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

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

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

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

What journalists should know about ratings: Health journo blog

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

Nonprofit hospitals are making a lot of money: Washington Post

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

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 […]

Hospitals struggle to get patients to pay debts: Bloomberg Business

Filed Under: Costs, Providers

Hospitals struggle to get patients to pay debts: Bloomberg Business

Summary: “A type of pain that hospitals thought they had relieved has come back with a vengeance: it’s called bad debt. Hospitals have long struggled to collect bills when patients aren’t covered by insurance — creating delinquent accounts,” John Lauerman writes over at Bloomberg Business. “The Affordable Care Act was supposed to relieve some of that […]

Wisconsin hospital prices: Perhaps useful for some things

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Wisconsin hospital prices: Perhaps useful for some things

Summary: Cost transparency takes many forms. This Wisconsin Hospital Association pricing page has what appear to be low, medium and high prices for a range of services, for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. What’s missing: Standalone places like independent radiology centers or testing labs. What’s also missing: The averages don’t tell you much about what […]

How the United States spends $2.9 trillion on health care: The Washington Post

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

How the United States spends $2.9 trillion on health care: The Washington Post

Summary: Where do the dollars go? This collection of facts and figures from Jason Millman, who just left The Washington Post for Politico, shows that hospital care eats up 32 percent of the total annual health care spend in the U.S., according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CLICK HERE FOR PRICES   […]

Quality rankings in New York State: Hospital-acquired infections, 2013

Filed Under: Costs, Providers

Quality rankings in New York State: Hospital-acquired infections, 2013

Summary: Quality rankings are hard to find in health care. Here’s a good resource for New York State, documenting infection rates for various procedures in 2013, hospital by hospital — though it’s hardly user-friendly: “Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) result in prolonged hospital stays, unnecessary deaths, increased antimicrobial resistance, greater healthcare costs, and added emotional and personal […]