How much do Focalin and Adderall cost? When patients have to ‘fail’ treatments to get the right meds

How much do Focalin and Adderall cost? When patients have to ‘fail’ treatments to get the right meds

“Step therapy” is the seemingly innocuous name that insurance companies give to the practice of insisting that patients try and fail treatment on less expensive drugs before moving on to more expensive ones. A friend writes: As a parent of two children diagnosed several years ago with ADHD, I have come to find that there […]

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 to handle the costs of depression: Money magazine

How to handle the costs of depression: Money magazine

“For five years, Christine Byrd figured her teenage daughter was going through a phase when she became withdrawn from friends and family and brushed off meals at home. It was only when Pepper Snider turned 17 that she was diagnosed with anorexia, triggering five years of intensive treatment, including thrice-weekly therapy, residential care, and hospital […]

Mental disorders top list of most costly conditions: Health Affairs

Summary: “Estimates of annual health spending for a comprehensive set of medical conditions are presented for the entire US population and with totals benchmarked to the National Health Expenditure Accounts,” Charles Roehrig writes in Health Affairs. “In 2013 mental disorders topped the list of most costly conditions, with spending at $201 billion. Cost of Health Care […]

Super-users of health services: Who are they? Here are some surprises.

Summary: Who are the super-users, people who go to the emergency room more than anyone else and consume a lot of services and a lot of health-care dollars? It’s not who you think, according to an analysis by California Healthline of a pilot program studying this question. Who are they? People who have things in […]

How much does mental health care cost? Telemental Health, Part 6 in our series

Summary: Cost and convenience have prevented millions of Americans from seeking access to mental health care. Yet new technologies can make services more accessible, whether consumers choose online therapy, seek to connect and share information with fellow patients through online support groups, or use a number of apps on the market that help patients fight […]

How much does mental health care cost? Applying to a Patient Assistance Program, Part 5

How much does mental health care cost? Applying to a Patient Assistance Program, Part 5

Summary: Every year Patient Assistance Programs help millions of patients who would not otherwise be able to afford brand-name medications. While traditionally PAPs offer free or low-cost medicine to patients lacking health insurance or prescription drug coverage, assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies include many different models. As the cost of prescription drugs soar, these […]

How much does mental health care cost? Part 4: Finding affordable psychiatric medications

  SUMMARY: Patients who are uninsured or whose prescription coverage is accompanied by crippling out-of-pocket costs often skip prescriptions or forego treatment altogether. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all insurance plans to cover medications, yet not all prescription plans are created equal. The ACA also sets caps on the amount of money patients may […]

How much does mental health care cost? Part 3: Five Reasons for paying out of pocket

SUMMARY:  Many therapists take only a limited number of insurance plans, to avoid the aggravation of haggling with insurance companies. The majority of their patients pay out of pocket and, if they are insured, they then may submit claims to their insurance companies. This trend is likely to continue. Yet the option for self-pay may […]