‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

“I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions before hand the price variations are wild, I then choose the lowest’” — she commented on a Facebook post on my TED talk. I queried her: “Thanks for this! This is my TED talk. I’d like to write about your experience for my blog. Can […]

How much do lab tests cost: $9 or $275 with insurance? Or, how to shop for health care

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do lab tests cost: $9 or $275 with insurance? Or, how to shop for health care

When my TED talk was posted again recently on Facebook, with prominent mention of disparities in lab test costs, there were a lot of comments. This one stood out, so I’m putting it here as part of our “A friend writes” series. She’s in the Knoxville, Tenn., area. “Yup!!! “I had a panel of tests […]

TED, again: Thousands and thousands of shares

TED, again: Thousands and thousands of shares

TED shared my talk on Facebook again a couple of days ago. in a little over a day, it picked up 6,400 reactions and 5,100 shares. (Update: It’s up to 8,600 shares, 8,800 reactions and 596,000 views of the abbreviated video.) Folks, we’re on fire. It’s by far and away the most shared item on […]

Could we be at the edge of health care’s tipping point? Care And Cost

Could we be at the edge of health care’s tipping point? Care And Cost

“Health care wonks play a game where they wonder whether health care really is changing in ways that are palpably better for everyone,” Brian Klepper writes over at careandcost.com and the Valid Points Newsletter. “Everyone, that is, except for the senior executives of the drug and device firms, electronic health record companies, major health plans […]

Barriers to care experienced by women in the United States: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Barriers to care experienced by women in the United States: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

“This Visualizing Health Policy infographic looks at barriers to care experienced by women in the United States. Women incur greater health care costs than men, particularly during the reproductive years,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation says on its website. “Despite a lower uninsured rate than men (11% vs 14%), women are more likely to […]

How much does an emergency room visit cost? Or how to successfully argue a bill

How much does an emergency room visit cost? Or how to successfully argue a bill

His kid was treated at the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center – Plano, Tex., he told us when he shared his experience on our website. The charge was $1,770; insurance paid nothing, and he was asked to pay $1,501.24. His remark: ‘Waited six hours. Very expensive treatment for a kid’s tummyache.” I asked him […]

A $9,000 surgery, and her dog died: A different take on health costs, this time for pets

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

A $9,000 surgery, and her dog died: A different take on health costs, this time for pets

My friend Lisa Collier Cool had a young dog who died a few months ago after surgery at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. She was charged $9,000, and was irate. Cool, an author and journalist, wrote this letter. Her web site is here. Why am I’m posting here? We hear a lot about people […]

A missed opportunity for the malpractice system to improve health care: The New York Times

A missed opportunity for the malpractice system to improve health care: The New York Times

“The American medical malpractice system is doing almost nothing to improve the quality of health care, research suggests,” Aaron E. Carroll writes over at The New York Times. “What may be more concerning is that there is very little discussion, much less action, about changing this. Despite worries among doctors that they are at financial […]

Medical coding and billing: The inside story of how the sausage is made

Medical coding and billing: The inside story of how the sausage is made

Medical coding and billing seems impenetrable — those strings of numbers on  a bill that purport to show what was done, and what was spent. Sometimes it looks as if chimpanzees are typing in random strings of numbers. The bills and explanations arrive months if not years after the event. The numbers are unfamiliar. Memories […]