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 […]

Balance billing: What it is, and what you can do

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Balance billing. It’s a scary term, in consumer and insurance circles: That’s what happens to a consumer if the hospital or doctor (also known as the provider) and the insurance company (also known as the payer) fail to agree, even under PPO terms, and the balance that they’ve agreed upon doesn’t satisfy one or the […]

As predicted: price lists for surgery, online — in Oklahoma

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

We predicted this: Prices posted online by a surgical center in Oklahoma. “The prices for the procedures below include the facility fee, the surgeon’s fee and the anesthesiologist’s fee. The initial consultation with the surgeon is also included, as is uncomplicated follow-up care. The duration of postoperative care is different for each surgical procedure. Therefore, […]

Costs of Care: Heart failure treatment, $100

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Costs of Care (Twitter: @CostsOfCare), where this post was originally published, is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that helps caregivers deflate medical bills and provide high value care. As part of the 2011 Costs of Care Essay Contest, more than 100 anecdotes were shared by patients and providers around the country that illustrate the role of cost-awareness in […]

A walking billboard for cancer treatment — in Times Square

Filed Under: Patients, Providers

Today in Times Square, this walking billboard for cancer treatment caught my attention. I don’t know anything about this place, and this isn’t strictly about our core mission (revealing health care costs) but I found it interesting. This was posted on their Web site: “Welcome to Radiosurgery New York. We are one of the leading […]

Health costs don’t rise as quickly — but don’t celebrate

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

  “Health care spending experienced historically low rates of growth in 2009 and 2010 as the impact of the recent recession continued to affect the purchasers, providers, and sponsors of health care,” the journal Health Affairs reports in a new article. But what does this mean? Does it mean that the nation’s  health costs have […]

Mad as Hell Doctors: Advocating for single-payer health care

Dr. Samuel Metz, an anesthesiologist from Willamette Valley, Ore., is a member of Mad as Hell Doctors and an advocate for a single-payer health-care system. Mad As Hell Doctors is the creation of two Oregon single-payer advocates, Adam Klugman and Gary Jelinek. Frustrated with their efforts to get single-payer health care into the public eye, they envisioned […]

High deductible, high costs: How much does a prostate biopsy cost?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

We got this note from a friend: “I am a small business owner, both employer and employee. The employee in me pines for my old health insurance plan. The deductible was low enough that it was always met. The in-network co-pays were fixed and affordable. My costs were my costs no matter what doctors billed […]

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, […]