Taking surprise medical bills to court: The New York Times

Taking surprise medical bills to court: The New York Times

“Joaquin Lopez had emergency gallbladder surgery after rushing to an emergency room last year. He has been haggling with Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis over what he owes ever since,” Julie Appleby writes over at The New York Times. “The 37-year-old college professor was hit with a nearly $8,000 bill from the out-of-network hospital — […]

She saved $650 on an MRI by asking: How people shop for health care

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

She saved $650 on an MRI by asking: How people shop for health care

A community member writes: “Just wanted to give you some information for this area: Zip code 36532, which is the Alabama eastern shore of Mobile Bay. “Two weeks ago I had an MRI of both hip joints without contrast. The local monopoly healthcare system (Infirmary) charges $2,400. for that test with cash payers being given […]

My TED residency is a wrap; my talk will be online in 2019

Filed Under: Costs

My TED residency is a wrap; my talk will be online in 2019

My TED residency ended in mid-December, and I’m sad. I gave my TED talk on Dec. 5 at TED headquarters at 330 Hudson St. in Manhattan. You probably won’t be surprised to know I talked about revealing health costs. Mine and the other talks from my 20 fellow residents will be edited and posted online […]

Welcome to our modern hospital where if you want to know a price you can go f**k yourself: McSweeney’s

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Welcome to our modern hospital where if you want to know a price you can go f**k yourself: McSweeney’s

“Welcome to America General Hospital!” Alex Baia writes over at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. “Seems you have an oozing head injury there. Let’s check your insurance. Okay, quick ‘heads up’ — ha! — that your plan may not cover everything today. What’s that? You want a reasonable price quote, upfront, for our services? Sorry, let me […]

Death or debt? National estimates of financial toxicity in persons with newly diagnosed cancer: The American Journal of Medicine

Filed Under: Costs

Death or debt? National estimates of financial toxicity in persons with newly diagnosed cancer: The American Journal of Medicine

“Across 9.5 million estimated new diagnoses of cancer from 2000–2012, individuals averaged 68.6±9.4 years with slight majorities being married (54.7%), not retired (51.1%), and Medicare beneficiaries (56.6%). At year+2, 42.4% depleted their entire life’s assets, with higher adjusted odds associated with worsening cancer, requirement of continued treatment, demographic and socioeconomic factors (ie, female, Medicaid, uninsured, […]

Hospitals’ national TV ads build brands for high-priced services: STAT

Hospitals’ national TV ads build brands for high-priced services: STAT

“The scene is shadowy, and the background music foreboding,” Shefali Luthra writes over at Kaiser Health News for STAT. “On the TV screen, a stream of beleaguered people stand in an unending line. ‘If you’re waiting patiently for a liver transplant, it could cost you your life,’ warns the narrator. One man pulls another out […]

A CPAP machine can help some get better sleep, but insurers don’t make it easy: NPR

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

A CPAP machine can help some get better sleep, but insurers don’t make it easy: NPR

“Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night,” Marshall Allen of ProPublica writes over at NPR’s Shots blog. “Without his knowledge, it was spying on him. From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, […]

Health care providers frustrated with the ‘awkward dance’ of debt collection: BenefitsPRO

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Health care providers frustrated with the ‘awkward dance’ of debt collection: BenefitsPRO

“Doctors, hospitals and medical labs used to be concerned about patients who didn’t have insurance not paying their bills. Now they’re scrambling to get paid by the ones who do have insurance,” Blake Dodge writes over at BenefitPro. “For more than a decade, insurers and employers have been shifting the cost of care onto their […]