Providers are newly willing to post cash medical prices: Some learning from our New Orleans launch

Providers are newly willing to post cash medical prices: Some learning from our New Orleans launch

We’ve learned some interesting things about providers publicizing cash or self-pay prices in our New Orleans partnership, “Cracking the Code.” Perhaps not surprisingly, when the people we’re talking with understand how this can benefit them, they give up the prices — information that for years has been a closely kept secret. We start out, as […]

Two generic medications become one expensive drug: The Atlantic

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Two generic medications become one expensive drug: The Atlantic

“Everything happened so fast as I walked out of the doctor’s exam room. I was tucking in my shirt and wondering if I’d asked all my questions about my injured shoulder when one of the doctor’s assistants handed me two small boxes of pills. ‘These will hold you over until your prescription arrives in the […]

Even with insurance, Americans can’t afford their medical bills: The Atlantic

Even with insurance, Americans can’t afford their medical bills: The Atlantic

“The current debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act is obscuring a more pedestrian reality. Just because a person is insured, it doesn’t mean he or she can actually afford their doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, and other medical bills,” Helaine Olen writes over at The Atlantic, in a piece examining charity care and crowdfunding […]

A Health Economist’s Take on Medicaid: Medpage Today

A Health Economist’s Take on Medicaid: Medpage Today

“Medicaid’s original objective was to provide medical care coverage to the poor. The poor, like the elderly (whose medical care would be covered by Medicare), had been largely left out of the U.S.’s growing employer-based insurance market because, starting in the 1950s, insurers began the practice of risk-rating (i.e., basing insurance premiums more on the […]

18-Year-Old Launches Database of Abortion Clinic Information: Teen Vogue

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

18-Year-Old Launches Database of Abortion Clinic Information: Teen Vogue

“It seems as though the dialogue surrounding abortion is constantly changing, with some politicians fighting to roll back reproductive rights while activists are at the forefront of the battle for healthcare and access to abortion services. With all of the noise in the news, the topic can easily get confusing — and overwhelming,” writes De […]

Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Commonwealth Fund

Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Commonwealth Fund

“More than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries spent 20 percent or more of income on health care in 2016. Policymakers should consider how proposals to reform Medicare would affect those with poor health or low income,” a Commonwealth Fund analysis finds. “Abstract: Fifty-six million people — 17 percent of the U.S. population — rely on […]

Tulane Health CEO slams ‘Cracking the Code’ work; meanwhile, New Orleans woman saves $3,786 with our data

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Tulane Health CEO slams ‘Cracking the Code’ work; meanwhile, New Orleans woman saves $3,786 with our data

As we wrap up our first three weeks of reporting on health care pricing in the New Orleans metro area, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve been able to save some people large amounts of money — and the medical establishment in the area is not universally happy with our work. “Tulane Medical Center president and […]

Blood test costs — $284 or $34 a few blocks away? Cracking the Code

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Blood test costs — $284 or $34 a few blocks away? Cracking the Code

“When UnitedHealthcare exited the Affordable Care Act exchange in Louisiana last year, Kim Spencer was one of around 29,000 people forced to find a new insurance plan under the federal health care law. She chose Humana, then found a new primary care physician at Tulane University Medical Center, based on recommendations from friends,” our partner […]

She saved $3,786 on an MRI: How people use our data

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

She saved $3,786 on an MRI: How people use our data

We received this email in connection with our Cracking the Code partnership in New Orleans: My doctor at Tulane University Medical Center had suggested an abdominal MRI as part of a portfolio of check-ups to better understand the possible trajectory of a hereditary condition that might affect me. I’m 27 years old, and wanted to […]

Facility fees startle patients who think they’re paid up: “Cracking the Code”

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Facility fees startle patients who think they’re paid up: “Cracking the Code”

“When Nancy DuBois began experiencing shoulder pain early last year, she worried she might need rotator cuff surgery. She saw a specialist at Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, near the Tulane football stadium, who diagnosed her instead with a frozen shoulder, a common condition caused by injury or over-use. The visit, including an x-ray and […]