tell you they’re […]