Overuse and misdiagnosis: The M.R.I. and The Times

Filed Under: Uncategorized

  There’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking story by Gina Kolata in The Times about overuse of M.R.I. tests and resulting misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Read it, every word. She quotes one doctor as saying: “An M.R.I. is unlike any other imaging tool we use. ,It is a very sensitive tool, but it is not very specific. […]

Getting a price quote ahead of surgery

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

“How much should a knee replacement cost?” It’s a topic Dr. Blair Rhode writes about on an orthopedic surgery web site, about bringing a retail method to medical pricing. “If an uninsured patient went to a local hospital and asked to pay cash for a knee replacement, they would likely be quoted a number close to […]

Want to find out health costs? Good luck!

  Meaningful information about health-care prices is difficult for consumers to obtain, the Government Accounting Office has discovered in a report just made public. The GAO report found a number of anomalies: “when GAO contacted physicians’ offices to obtain information on the price of a diabetes screening, several representatives said the patient needs to be […]

How much does a colonoscopy cost? Another view…

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does a colonoscopy cost? Another view…

How much does a colonoscopy cost? We’ve written about this before several times, here and here; Here’s an interesting story about how a person’s plans can diverge from a provider’s plans. Here are a few paragraphs  from an excellent piece by Doug Thompson on iHealthBeat.com, a service of the California HealthCare Foundation, on Thompson’s colonoscopy […]

Back to Massachusetts: Legislating health costs

Massachusetts is trying to change the way doctors, hospitals and other providers are paid, according to an article in The New York Times. The state legislature is working on bills that would make flat “global payments” to providers to keep patients well. This would replace the current system, which charges fees for every service provided, […]

Ways to Save, Part 5: Consumer-driven health care

Ways to Save, Part 5: Consumer-driven health care

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re running a series  giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace. Here’s the first post about saving money (we suggest that you always ask the price in advance); here’s the second (even in an emergency, ask!);  and the third (do you want to decide solely […]