Tag Archives: healthcare costs

Out of Control Physicians: Too Many Doctors Doing Too Many Things to Too Many Patients

My father is 92 years old, and I am beginning to wonder whether the best thing for his health would be to stay away from doctors. That’s because well intentioned physicians often expose their elderly patients to harmful and unnecessary … Continue reading

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Three Things to Know about Future Healthcare Spending

For my entire life, a half century and counting, healthcare spending in the U.S. has almost always risen faster than inflation. Sometimes it’s relatively slow, sometimes it’s relatively fast, but no matter the time, healthcare spending is climbing. Getting healthcare … Continue reading

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The Healthcare Efficiency Myth – What Really Happens When Doctors And Hospitals Join Forces

For much of the history of U.S. medical care, hospitals and physicians have existed as separate financial entities. Physicians in the U.S. have typically been self-employed, as solo or group practitioners and not as hospital employees. An internist like me … Continue reading

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Guess Who Is Struggling to Pay Their Medical Bills!

Here is a picture from the Kaiser Family Foundation showing which Americans were most likely to report problems paying medical bills last year. The sad news is that just about any way you divide it, a hell of a lot … Continue reading

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Need More Evidence the U.S. Healthcare Market Is Screwed Up?

In a healthy consumer market, people compare the price and quality of goods inside whether it’s worth paying extra money to get the best possible products. In healthcare, it’s often almost impossible to figure out what things cost. And when … Continue reading

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An Easy (But Politically Complicated) Way To Save Billions Of Dollars On Medical Care

I sometimes worry that my wife Paula won’t be able to see me grow old. Not that I expect to outlive her. She is four years my junior and has the blood pressure of a 17-year-old track star. It’s her … Continue reading

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Specialty Drugs at Especially High Prices

There have been many wonderful new medications in the past decade or so, drugs that finally bring hope for many people with serious illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even some advanced cancers. But these drugs often come at … Continue reading

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Here’s Why Insulin Is So Expensive, And How To Reduce Its Price

She drew the life-saving medication into the syringe, just 10cc of colorless fluid for the everyday low price of, gulp, several hundred dollars. Was that a new chemotherapy, specially designed for her tumor? Was it a “specialty drug,” to treat … Continue reading

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Here’s How a Great Doctor Helps Her Patient Make a Cost-Conscious Treatment Decision

Sometimes in my research on physician/patient communication, I come across a doctor who is so good with her patients, I have to share their bedside manner with you. The most recent example is a (to remain unnamed) oncologist in the … Continue reading

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More Coverage of Our Research on Out-Of-Pocket Cost Conversations

Here is a nice summary of our research, published by an excellent reporter at The American Journal of Managed Care: A new qualitative study of clinical meetings between physicians and patients pointed out certain behavioral concerns that stand in the … Continue reading

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