Pre-authorization is hell. Here’s why: Kevinmd.com

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Pre-authorization is hell. Here’s why: Kevinmd.com

“This April, my turn to take the medical board exam rolled back around, necessary every ten years for maintenance of certification. I studied diligently for the better part of three months … It was actually pleasurable to go back over details that I had forgotten and to catch up on newer developments in the field. […]

What your doctor wishes you knew about insurance: Guest post

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

What your doctor wishes you knew about insurance: Guest post

Summary: If one were to survey the public, it is not obvious whether being sick would rank as more frustrating than dealing with health insurance —- especially in these times of health reform and uncertainty. Doctors also sometimes find dealing with health insurance difficult —- especially when their patients don’t understand their responsibilities. Here is […]

How much will that cost? Finding out medical prices in advance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much will that cost? Finding out medical prices in advance

SUMMARY: How much will that cost? It’s a question consumers aren’t used to asking in the health care marketplace. Many of us grew up with the $10 co-pay, but that’s rapidly becoming a thing of the past. With rising deductibles, more out-of-network providers, more uninsured people and more out-of-pocket spending, it’s increasingly a question we […]

How much does a mammogram cost? Your tales of bills: $0 to $2,786.95.

How much does a mammogram cost? Your tales of bills: $0 to $2,786.95.

  SUMMARY: We asked what you paid and what your insurance company paid for a routine mammogram. Sometimes it was straightforward: “Provider cost, including technician was $175. My insurance company paid $56.95. My cost zero.” Or this: “So [insurer]  paid $112.46 and I paid $25, totaling $137.46.” But then it started to get complicated: “Cost […]

Washington state cancer patients at risk for bankruptcy: Health Affairs

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Washington state cancer patients at risk for bankruptcy: Health Affairs

“Much has been written about the relationship between high medical expenses and the likelihood of filing for bankruptcy, but the relationship between receiving a cancer diagnosis and filing for bankruptcy is less well understood. “We estimated the incidence and relative risk of bankruptcy for people age twenty-one or older diagnosed with cancer compared to people […]

What do birth control pills cost? Indies, chains, and finding the best price

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

What do birth control pills cost? Indies, chains, and finding the best price

As we wrote in an earlier blog post, when you need to fill a prescription, it pays to shop around. What do birth control pills cost? Prices can vary a little or a lot. Compare big box pharmacies, such as Rite Aid, CVS, Costco or Walgreens, with the little independent guys. The same is true […]

Physician Ratings: Doctors Distrust Them, and Patients Ignore Them

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

Physician Ratings: Doctors Distrust Them, and Patients Ignore Them

“The many and various ‘doctor review’ sites seem to be as popular as the flu bug floating around the office. Doctors don’t like them and patients don’t use them, according to two recent surveys. “First, from the physician point of view… “The headline declares ‘Physicians Wary of Doctor Ratings,’ and the sentiment among physicians responding […]

Doctor practice consolidation and pay: A congressional report

Doctor practice consolidation and  pay: A congressional report

Consolidation of doctor practices inside and outside of hospitals: it’s a big topic these days. Why is it important? Among other things, if a procedure is performed at a doctor’s office, it is reimbursed by Medicare at one rate; if it’s performed at a hospital, it’s reimbursed at another rate. The hospital rate, not surprisingly, […]

Patients are terrible consumers: Jon Cohen at TedMed

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Patients are terrible consumers: Jon Cohen at TedMed

Patients are terrible consumers, according to Jon Cohen, chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics. In a video of his appearance at the June TedMed conference, he made these points: People with high-deductible plans and health savings accounts are saving money and not spending it on basic health care. Mammography rates, cervical cancer screening rates, colonoscopy […]