Alphabet soup: HCPCS codes, as well as ICD, DRG, CPT

Filed Under: Costs, Providers

Alphabet soup: HCPCS codes, as well as ICD, DRG, CPT

(Updated, 2019) Codes, codes: a system built on codes. The numbers used in the health-care marketplace to identify procedures and items go by many names. One of the most common is the HCPCS code, for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. It’s the system used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Are your eyes glazed […]

An Ohio hospital reveals prices of medical treatment in advance

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

At Pomerene Hospital in Millersburg, Ohio, prices for procedures can be revealed in advance. The practice began because the hospital, halfway between Cleveland and Columbus, serves a large number of Amish patients. Amish prefer to do business on cash, and so having a price list became important, said Laura Schlabach, who has been the hospital’s […]

Hair-raising: Overtreatment in medicine

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

For a catalog of some of the things that are seriously wrong with the American health-care system, run, don’t walk over to Well, the New York Times blog. Tara Parker-Pope, the extraordinary curator and writer and community-developer over there, wrote a story about overtreatment in medicine, and invited comment. Of course, overtreatment is often cited […]

California prices vary widely, study says, not surprisingly

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Sticker prices for surgical procedures vary widely, with charges for a Caesarean section ranging from $12,972 to $41,833, according to a new study by the the California Public Interest Research Group, according to an article in The Sacramento Bee. “A group of public-interest researchers took on the veiled, confounding world of hospital pricing Thursday in […]

The cost: $3,232? Or $2,586.60? Or $775.68, or $250.94?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

There’s been a lot of conversation lately about what insurance companies pay for medical procedures, a topic we’re deeply interested in. For example, there’s the Health Care Cost Institute database, which encompasses payment records from “data voluntarily supplied by Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth and Kaiser Permanente, it covers 33 million Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance,” according to […]

Insurance companies pay less than the government does

Filed Under: Costs, Providers

News flash: Here’s a doctor telling us that insurance companies consistently reimburse him less than the government pays for many procedures “United Health Care is consistently one of my lowest payers. For example, they pay me $65 and Blue Shield (the insurance provider in the first example) pays me $73 for an office visit. For the same […]