Tag: healthcare costs

Blog Posts (36)

June 30, 2015

Your New Liver Is Only a Learjet Away: Part 3 of 3

As I have described in two earlier posts, here and here, the transplant system in the US suffers from terrible geographic disparities. People needing liver transplants in Northern California wait more than six years on average for an organ to … Continue reading

The post Your New Liver Is Only a Learjet Away: Part 3 of 3 appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

June 29, 2015

Your New Liver Is Only a Learjet Away: Part 2 of 3

Irena Bucci was receiving follow-up care after delivering her second baby when the obstetrician discovered a problem with her kidneys. “My creatinine was rising,” creatinine being a waste product normally cleared out of the bloodstream by healthy kidneys, “and my … Continue reading

The post Your New Liver Is Only a Learjet Away: Part 2 of 3 appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

June 16, 2015

Encouraging Comparison Shopping for Cataract Surgery

California is in the middle of an historic drought, with the government setting limits on how long people can sing in the shower. Farmers in the state may soon need to cut back on planting or production, as ground water … Continue reading

The post Encouraging Comparison Shopping for Cataract Surgery appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

June 9, 2015

The Outlier Problem of Healthcare Spending

We have an outlier problem when it comes to healthcare spending. Sure, there are some services we provide far too often for far too many people. And in the United States, at least, most of the healthcare services we provide … Continue reading

The post The Outlier Problem of Healthcare Spending appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

June 4, 2015

When It Comes to Controlling Healthcare Costs, the Government Outperforms Private Industry

When I think of the federal government, “efficiency” is rarely the first thing on my mind. But when it comes to controlling healthcare costs, we need to consider the possibility that the federal government is better at this job than … Continue reading

The post When It Comes to Controlling Healthcare Costs, the Government Outperforms Private Industry appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

May 29, 2015

Bundling Hospital Pay Without Bungling Patient Care

Paying someone to mow your lawn is a pretty straightforward affair. Ryan the lawn guy will look at the lawn size and maybe the hilliness of your yard and you’ll settle on a price for mowing and trimming it. When … Continue reading

The post Bundling Hospital Pay Without Bungling Patient Care appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

May 27, 2015

What Happens When We Penalize Hospitals For Harming Patients?

I recently had surgery to relieve an impingement of my left hip. I suffered a complication of the procedure in the hospital where I received the surgery performed follow-up care to treat the complication. As I lay on the table … Continue reading

The post What Happens When We Penalize Hospitals For Harming Patients? appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

May 26, 2015

Cost of Treating Hepatitis C Is Soaring

Here is a fascinating picture from the Wall Street Journal, showing how much Medicare has been spending on hepatitis C treatments lately. You can see that the cost is rising dramatically: Keep in mind, however, that the new and expensive … Continue reading

The post Cost of Treating Hepatitis C Is Soaring appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

May 22, 2015

The Question Isn’t Whether We Are Overdiagnosing Cancer, But How Much

Medical experts now agree that as a result of aggressive screening programs, we have an epidemic of cancer overdiagnosis in the United States. With mammograms finding tiny cancers and PSA tests discovering unpalpable prostate cancers, we are now unearthing some … Continue reading

The post The Question Isn’t Whether We Are Overdiagnosing Cancer, But How Much appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

May 21, 2015

Don’t Be Afraid to Team Up with Your Doctor about Healthcare Costs

Here is a fine story in the Los Angeles Times written by Lisa Zamosky about the importance of talking with your doctor about your out of pocket medical costs. Despite high medical costs topping Americans’ list of financial concerns, many … Continue reading

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News (7)

June 19, 2013 3:08 pm

The Experts: How Should Physician Pay Be Changed?

Unfortunately, limited by many factors, our health-care system has suffered from insufficient experimentation and a lack of innovation in approaches to physician and nonphysician provider compensation.

May 21, 2012 4:55 pm

What could revolutionize health care? This database. (Washington Post)

Think of it as a health policy wonk’s dream: Football stadium after
One insurance company’s data could fill 60 million of these. (bigstockphoto) football stadium packed to the brim with…health insurance claims data. An odd dream, to be sure. But health insurance data is crucial to understand how health care dollars get spent. It shows how people use health care, what’s changing and, in some cases, why. Health insurers, however, have tended to keep that data private, as it could tip competitors off to how they handle business.

May 20, 2012 1:37 pm

Genetic Testing May Not Drive Up Health Costs (MedPage Today)

Having the results of a personalized genetic test did not drive patients to utilize potentially costly follow-up healthcare services, a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found. In the past five years, there have been many new tests marketed to consumers who want to know whether they are genetically susceptible to a range of health conditions and traits, including diabetes and certain types of cancers. The tests, known as multiplex assays when they test for a variety of genetic variations, are marketed by a number of for-profit companies.

May 14, 2012 10:14 am

In health care, cheaper can mean better (The Boston Globe)

An Irish adage says: “When you come to a wall that is too high to climb, throw your hat over the wall, and then go get your hat.” That’s what Massachusetts started with its 2006 law requiring just about everyone to get coverage and arranging to make that coverage affordable. Now, it’s time to get the hat.

April 30, 2012 10:37 am

Care That's Just Right (Wall Street Journal)

Worried that questioning your doctor will damage your relationship or make for an awkward office visit? Time to untie your tongue. Asking a few key questions at your next appointment could save you both money and exposure to medical risks. Meanwhile, more doctors are volunteering to help the conversation along and prescribe evidence-based conservative measures first.

April 12, 2012 11:39 pm

States Seek Curb on Patient Bills for Costly Drugs (New York Times)

Spurred by patients and patient advocates like Ms. Kuhn, lawmakers in at least 20 states, from Maine to Hawaii, have introduced bills that would limit out-of-pocket payments by consumers for expensive drugs used to treat diseases like cancer,rheumatoid arthritismultiple sclerosis and inherited disorders.

April 5, 2012 12:57 pm

The New Face of Health Care: Why Nurses Are in Such High Demand (The Atlantic)

The national conversation about health care reform focuses relentlessly on cost reduction. While bending the cost curve is extremely important, improving quality is also essential — but sometimes downplayed — in today’s reform equation. Grappling with quality challenges has attracted a new breed of health care leaders: physician and nurse executives.