Tag Archives: health policy

How Doctors Turn Patients into Lobbyists

I recently spoke with a Washington Post reporter about a troubling practice. Physicians convince their patients to sign letters to influence public policies the patients often don’t understand. Here is the beginning of that piece. Check it out: A proposal … Continue reading

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Making Money by Getting an MRI?

Usually it costs money to get an MRI. But sometimes, in order to save money, insurance companies pay patients to seek less expensive medical care providers. Here is an excellent news report on the topic from The News & Observer: … Continue reading

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Emergency Room Prices: They Are Outrageous, But I Am Not Blaming ER Clinicians

Shutterstock Recently I posted a piece, describing research out of Johns Hopkins, showing that when patients come to ERs – either with no insurance or insurance that is out-of-network – they often face charges that are four, six, or even ten-fold greater … Continue reading

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Obamacare Is Experimenting on Us (Does That Make Us Frankenstein or Fusilli?)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Obamacare is a large, unwieldy law. Despite its complexity, most people are familiar with its most important elements. They know it created a marketplace where people can shop for healthcare insurance; many are even aware … Continue reading

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Bait and Switch: The Sneaky Way Your Employer Just Passed Healthcare Costs onto You

Shutterstock If you get health insurance through your job, beware: you might be picking up more of the cost of your medical care than you realize. With increasing frequency, employers are directing their workers to the kind of high deductible, … Continue reading

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Is Federal Policy Really to Blame for the High Cost of Cancer Care?

(Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images) U.S. healthcare costs have been high for decades, outpacing other developed countries since at least the 1980s. But costs continue to rise, and that is causing many experts to ask why. Some people blame … Continue reading

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Healthcare for the Uninsured Is Wasteful (For a Surprising Reason)

Shutterstock American physicians dole out lots of unnecessary medical care to their patients. They prescribe things like antibiotics for people with viral infections, order expensive CT scans for patients with transitory back pain, and obtain screening EKGs for people with … Continue reading

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How Physicians Respond to the Price of Lab Tests before Ordering Them

Shutterstock Healthcare prices in the U.S. are often hidden. Some people think this price opacity contributes to our nation’s high healthcare spending. If people don’t know how expensive healthcare is, they won’t have much reason to restrain healthcare utilization. A recent … Continue reading

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You Know Who Else Fails ‘The Jimmy Kimmel Test?’ Hospital Emergency Rooms

(Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) When Jimmy Kimmel’s child was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, Kimmel realized that people without his wealth (or his generous insurance coverage) would not be able to pay for the life-saving care that his … Continue reading

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Your Doctor May Spend More Time with a Computer than with You

Shutterstock Medical appointments are getting shorter by the year. Sometimes it feels like doctors have no time to spend with their patients. What’s to blame for these brief clinical interactions? It could be the electronic health record, or EHR. Because … Continue reading

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