Blog Posts (4)
March 12, 2013
When Johnson was pushing congress to establish the nation’s first real health care funding, many legislators, especially conservative southern Democrats, balked at the cost. Johnson was well aware that Medicare would be costly. But he thought healt...
February 13, 2013
You may have heard this week about a new study, led by my friend and colleague Pete Cram, which revealed astonishing variation in prices for hip replacement surgery. Staggering, actually—ranging from a bit over $10,000 to over $125,000. I have blog...
February 4, 2013
In the New York Times on Friday, Roni Caryn Rabin writes a great article about the crazy price hikes that hospitals and medical clinics impose upon patients who come to them from “out of the network.” Examples include a more than $6,000 doctor v...
January 30, 2013
Do you feel like your out of pocket medical expenses are growing? You are not alone. Even for people getting Medicare, the amount of money coming out of patients pockets is growing too. And it is growing not only because all health care spending is gr...
May 21, 2012 4:55 pm
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
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
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
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
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 arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inherited disorders.
April 5, 2012 12:57 pm
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.