Not there when you need it: Health plans to watch out for

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

  By Tomer Shoval, CEO of A guest post. What’s worse for your pocketbook and for your health than not having medical insurance? Perhaps having bad insurance. There are many products out there today that walk and talk like a health insurance policy, but won’t give you the financial protection that a health plan will. And […]

Overhauling the system: Rising costs and consumer-driven care

An overhaul of  the health-care system much bigger than what’s been described so far is necessary, writes Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post. “What propels U.S. health spending upward? The …  answer comes in two parts: steep prices and abundant provision of some expensive services. In 2007, an appendectomy cost $7,962 in the United States, […]

When $625 = $2,450 = $450

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Cancer patients have a terrible disease — and then terrible billing problems, as we’ve written before here and here. Here’s another horror story, when $625 = $2,450 = $450, as described by a cancer patient in Florida, talking about her  charges for an MRI and a biopsy treatment, and the ensuing bills. “The woman who […]

For Portland, a new medical model

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

A new entrant in the transparency marketplace is Sprig Health in Portland, Ore. Sprig’s Web site lets patients book appointments (a la ZocDoc) and also pay up front, at rates that are sometimes startlingly low to those of us who follow prices (and sometimes startlingly high). “Sprig Health offers discounted rates through a highly efficient […]

A Boston doctor’s work: Shedding light on costs

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Talking about health costs in an effort to reduce them is the goal for Dr. Neel Shah, who started Costs of Care, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, about two years ago. He is a senior resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  We asked him […]

Back to Massachusetts: Legislating health costs

Massachusetts is trying to change the way doctors, hospitals and other providers are paid, according to an article in The New York Times. The state legislature is working on bills that would make flat “global payments” to providers to keep patients well. This would replace the current system, which charges fees for every service provided, […]

Ways to Save, Part 5: Consumer-driven health care

Ways to Save, Part 5: Consumer-driven health care

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re running a series  giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace. Here’s the first post about saving money (we suggest that you always ask the price in advance); here’s the second (even in an emergency, ask!);  and the third (do you want to decide solely […]