Know the price: A spirited debate

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

A plea for transparency in pricing came the other day from the excellent Merrill Goozner, writing on The Health Care Blog. There’s no way to have consumer-driven health care, he writes, if prices will still be opaque. “Employers are already moving in the direction of giving consumers ‘more skin in the game,’ according to a […]

Most common? Transfusions, childbirth, circumcision.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

  What are the most common medical procedures? We are interested in knowing, so we did some research. Blood transfusion, it turns out, and childbirth. Oh, and circumcision. According to a list of the top 10 procedures billed to Medicare in U.S. hospitals in 2003, excluding pregnancy and childbirth, as published by the Agency for […]

Aetna: Watching an insurance giant transform itself

Filed Under: Costs

“Health insurance companies strayed from their roles as insurance companies and became prepaid healthcare service companies mucking around with the equivalent of car tune-ups, tire changes and the like. Imagine if we had co-pays, deductibles, Explanation of Benefits for tune-ups and tire changes. We would be paying a 40% insurance bureaucracy tax there as well. Health insurance […]

3 Young Companies Tackle Rising Health Costs

From around the web, a slew of publicity about startups and young companies working to address the rising costs of health care: Our friend Susan Nicholas, head of Docpons, won a pitch contest in California a few days ago. Congratulations, Susan! Docpons, a Groupon for medical services, is based in Atlanta, and Susan — an […]

Study Finds New York Hospitals Flout Charity Rules:

From Nina Bernstein at The New York Times,  on how hospitals deal with charity aid: “Ms. Rubel’s medical problem was rare, a result of a benign tumor on her adrenal gland, but the financial consequences were not unusual. She depleted her savings to pay $17,000 for surgery to remove the tumor, and then watched, ’emotionally […]