‘Hospitals’ confusing online price lists give patients a headache’: Us, on CBS News

‘Hospitals’ confusing online price lists give patients a headache’: Us, on CBS News

We were featured on CBS Evening News on Jan. 21, 2019, talking about the new Medicare ruling that hospitals need to publicize their list prices starting Jan. 1, 2019. Here’s the CBS Evening News version, “Hospitals’ confusing online price lists give patients a headache,” with correspondent Anna Werner. Here’s the CBS This Morning version, “Are […]

Medicare head asks Twitter to help enforce price transparency policy

Medicare head asks Twitter to help enforce price transparency policy

Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, called on Twitter a few days ago to help her enforce a new rule on health price transparency. The rule requires hospitals to post their list prices online. It went into effect on Jan. 1, and there was scant information about how it […]

Privatizing the Veterans Administration — along with Medicare and Medicaid

Privatizing the Veterans Administration — along with Medicare and Medicaid

The Trump Administration seems to be working toward privatization of the Veterans Administration. As this article from The New York Times says, “The Department of Veterans Affairs is preparing to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans’ hospitals to private health care providers, setting the stage for the biggest transformation of the veterans’ medical system in […]

Her insurer’s price tool estimated less than $1,375 for a breast MRI. Then she got a bill for $3,200: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Her insurer’s price tool estimated less than $1,375 for a breast MRI. Then she got a bill for $3,200: The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Michelle Smith knew the breast MRI her doctor ordered wouldn’t be covered in full by her insurance, so she turned to an online tool that her insurance company developed to help patients estimate prices,” Sarah Gantz writes over at The Philadelphia Inquirer. “UnitedHealthcare’s price estimator told the 51-year-old Delaware County resident that the cost for […]

The transparency conversation over hospital price lists: Scorn and more scorn

The transparency conversation over hospital price lists: Scorn and more scorn

The newly released hospital price lists have been kicking up a lot of commentary on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The lists, as we’ve been discussing, are being made public in compliance with a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule that hospitals have to post all their list prices online as of Jan. 1. […]

Imagine if we paid for food like we do for healthcare: Dr. Ryan Neuhofel on fee.org

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Imagine if we paid for food like we do for healthcare: Dr. Ryan Neuhofel on fee.org

“Imagine if you purchased food like most Americans obtained healthcare. No, I really want you to try to envision it… ” Dr. Ryan Neuhofel writes over at fee.org. “Struggling? I am a family physician whose father worked in a grocery store, and I enjoy eating at Mexican restaurants immensely, so maybe I can help. An […]

How much does a lipoma excision cost? He saved $1,660. How people shop for health care.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does a lipoma excision cost? He saved $1,660. How people shop for health care.

A report came from a community member about a CT scan: 70490 Ct soft tissue neck w/o dye, charged $440.92, insurance paid nothing, he paid $440.92 at Queens Medical Imaging. He noted, “Performed at NYU imaging center on Austin Street. Seemed a bit too expensive. ” The bill had a different charge, so I asked […]

Top 10 most expensive chronic diseases for healthcare payers: Healthpayer Intelligence

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Top 10 most expensive chronic diseases for healthcare payers: Healthpayer Intelligence

“Chronic diseases are on the rise in the United States, leaving healthcare payers with the challenge of covering care for patients with these expensive, long-term conditions,” Thomas Beaton writes over at Healthpayer Intelligence. “Healthcare spending reached a total of $3.2 trillion dollars in 2015, based upon estimates from CMS. Spending is expected to continue to […]

Hospitals now have to post price lists. Does that mean instant transparency? Uh, no.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Hospitals now have to post price lists. Does that mean instant transparency? Uh, no.

(Updated Feb. 9) Of course we support price transparency in health costs. We think all prices should be public all the time. So let’s examine the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule that hospitals should post their charges online in “machine-readable format” as of Jan. 1. This policy is a tiny step […]

Medicaid patients suffer as layers of private companies profit: The Los Angeles Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Medicaid patients suffer as layers of private companies profit: The Los Angeles Times

“Marcela Villa isn’t a big name in healthcare — but she played a crucial role in the lives of thousands of Medicaid patients in California,” Chad Terhune, lately of Kaiser Health News, writes over at The Los AngelesTimes. “Her official title: denial nurse. Each week, dozens of requests for treatment landed on her desk after […]