Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the data guy: Demystifying trends and seeing into the future

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the data guy: Demystifying trends and seeing into the future

Continuing with our series of interviews of people involved in health care in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, I caught up with Niall Brennan, C.E.O. of the Health Care Cost Institute research group, former chief data officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a former analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and medicine: A New York surgeon tells us what his profession is like now

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and medicine: A New York surgeon tells us what his profession is like now

What’s it like to be a doctor in the middle of the pandemic? I had a chance not long ago to talk with a New York surgeon about his experiences, on the condition that we would not use his name. Here’s a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.  This is intended to […]

Steady executive pay hikes eclipse cost-containment concerns: Modern Healthcare

Steady executive pay hikes eclipse cost-containment concerns: Modern Healthcare

“Health systems are grappling with competing priorities, trying to corral costs while still attracting and keeping top executive talent with competitive salary and benefit packages,” Alex Kacik writes over at Modern Healthcare. “Judging by the steady increase in executives’ total compensation over the past several years, it seems that health system boards are not compromising […]

Politics, lobying, hospital behavior and health care spending: NBER study

Politics, lobying, hospital behavior and health care spending: NBER study

“When trying to pass sweeping legislation, congressional leaders can attract votes by adding targeted provisions that steer money toward the districts of reluctant legislators,” Zack Cooper, Amanda E. Kowalski, Eleanor N. Powell and Jennifer Wu write in a National Bureau of Economic research paper in August 2017 examining the link between legislative politics, hospital behavior, […]

Providers are newly willing to post cash medical prices: Some things we learned in our New Orleans launch

Providers are newly willing to post cash medical prices: Some things we learned in our New Orleans launch

We’ve learned some interesting things about providers publicizing cash or self-pay prices in our New Orleans partnership, “Cracking the Code.” Perhaps not surprisingly, when the people we’re talking with understand how this can benefit them, they give up the prices — information that for years has been a closely kept secret. We start out, as […]

Transparency at health systems: Beckers Hospital Review

Summary: “Physician organizations, hospitals and health systems are under increasing pressure to deliver transparent, competitive pricing,” writes Kelly Gooch over at Becker’s Hospital Review. “This pressure is coming from multiple sources, according to Igor Belokrinitsky, principal with Strategy&, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ strategy consulting business, and with PwC US. Federal and state governments are demanding more transparency, while […]

Pa. hospitals lag in charity care for the poor: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: “Of the state’s 170 hospitals in 2014, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, above, and 106 others, or 63 percent of them, provided charity care equal to less than 1 percent of their net patient revenue, according to an analysis of data from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council,” Sean D. Hamill writes in The […]

What journalists should know about ratings: Health journo blog

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: “Journalists should take hospital ratings with a healthy dose of skepticism, according to experts at a recent AHCJ New York chapter event,” Liz Seegert writes on the blog of the Association of Health Care Journalists, examining the pluses and minuses of different ratings in the context of the overall discussion about ratings systems. “Simply […]

Nonprofit hospitals are making a lot of money: Washington Post

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Summary: “Seven of the top 10 most profitable hospitals in the United States are nonprofit facilities that each netted more than $150 million from caring for patients in 2013, according to a study published Monday,” Lena Sun writes in The Washington Post. “Topping the list is Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wis., which earned […]

Another driver for cash payments: No-pay and slow-pay patients

Summary: A shift in the way hospitals collect bills has been taking place for some time, and is picking up speed. “Hospitals and providers, historically, received 90% of the reimbursement from insurers, according to The Advisory Board. The patient portion was more of an afterthought,” writes Holly Fletcher at The Tennessean. “That dynamic is shifting […]