Higher insurance premiums: A chorus of predictions

As we approach Jan. 1, 2014, there’s been a lot of conversation about rising health insurance premiums. The Administration has consistently said there’s no reason for premiums to go up. The insurance companies have consistently blamed rising costs of care. The providers have consistently blamed insurance companies. Now employers are expected to increasingly choose self-insured […]

The people speak on the cost of care: Comments on the news

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

There are fascinating comments on the stream at the Well blog on nytimes.com for the Libby Rosenthal piece about the study seeking the price of a hip replacement, which was the topic of an article by Reuters also (where I was quoted), and an article by Chad Terhune in The Los Angeles Times. Our friend Robert […]

A doctor’s question: What if drugs were all over-the-counter?

Summary: We hear a lot from doctors who see the problems of the health care system from a perspective that’s often surprisingly revelatory. Occasionally, we meet someone who’s a good doctor, writer and thinker all at the same time. Dr. David Voran is one; he wrote this for us about the problems his patients encounter […]

How much does an STD test cost? $0 or $600? One man’s journey, and some prices

Filed Under: Costs, Editor Picks, Patients

How much does an STD test cost? $0 or $600? One man’s journey, and some prices

(Updated January 2019) Different places charge very different prices for an STD test. We know a 27-year-old man with a common problem. He’s uninsured, he’s not wealthy, and he wanted to know: How much does an STD test cost? This man is sexually active, and he recently learned that an ex-girlfriend has been diagnosed with […]

Physician Ratings: Doctors Distrust Them, and Patients Ignore Them

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

“The many and various ‘doctor review’ sites seem to be as popular as the flu bug floating around the office. Doctors don’t like them and patients don’t use them, according to two recent surveys. “First, from the physician point of view… “The headline declares ‘Physicians Wary of Doctor Ratings,’ and the sentiment among physicians responding […]

Consumers seek emotional tie with health care, study finds

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

Emotional connections are important  in the health-care marketplace, writes the consultant  Jane Sarasohn-Kahn. “83% of consumers would pay more for a product or service from a company they feel puts them first, finds rbb Public Relations in their 2012 Nationwide Breakout Brand Survey,” she  wrote in November. “Emotional connections matter most in health care, say 76% of U.S. consumers, […]

Finding consumer prices from hospitals is hard, study finds

  It’s hard for patients to find prices for medical procedures in advance, even for common things, a new study finds. Our readers won’t be surprised, but this was a  thorough investigation by a trio of respected scholars, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study catalogs the  scholars’ attempts to find […]

More patient-consumers are asking about costs, study finds

Filed Under: Costs

Now this is interesting: A study that shows that people who are insured ask for the cost of health-care items and procedures, and that the more they ask, the more they feel that they are able to lower prices. The study by the Altarum Institute asked more than 2,000 people with employer-sponsored health insurance if they […]

When ‘Pound Foolish’ Hurts: A Costs of Care essay

Filed Under: Costs

The following anecdote is by James Bliwas from Ohio, a winner of the 2012 Costs of Care Essay contest.  We at clearhealthcosts.com support the mission and the people at costsofcare.org, founded by Dr. Neel Shah of Boston, and are happy to reprint these essays with permission.  *  *  *  *  * When my 40-year old sister […]