A few thoughts about the health-care marketplace

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Is it time for rate-setting in the health-care marketplace? Is it time for single-payer health care? Or an end to the entire for-profit system of mis-aligned incentives? Or transparency? Can we continue in this vein? The article Steven Brill wrote in Time magazine’s current issue about the rising cost of health care, “Bitter Pill,” has brought a […]

People are refusing treatment because of money, Deloitte finds

Here are some amazing 2012 stats on the use and non-use of health care, from Deloitte. (Wonk alert!) Who stayed overnight in a hospital: 8 percent of Americans. Who took part in a wellness program in the last 12 months: 10 percent of Americans. Only 8 percent switched doctors; 76 percent are satisfied with their […]

An Ohio hospital reveals prices of medical treatment in advance

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

At Pomerene Hospital in Millersburg, Ohio, prices for procedures can be revealed in advance. The practice began because the hospital, halfway between Cleveland and Columbus, serves a large number of Amish patients. Amish prefer to do business on cash, and so having a price list became important, said Laura Schlabach, who has been the hospital’s […]

California prices vary widely, study says, not surprisingly

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Sticker prices for surgical procedures vary widely, with charges for a Caesarean section ranging from $12,972 to $41,833, according to a new study by the the California Public Interest Research Group, according to an article in The Sacramento Bee. “A group of public-interest researchers took on the veiled, confounding world of hospital pricing Thursday in […]

The $18 baby aspirin, and other horror stories

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Hospital markups on drugs are notoriously high. Here are some examples, from a piece by Susan Jaffe at Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with USA Today: “In Missouri, several Medicare observation patients were billed $18 for one baby aspirin, said Ruth Dockins, a senior advocate at the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging. “Pearl Beras, […]

Most common? Transfusions, childbirth, circumcision.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

  What are the most common medical procedures? We are interested in knowing, so we did some research. Blood transfusion, it turns out, and childbirth. Oh, and circumcision. According to a list of the top 10 procedures billed to Medicare in U.S. hospitals in 2003, excluding pregnancy and childbirth, as published by the Agency for […]