NEWS LINKS

Links to news, studies and our favorite commentaries in the world of healthcare costs, reform, and patient empowerment.

 
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BRILLIANT EMERGENCY PARENTING

May 23, 2019

Sitting in the parking lot of the ED for hours watching for a seizure event. Brilliant parenting actually. They probably kept watch better than the hospital would have, and with less exposure to hospital germs. Not to mention outrageous bills and unnecessary interventions. Don't tell the hospital though. They'll try to start charging $2,000/hour for standby use of the parking lot..

https://www.vox.com/health-care/2019/5/10/18526696/health-care-costs-er-emergency-room

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WANT TO MAKE HEALTHCARE COMPETITIVE AND TRANSPARENT?

May 22, 2019

Set a default price of 200% of Medicare. Hospitals and other providers can charge less, but not more without specific quote and patient or insurer signed agreement. So easy. So common-sense. So understandable by patients.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR3033.html

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GENERIC DRUGS NOW MAKE UP 90% OF PRESCRIPTIONS. SO GENERIC DRUG COMPANIES GOT GREEDY.

May 21, 2019

"The alleged generic drug price collusion transformed a cutthroat, highly competitive business into one where sudden, coordinated price spikes on identical generic drugs became almost routine. Competing executives were so chummy they had an alphabetical rotation for who picked up the tab at their regular dinners."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/investigation-of-generic-cartel-expands-to-300-drugs/2018/12/09/fb900e80-f708-11e8-863c-9e2f864d47e7_story.html?utm_term=.09ac23f5ca4b

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IF ILLNESS DOESN'T SUCK THE BREATH OUT OF YOU, YOUR HOSPITAL PROBABLY WILL

May 20, 2019

Sick? Have insurance? Watch hospitals squeeze the dollars out of you. (Doesn't matter if insurance pays it - one way or another, you ultimately pay for it through lower pay, higher taxes, poor schools, broken roads...)

https://khn.org/news/one-implant-two-prices-it-depends-on-whos-paying

 

OUT OF NETWORK RIP-OFF

May 6, 2019

Hospitals bringing in providers not covered by a patient's insurance is a total scam. There should be no billing without prior consent to a quoted price, otherwise limit charges to 200% of Medicare. Problem solved.

https://khn.org/news/a-boat-crushed-his-face-then-plastic-surgeons-hit-him-with-167000-in-bills

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NO FAIRNESS IN CURRENT COVERAGE

May 7, 2019

When patient choice is determined by which insurance they have, where they work, how hard they argue, who they sue, and when the insurer last reviewed medical evidence, patients are not empowered.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2019/05/04/promise-and-cost-clash-disputed-proton-cancer-treatment/MRX3NjsVc5RPtLI7t9av8K/story.html?

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HOSPITALS HAVE YOUR WALLET AT HEART

May 8, 2019

St Vincent Ascension in Phoenix, AZ bought snake bite venom for around $3K per dose, and charged patients $17K per dose. Until they had to post their price online, then it magically dropped to $5K. Think they sent refunds out to everybody they previously overcharged? 

https://khn.org/news/april-medical-bill-of-month-143k-snakebite-antivenin/

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EVEN DOCTORS ARE HELPLESS

May 10, 2019

Think your physician keeps your hospital in line? Nope. Physicians are as lost and frustrated as you are when they are the patient or the patient's family. We need to fix the system, free the doctors, and empower the patients.

https://khn.org/news/even-doctors-cant-navigate-our-broken-health-care-system/

 
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AMERICANS IN DEBT FOR CARE

April 18, 2019

Americans have borrowed $88 BILLION personally to pay for out-of-pocket medical care. That's after what they could pay from savings, through cutting other costs, after insurance costs.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/02/health/health-care-costs-borrowing

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MEDICARE INSOLVENT BY 2026

April 28, 2019

Rising prices + no real consumer choice or empowerment = Medicare insolvent by 2026 = benefits cuts, higher patient costs, higher taxes. Without improving patient health at all.

https://apnews.com/6ae6731e1c4e46f1807d8c9bdb43815a?

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"ENTIRE DELIVERY SYSTEM IS AN ISSUE"

April 22, 2019

Rick Scott, former CEO of Columbia/HCA and tasked by Trump to improve healthcare, says the entire delivery system is an issue. So why is his drug cost proposal just one very tiny bandaid that doesn't actually do anything about costs? 

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/trump-named-rick-scott-architect-of-new-gop-health-plan-but-florida-senator-is-focused-on-narrow-improvements-to-existing-system.html

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CHOOSING PEACE OVER PROMISE

April 29, 2019

A patient with ALS/Lou Gehrig's can get a $140K/year experimental treatment through his insurance that might help for a few months although there's little evidence, and it might actually cause harm. But if he says no to the risky drug, why can't he get $140K to pay for other needs, or to leave to his family? That's not patient choice.

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/peace-over-promise-als-patient-quits-taking-drug-aimed-at/article_e743aa7c-3625-507c-9251-594805ae9903.html?

 

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