Price estimates at the doctor’s office: Yes, it can be true

Price estimates at the doctor’s office: Yes, it can be true

Epic, the giant electronic medical records company, is offering a price estimate button that doctors can use in the office. Kristin Cain, a reproductive endocrinologist in North Dakota, posted this on Twitter: “EPIC has a button I just discovered: Patient Estimate. After you place an order, it estimates the out of pocket cost. Except if […]

Opinion | Democrats are having the wrong health care debate: The New York Times

Opinion | Democrats are having the wrong health care debate: The New York Times

“As this week’s Democratic debates made clear, the party is divided on how to improve health care for Americans,” Ezekiel J. Emanuel wrote over at The New York Times. “Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others are for a single-payer Medicare for All system. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and others want an incremental approach […]

Individual insurance market performance in early 2019: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

“The early years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges and broader ACA-compliant individual market were marked by volatility. Markets in some parts of the country have remained fragile, with little competition, an insufficient number of healthy enrollees to balance those who are sick, and high premiums as a result,” Rachel Fehr, Cynthia Cox and […]

So, Trump says he wants health cost transparency. What’s up with that?

So, Trump says he wants health cost transparency. What’s up with that?

So the Trump Administration issued an executive order on June 24, 2019, saying that it would set in place a process to make health prices available to consumers. Historically, of course, the prices people will pay to the doctor or hospital have been shrouded in secrecy — characterized as “trade secrets” by the hospitals, insurers […]

Behind the scenes at a health insurer: How the money is made, or why the Medical Loss Ratio matters

Behind the scenes at a health insurer: How the money is made, or why the Medical Loss Ratio matters

A contributor to one of my online communities, Scott Haas, wrote this to the group the other day in the context of what happens behind the scenes in health insurance. His note primarily concerns the Medical Loss Ratio formula and the way it was changed by the Affordable Care Act — and the role of […]

How much U.S. households with employer insurance spend on premiums and out-of-pocket costs: Commonwealth Fund

How much U.S. households with employer insurance spend on premiums and out-of-pocket costs: Commonwealth Fund

“In the years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect, public debate over the cost and quality of insurance has focused primarily on health plans sold through the marketplaces established by the law,” Susan L. Hayes, Sara R. Collins, and David C. Radley write for the Commonwealth Fund. “There has been less attention on […]

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients’ access to care: STAT

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients’ access to care: STAT

“When I started my training in psychiatry, a senior doctor told me I should have a therapist of my own,” Jack Turban writes over at Stat, about seeking in-network and affordable psychiatric care. “He explained that it’s essential to understand myself so I can better understand my patients. That made sense, so I started calling […]

‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

“I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions before hand the price variations are wild, I then choose the lowest’” — she commented on a Facebook post on my TED talk. I queried her: “Thanks for this! This is my TED talk. I’d like to write about your experience for my blog. Can […]

TED, again: Thousands and thousands of shares

TED, again: Thousands and thousands of shares

TED shared my talk on Facebook again a couple of days ago. in a little over a day, it picked up 6,400 reactions and 5,100 shares. (Update: It’s up to 8,600 shares, 8,800 reactions and 596,000 views of the abbreviated video.) Folks, we’re on fire. It’s by far and away the most shared item on […]

Could we be at the edge of health care’s tipping point? Care And Cost

Could we be at the edge of health care’s tipping point? Care And Cost

“Health care wonks play a game where they wonder whether health care really is changing in ways that are palpably better for everyone,” Brian Klepper writes over at careandcost.com and the Valid Points Newsletter. “Everyone, that is, except for the senior executives of the drug and device firms, electronic health record companies, major health plans […]