Blondie and the beast: Medical coding errors (Part I)

Summary: “When Maria spoke to the collections agency about the latest bill she’d received for her daughter’s surgery, the woman on the other end of the phone was encouraging: ‘You only owe $10,000. It WAS $44,000. You should be happy!’ Mandi Bishop writes over at Tincture. “Only $10,000. For a surgery that should not have […]

Why we don’t wear hearing aids: Our series on the cost of hearing aids

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Katherine Bouton, a former editor at The New York Times, is the author of “Shouting Won’t Help: Why I  — and 50 Million Other Americans — Can’t Hear You.” This was originally posted on her Psychology Today blog, “What I  Hear,” and is reposted with permission as the first part of our new series, “How […]

What it means to you: Oct. 1 and buying health insurance, an overview

You may have been hoping you could ignore the topic of health insurance, but Oct. 1 is almost here, and with it the new health insurance landscape brought by the Affordable Care Act. And we’re going to help you navigate through it. Here is an outline of what we’ll write about, basically a handbook on […]

New models of payment: Going direct, and cutting out the middleman

  This is the second part in our series of new models of payment in the health-care marketplace, touching employers and individuals. The first part is here. * * * * * Employers, patients and other health-care marketplace parties are increasingly cutting insurance companies out of the equation. We’ve written about cost-plus and Medicare-plus, which […]

Washington state cancer patients at risk for bankruptcy: Health Affairs

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

“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 […]

When is a mammogram not a mammogram? Different tests, different names

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

SUMMARY: What are the different kinds of mammogram? The most common imaging test for breast cancer detection is the mammogram, but it’s not the only one. A mammogram is an X-ray photo of the breasts. Just as you can see the shadow of your hand on a sunny day, breast tissue creates a shadow on the […]

No, that mammogram is not covered: an insurance saga

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Our friend who was  ordered to get a second mammogram, which was not covered by insurance, wrote to us again (if you missed it, here’s her first post.) Between insurance? You’ll learn a lot. So, about my quest to find out the price of a second mammogram, because my insurance covers only $600 in testing […]