A bill, a co-pay, a collection agency: One doctor’s insurance experience

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

  Guest post by Dr. Beth Nash, a health-care consultant with a special interest in empowering patients, who blogs at caretriad.com. My husband and I returned from a weekend away to find a message on our answering machine saying that we owed money to the hospital and that if we didn’t pay it within 10 […]

Provider reviews online, and the question of the obnoxious cologne

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

We’ve always suspected that many of the Yelp-like reviews that appear on Web sites about health-care providers are made up, and so we’re happy to supply these bits of information. Go search for the phrase “‘I was worried that they were going to wear an obnoxious cologne.” I got 42,000 hits on that search on […]

A mother’s plea on change.org turns around a Blue Cross denial

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Guest Post by Amy Gleason This post began from an e-mail Amy Gleason sent to a group of members of the Society for Participatory Medicine. It is posted with permission from Amy. I just wanted to share a positive experience I had as an e-patient (well e-caregiver in this case). I have really struggled with […]

An insider’s view of generic-drug pricing: Crazy fluctuation is the norm

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

  Did you ever notice that prescription prices seem to be crazy? Pricing policies from pharmacies and manufacturers are all over the map, David Lazarus writes in The Los Angeles Times, quoting a former drug purchasing manager for Kaiser Permanente, the big California-based health-care provider. ” ‘A lot of the prices for generics cant be […]

Castlight, ClearHealthCosts and more: GigaOm on transparency

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

We’re on GigaOm today! “As health care costs rise and employers shift to high-deductible health plans that require their employees to bear a greater share of health care costs, companies like Castlight are trying to boost transparency and bring a new wave of consumerism to health care. Castlight, which has raised $181 million in venture […]

Ask. Always. ‘How much will that cost?’ ‘What’s included?’

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

When in doubt? Ask. Not in doubt? Ask anyway. We can’t reiterate enough how important it is to ask about health care prices before purchasing. Whether you’re completely in the dark, have a hunch that you know, or had the secretary tell you “it’s covered” – ask anyway. This doesn’t just apply to the question […]

Transparency, Castlight and us, or, How much does an MRI cost?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

SUMMARY: Everybody knows how excited we are to be part of the  growing transparency movement in the health-care marketplace. So you can guess how happy we were to see this piece in “Wonkbook” on the Washington Post web site, titled “How much does an MRI cost? In D.C., anywhere from $400 to $1,861.”

Dollars for Docs: $1 million in drug consulting fees, told by ProPublica

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Follow the money. Our esteemed friends at ProPublica have added to their Dollars for Docs database, putting even more information in the hands of the public about what drug companies have made payments to which doctors. “When Dollars for Docs first launched in 2010, ProPublica spoke with several of the dozens of doctors who had earned more than $200,000 […]

A genuinely useful report on quality: Angioplasty in New York

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

It’s not just the cost information that’s unavailable in the health-care marketplace — it’s also quality information. So I was excited to see this wonky paper about cardiology outcomes. Called “Percutaneous Coronary Interventions in New York State 2008-2010,” it measures and catalogs frequency of angioplasty in New York hospitals, not just by hospital but also […]