The Day: Cutting costs, a history lesson, and more cutting costs

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The Day: Cutting costs, a history lesson, and more cutting costs

Here are two citations from the invaluable Maggie Mahar over at healthbeatblog: Health Beat: The “Top-Five” Ways to Improve Primary Care and Reduce Costs….  talks about how doctors have been able to stop unnecessary tests, and How Medicine became a growth business is an illuminating guest post by Dr. Clifton Meador about the history of medicine […]

Ways to save, Part 1: Ask the price in advance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Ways to save, Part 1: Ask the price in advance

First in a series. Many people are hugely surprised to know that health-care prices can vary dramatically, by as much as a factor of 10 or more. Just look at our pricing lists, gathered by telephone, for a sample. If you’re insured, sometimes it’s not an issue, if you know that you’re visiting an in-network […]

Pharmacy Discount Plans–A Good Option?

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

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Call me late to the party, but until recently, I knew very little about pharmacy-run discount plans for generic drugs. From Walgreens to Walmart, chains now offer customers a way to fill prescriptions for bargain-basement prices. Some have a signup cost. Others don’t. Either way, they usually cover several hundred generic meds. Companies will all […]

Waste and fraud in Medicare

Filed Under: Costs, Providers, Regulators

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Waste and fraud in Medicare

It’s an article of faith that one of the biggest sources of  health-care cost abuses is Medicare. The government pays bills for the elderly under this system, and it’s widely regarded as fraud-ridden and inefficient. So it was no particular surprise to read the other day that Medicare recovery audit contractors have returned $237.8 million […]

The Day: Costs of care, data security, insurance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Comparative effectiveness research would help find the most effective medical treatments at the lowest prices, but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea. The Value of Comparison.  The New York Times. Significant concerns about the security of electronic patient health information are raised in two reviews from the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of […]

Morning Meds: Google Pharmacy Ads, Generics and More

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Regulators

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Morning Meds: Google Pharmacy Ads, Generics and More

News we’ve been reading from the world of prescription drugs and pharmacy: *The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether Google illegally displayed ads for pharmacies operating outside legal bounds, according to The New York Times. The Times dug the story out of a financial statement filed with the SEC last week that reads: Department […]

Patients and doctors, all dissatisfied

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Patients and doctors, all dissatisfied

Doctors and patients have wildly differing perspectives on the health-care marketplace,  and yet they share a feeling of dissatisfaction. Both constituencies were interviewed in a pair of newly released studies by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Talking About Health Care Payment Reform with U.S.Consumers and Talking with Physicians about Improving Payment and Reimbursement. The big […]

Individual responsibility for health care

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Individual responsibility for health care

‘”The internet has changed people’s relationships with information,” writes the invaluable Susannah Fox at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a new report about the social life of health information. ‘Our data consistently show that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals continue to be the first choice for most people with health concerns, […]