Checkup: Stealth poll shelved, insurance denials

Checkup: Stealth poll shelved, insurance denials

Rolling back: “The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had shelved plans for a survey in which ‘mystery shoppers’ posing as patients would call doctors’ offices to see how difficult it was to get appointments.” Robert Pear, The New York Times. Quality of care: Clearhealthcosts.com concerns itself primarily with prices of care, not with quality. […]

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

Massachusetts has been in the forefront of health reform. So it was dispiriting to learn in a Massachusetts health reform report issued June 22 that the state’s test of one of the most-hoped-for reforms changes has failed to cut costs. In fact, most of the news in the report was relatively gloomy: it suggested that […]

The Day: Insurance errors, premiums dropping

The Day: Insurance errors, premiums dropping

“The overall rate of inaccurate [insurance] claims payments increased since last year among leading commercial health insurers, according to American Medical Association’s (AMA) fourth annual National Health Insurer Report Card. Claims-processing errors by health insurance companies waste billions of dollars and frustrate patients and physicians.” The AMA is not a big fan of insurers, but […]

Best low-cost health insurance picks

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

Best low-cost health insurance picks

Just another thing Quora is good for: advice about shopping for the best low-cost health insurance, from the commonsensical Art Forrest, who I don’t know (he is an insurance broker in Georgia) and who offers this advice about buying low-cost health insurance: “(1) use a broker you trust who will shop the market for you […]

The Day: Ambulances, rising costs, insurance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The Day: Ambulances, rising costs, insurance

Out-Of-Network Ambulance Rides Can Bring Out-Of-Pocket Expenses. This spring, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts launched a policy aimed at getting more emergency medical services providers to join its network: It began sending checks for out-of-network private ambulance rides directly to plan members rather than to the EMS providers. The move forces these providers to pursue consumers […]

The Day: Payments denied, reform

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The Day: Payments denied, reform

Insurance companies deny payments for treatments doctors recommend, with increasing frequency. “Last month insurance tried to deny another patient of mine an in-hospital kidney biopsy after three years of multiple hospital admissions for uncontrolled hypertension. Finally after approval, the biopsy revealed a condition called IgA nephropathy that was responsible for her kidney dysfunction and high […]

If you’re uninsured, Part 2: The options

If you’re uninsured, Part 2: The options

Welcome to Part 2 of our handbook for people who are uninsured. We’re planning several articles in this series, much as we have started publishing our “Ways to Save” series, and we’ll then  archive them on the site. Here’s Part I of the uninsured series. The best way to start shopping for insurance is to know […]