California singles out docs with higher patient death rates: Kaiser Health News

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

California singles out docs with higher patient death rates: Kaiser Health News

“Michael Koumjian, a heart surgeon for nearly three decades, said he considered treating the sickest patients a badge of honor. The San Diego doctor was frequently called upon to operate on those who had multiple illnesses or who’d undergone CPR before arriving at the hospital,” Anna Gorman wrote recently for Kaiser Health News. “Recently, however, […]

Californians more worried about health costs than about whether they’re insured: L.A. Times

Californians more worried about health costs than about whether they’re insured: L.A. Times

Summary: “Six years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law has gained acceptance from a majority of California voters, but the cost of getting healthcare remains a major concern, eclipsing worries about having insurance, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll,” David Lauter writes in The Los Angeles Times. “The […]

Pinder testifies to California State Senate health committee on prices

Pinder testifies to California State Senate health committee on prices

Summary: California State Senator Ed Hernandez convened a series of hearings on health costs in California, and our CEO, Jeanne Pinder, was invited to testify. Hernandez, a Democrat from West Covina, is an optometrist and also  chairman of the Senate Health Committee. The first hearing addressed California’s current programs that are trying to address rising costs. […]

California Hospital Fair Pricing Act Reduced Prices Paid By Uninsured

California Hospital Fair Pricing Act Reduced Prices Paid By Uninsured

Summary: “Health Affairs abstract: California’s Hospital Fair Pricing Act, passed in 2006, aims to protect uninsured patients from paying hospital gross charges: the full, undiscounted prices based on each hospital’s chargemaster. In this study I examined how the law affects the net price actually paid by uninsured patients—a question critical for evaluating the law’s impact. […]

Narrow networks topic hits home | Reporting on Health

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Narrow networks topic hits home | Reporting on Health

Summary: When insurance companies and providers can’t come to agreement on payments, networks become narrower. The results? People have to make different choices — either keep their insurance policy, or keep their doctors, or some other choice. Here’s one California woman’s story of how her saga is playing out — with the twist that she’s […]

How much does an MRI cost in California: $255? $973.25? $2,925?

How much does an MRI cost in California: $255?  $973.25? $2,925?

Summary: Early results from our California crowdsourcing project on MRI prices are in. Payments range from $255 to $2,925.15. MRI pricing is a complete mystery: What should you pay? Can you ask for a discount? We’ve been looking at health-care prices for three years, so if we say it’s a mystery, we can imagine what […]

People are shopping for health care. This is what it sounds like.

People are shopping for health care. This is what it sounds like.

Summary: Culture change is here. People are upset about their health costs, and they’re acting like consumers in the marketplace. They’re looking for value, and for providers who will cure their ills and treat them like thinking beings. We know this because they’re telling us on our PriceCheck project, crowdsourcing health-care prices with our partners KQED public […]

A condom-finder app and a helpful eCard: oops, you’ve been exposed

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

A condom-finder app and a helpful eCard: oops, you’ve been exposed

Doctors in California have come up with a condom-finding smartphone app that they hope will help curb Sacramento’s rising STD rates. Sacramento’s Cares Community Health recently released a Condom Finder app that directs users to free condom dispensers in the area. Located in local businesses, the dispensers are stocked and maintained by the organization. CBS Sacramento […]

California, and L.A., offer options to help those in need of health care

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

California, and L.A., offer options to help those in need of health care

You learn a lot about state-by-state health care when collecting prices as we do. Socioeconomics, demographics, geography – all of these things can make a huge difference in cash-pay prices for health care procedures and commodities. One thing we learned while collecting prices in the greater Los Angeles area is that there are a surprising […]