Insights from New Choice Health

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – June 19, 2015

Highlights from the past few weeks' Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

AMA’s New Policies support Data and Price Transparency

[By: , State of Reform]

“As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure greater health care transparency that can improve health outcomes, increase the value of health care spending and strengthen physician-patient relationships, the American Medical Association (AMA) at its annual meeting today passed two new policies that address the growing interest in health care data and price transparency.”

Read more…

Advancing transparency in healthcare: A call to action

[By: Former Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), The Hill]

“Greater transparency and access to information about the prices and quality of health care would be beneficial to consumers, providers, policymakers, and stakeholders alike. To achieve the Triple Aim of better population health, an improved health care system, and a lower rate of cost and spending growth, we must take the blindfold off.

We think the following steps are necessary to spur the movement to greater transparency…”

Read more…

Medicare sheds new light on hospital, physician pay

[By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare]

“The federal government continues to roll out Medicare claims and payment information in an effort to make the opaque U.S. healthcare system more accountable.”

Read more…

Mithun Highlights Cost Ignorance for Wellmark

[By: Erik Oster, AdWeek AgencySpy]

“Minneapolis agency Mithun launched a new campaign for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield showcasing the myWellmark Health Care Cost Estimator, which gives customers a health care estimate online.”

Read more…

Fitch Ratings Study: Hospital Price Transparency: Impacts to Providers and Consumers

[By: Business Wire]

“Fitch Ratings believes that growing demand for price transparency within the not-for-profit hospital sector has the potential to disrupt the current business model, according to a new Fitch Ratings report.”

Read more…

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – May 29, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

PriceCheck: How Much Does A Colonoscopy Cost? (California)

[By: , KQED]

“The colonoscopy: it may be the most dreaded screening test out there, and it’s the next procedure we’re covering as part of PriceCheck. On PriceCheck, we’re crowdsourcing prices of common health tests and procedures.”

Read more…

Is high-deductible insurance changing healthcare shopping habits?

[By: Taunya English, WYYY / Newsworks]

WHYY Senior Health Writer Taunya English discusses the impact of high-deductible insurance plans on healthcare consumer shopping habits.

Read more…

The Challenges of Healthcare-Cost Transparency

[By: Maura C. Ciccarelli, Human Resource Executive Online]

“Despite all of the information now available on healthcare costs, new research finds only a small number of workers actually use it or even know it exists. How can HR help increase awareness and usage of this data?”

Read more…

Connecticut Senate adopts major health care changes

[By: Mary O’Leary, The Middletown Press]

“The state Senate overwhelmingly adopted major health care changes Thursday in a bipartisan vote that reins in some facility fees, looks to development of a health information exchange to guarantee the sharing of patient data and aims to keep private physician practices in business.”

Read more…

Health care consumer protection bill sits on governor’s desk (Texas)

[By: KRISTEN MOSBRUCKER , Valley Morning Star]

“As a consumer protection bill that mandates more transparency about freestanding emergency departments sits on the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, another local hospital mulls the possibility of investing in its own operation.”

Read more…

A Foundation Delves into Health Care Price Transparency (Kentucky)

[By: M. Gabriela Alcalde, HealthAffairsBlog]

A Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky workgroup used information from [recent] presentations and discussions and a review of the current literature on price transparency to develop the following recommendations for Kentucky.

Read more…

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – May 22, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

The Biggest Challenge in U.S. Healthcare – Becoming a Retail Industry

[By: Paul Keckley, Ph.D., Navigant Healthcare]

“…U.S. healthcare is shifting from manufacturing to retail. There’s no questioning the trend: the issues are how the system makes the transition from manufacturing to retail. The five near-term challenges facing us need consideration in the context of the eventuality of a B2C future for healthcare.”

Read more…

Starts Now: Healthcare Cost Transparency Project

[By: Jeanne Pinder, MedPage Today]

MedPage Today teams up with ClearHeathCosts.com

Read more…

All-payer claim database legislation signed into law (Washington)

[By: , State of Reform]

“Last week Governor Inslee signed SB 5084 into law, which will move forward the all-payer claims database in Washington state. This database is intended to improve health care cost and quality transparency by appointing a lead organization to compile and distribute Medicaid and commercial claims data.”

Read more…

Proposed monthly cap on patient drug costs survives Assembly hearing (California)

[By: , The Sacramento Bee]

“The measure put on hold – Assembly Bill 463, by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco – would require pharmaceutical firms to disclose the costs and profits of any drug or course of treatment that costs more than $10,000 annually.”

Read more…

Major out-of-network health care reform bill in the works (New Jersey)

[By: Andrew George, NJ Biz]

“Lawmakers will introduce a major health care reform measure Thursday that will attempt to regulate and bring transparency to out-of-network charges.”

Read more…

MDsave Poised to Expand Affordable Medical Treatments With $12 Million Investment from MTS Health Investors

[By: PRNewswire]

Read more…

Study: Healthcare must upgrade billing systems to avoid poor ratings

[By: Susan Morse, Healthcare Finance]

“…according to a 2015 survey by PCW’s Health Research Institute… More than 31 percent of [respondents] said they were dissatisfied with the transparency of billing and payment from hospitals…”

Read more…

Revenue cycle tips: Improve customer service, boost collections

[By: Jennifer Zaino, Healthcare Finance]

“…As patients increasingly shop around for the lowest-cost services with the highest-quality outcomes, Austin Kirkland, founder of Outperform, LLC, said it would be important to provide data about a service’s costs, patient deductibles and co-pays, as well as healthcare spending trends and total spending – all on demand. ”

Read more…

Price Transparency: A Rosetta Stone

[By: Robert Fogerty MD, MedPage Today]

Read more…

Arizona woman’s outpatient surgery bill an eye-popping $38,000

[By: Ken Alltucker, AZCentral.com]

Read more…

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – May 8, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

Medicare Releases Part D Drug Prescribing Data for First Time

[By: Key Terry, Medscape]

“For the first time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released Medicare drug prescribing data at the level of the individual prescriber.”

Read more…

MD Insider is playing the physician data transparency war to win

[By: MEDCITY News]

“A health IT company providing a search tool for company employees to identify suitable doctors for procedures and check ups based on experience, cost and outcomes has raised $9.5 million in a Series A round to support sales, marketing and data scientist hires.”

Read more…

How a lack of healthcare price transparency compares to purchasing a bad car

[By: , FierceHealthFinance]

“Healthcare delivery in its current state may have something in common with purchasing a bad car, according to Jeffrey W. Jones, a managing director with Huron Healthcare, a Chicago-based consulting group. Jones delves into the phenomenon of “information asymmetry”–when not enough information exists for the buyers and sellers of goods and services to make economically rational decisions, in a new white paper.”

Read more…

Paying People To Use Lower Cost Health Care Providers Saves Money

[By: Zina Moukheiber, Forbes]

Vitals’ incentives program called SmartShopper saved its clients nearly $11 million last year, while paying health plan members a total $1.3 million in cash.

Read more…

New online tool helps avoid medical bill sticker shock (Idaho)

[By: Karen Zatkulak, KTVB]

“A local insurance provider is now offering a cost advisor tool to help members estimate certain procedures, and let you shop around for for the best option.”

Read more…

Ohio House bill could save billions in medical costs each year

[By: , OhioWatchDog.org]

State Rep. Jim Butler, an Oakwood Republican, drafted House Bill 157 in an ambitious attempt to reform Medicaid and rein in health-care expenses across the board. … Proposed transparency measures would require hospitals to give patients cost estimates before providing non-emergency care, allow providers to advertise prices and require insurers to disclose out-of-pocket costs for the top 20 percent of covered services.”

Read more…

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – May 1, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

Angry Over Drug Prices, More States Push Bills for Pharma to Disclose Costs

[By: Ed Silverman, The Wall Street Journal]

“Should drug makers be required to disclose their costs to justify rising prices? … This is what a growing number of state legislatures are considering.”

Read more…

More On California’s Pharmaceutical Cost Transparency Act of 2015 from:

Health Care Cost Should Be Clear In Advance

[By: , MD, Hartford Courant]

“…a series of bipartisan bills making their way through the General Assembly may improve things for those of us living in Connecticut.”

Read more…

A Big Step Forward for Health Care Transparency in New Mexico

[By: Kristina G. Fisher, New Mexico In Depth]

“NMID recently asked columnists who wrote for our January legislative guide to summarize how, in their opinion, transparency and openness fared during the recently-ended 60-day session in Santa Fe. “

Read more…

Can Transparency Tools Further the ACA’s Goals of Reducing Costs?

[By: Heather Drost, California Healthline]

“Research shows that health care transparency tools can be an effective way to help consumers better understand their care and further the ACA’s goal of reducing costs. ”

Read more…

Have You SEEN Your Options? Focusing Consumerism on Safe, Effective, Economical, Necessary Choices

[By: Wendy Lynch, The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism]

“Despite a significant transition toward high-deductible plans, broader availability of price and quality information, and efforts by many large employers to provide decision tools, fully-informed, in-control consumers are the exception.”

Read more…

N.C. lawmakers move to inject transparency into drug pricing

[By: , Triangle Business Journal]

“The proposal – House Bill 839 – would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to publicly report cost and utilization information.”

Read more…

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – April 24, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

Shopping tools help patients find cash prices for medical procedures

[By: , LA Times]

“‘The demand is out there. People in general know how to shop, and they are just learning how to shop in the medical marketplace,’ says Dr. Peter LePort, a general surgeon.

… There’s a race underway to develop useful tools patients can put to practical use.”

Read more…

Americans rank cost and transparency as top health care priorities, survey says

[By: Adrian Florido, Southern California Public Radio (KPCC)]

“When it comes to health care, Americans say affordability and transparency are their top priorities, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

Read more…

Radiologists follow FedEx with flat-rate prices. Is this the future of health care?

[By: J.K. Wall, Indianapolis Business Journal]

“…I was especially intrigued by a new flat-rate pricing scheme introduced this year by Northwest Radiology Network.”

Read more…

Transparency: How Healthcare Cost Competes With Real Value

[By: , Healthcare Success Blog]

“Doctors, medical practices and their respective business offices might want to compare the charges for common procedures just as the consumer does. An increasing number of price transparency tools are available online to discover where you stand.”

Read more…

The controversial, uncertain future of the healthcare ‘consumer’—and why it matters

[By: , Healthcare Dive]

The first in a two part series. “Healthcare Dive looks at the controversial evolution of the “patient” into the “consumer” and how it continues to fundamentally change the business of providing healthcare in ways that are both positive—and incredibly risky.”

Read more…

Things fall apart: How the ‘healthcare consumer’ model could break down

[By: , Healthcare Dive]

The second in a two part series.

Read more…

TransUnion Healthcare Report Finds Both Patients and Hospital Administrators Feeling the Squeeze of Increased Costs

[By: TransUnion]

“Deductibles have nearly doubled over the past five years through the adoption of high deductible plans offered by employers and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” said Gerry McCarthy, president of TransUnion Healthcare. “We will be tracking this trend closely as we suspect that average deductibles could rise much more in the coming years. The continued increase in deductibles will place even more importance on transparency of costs…”

Read more…

New Research from Alegeus Technologies Reveals that Consumers Enrolled in Consumer Directed Healthcare Plans Are Nearly 50% More Likely to Research & Compare Costs for Healthcare Products & Services

[By: Alegeus Technologies, Business Wire]

Read more…

Three Key Lessons from the Health Care Transparency Summit

[By: Anne Weiss, Susan Dentzer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation]

“Here are our key takeaways reflecting how much transparency discussions have advanced since the first RWJF sponsored summit…”

Read more…

Also see this related blog post on Health Affairs Blog:

Building Cost transparency From The Ground Up

[By: Tara Oakman, HealthAffairsBlog]

Small funding round a big event for Bellevue startup’s unique health care product

[By: , Puget Sound Business Journal]

“Health care transparency startup Mpirica Health Analytics has nabbed $1.6 million in funding just three months after its launch. The Bellevue-based company’s Series A round is courtesy of private investor McQuinn Trust. The money will launch a national marketing campaign targeting self-insured employers and consumers.”

Read more…

Doctible Unveils New Platform for the Consumer-Driven Healthcare Market

[By: Press Release, KCEN TV]

“Doctible closes $700k seed round to bring transparency to healthcare, providing consumers with the ability to view doctor prices before booking their appointment online.”

Read more…

Change Healthcare, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to Investigate Link Between Transparency and Consumerism

[By: PR Newswire]

Read more…

Governor could finally give consumers an effective All-Payer Claims Database (Washington State)

[By: National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)]

“In a big victory for the Coalition for Health Care Cost Transparency, the Legislature, with huge bipartisan support, late last week passed a bill to establish a fully functional All-Payer Claims Database (APCD), which would give health-care consumers something they have long sought: The ability to shop and compare prices among health providers.”

Read more…

Healthcare Industry Convinces Courtney to Kill Price Transparency Bill (Oregon)

[By: Chris Gray, The Lund Report]

“A compromise measure from Sen. Steiner Hayward that would have opened up health insurance tools with price information to all consumers won the needed support of Sen. Monnes Anderson, but last-minute pressure on the state’s top lawmaker stopped the price transparency bill dead in its tracks.”

Read more…

Conversation With: Physician/Inventor Dr. David Albert On The ‘Uberfication’ Of Healthcare

[By: , D Magazine]

“…Now we have individuals going into the insurance market going into the exchanges buying healthcare for themselves. People never used to ask what that bypass surgery costs, what that pacemaker, what that mastectomy costs. … Nobody asked those questions, but those questions are going to be asked. Price shopping, bargain hunting are going to be injected.”

Read more…

More patients ‘comparison-shop’ hospital fees online

[By: Linda Martz, Mansfield News Journal]

“Within the last four or five years, people are becoming much more conscientious consumers with their health care dollars.” – Lois Peoples, spokeswoman for Morrow County Hospital

Read more…

Healthcare On-Demand, Airbnb Style

[By: Founder and CEO of Medlio, HIT Consultant]

“If healthcare is becoming “cashified”… and I am buying healthcare services on my own – I want an experience like Airbnb. … The bottom line is that the market should be setting the price, not insurance companies, and most definitely not the federal government.”

Read more…

Consumer transparency isn’t all about price

[By: Mark Herzog is president and CEO of Holy Family Memorial, HTR Media]

Consumers must balance decisions by considering price,quality and expectations

Read more…

 

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – April 17, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

Top Hospital Ratings Prove Scarce In Medicare’s Latest Tally

[By: Jordan Rau, NPR]

On Thursday the federal government awarded its first star ratings to hospitals based on the opinions of patients. Some of the nation’s most lofty hospitals—the ones featured in best hospital lists—received mediocre ratings, while the maximum number of stars often went to small, regional hospitals and others that specialize in lucrative surgeries.

Read more…

The Quality Tower Of Babel

[By: Elizabeth Teisberg and Scott Wallace, Health Affairs Blog]

The quest for better health care, driven by measuring safety and quality, is well intentioned and has notable achievements. But like the Biblical story about building a better city, the measurement effort has become a cacophonous muddle that is distracting clinicians, raising the cost-of-care delivery, and not helping consumers make better health care choices.

Read more…

Chemo Decision First, Tell Them About the Cost Later

[By: Peter Ubel, Forbes]

[We need to] make discussion of out-of-pocket costs a more routine part of medical care, even when it is difficult to know the exact cost of care. Better yet, we need to fold these conversations into broader discussions of the pros and cons of patients’ medical alternatives. The “right” medical choice is often not purely a function of medical facts.

Read more…

Medical fees shrouded in mystery

[By: Marlene Harris-Taylor, The Blade]

Toledo-area hospitals object to talk of price comparisons

Read more…

Patients say health pricing must change

[By: Marlene Harris-Taylor, The Blade]

As hospital systems grow, so can charges they demand

Read more…

Minnesota health care data bill is a Luddite move

[By: STEPHEN T. PARENTE and DAVID NEWMAN, Star Tribune]

[As] the world marches forward toward the light [of healthcare transparency], attempting to pull back the veil, the Minnesota Senate is attempting to quarantine this state’s all-payer claims data set such that its potential value will never be realized and never become the “state’s resource” to spur improvements. S.F. 1818 prohibits the identification of individual payers, providers, hospitals or clinics.

Read more…

A growing risk: High-deductible health plans can ruin finances

[By: Ann Doss Helms, The Charlotte Observer]

High-deductible insurance is supposed to turn patients into smarter, healthier consumers. But for some, like David and P.J. Frick, the costs can become staggering. … “I think these high-deductible plans are going to become more the norm. They do reward folks who take good care of themselves,” said Joseph Piemont, chief operating officer for Carolinas HealthCare.

Read more…

Medicare doc fix bill would expand access to Medicare claims data

[By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare]

Transparency advocates are hailing a little-noticed provision in the pending Medicare physician-payment bill that would widen the availability of Medicare claims data … Supporters estimate that it would double the amount of publicly available data. … But some are worried about provisions allowing private groups to make money by selling public data. “I worry philosophically about creating little centers of monopoly power,” said David Newman, executive director for the Health Care Cost Institute, the only nationwide qualified entity participating in the Medicare data program. “It’s public data.”

Read more…

Obama Administration Report Slams Digital Health Records

[By: Melinda Beck, The Wall Street Journal]

Report criticizes vendors for making it costly to share patient information … The report … listed a litany of complaints it has received about vendors allegedly charging hefty fees to set up connections and share patient records; requiring customers to use proprietary platforms; and making it prohibitively expensive to switch systems.

Read more…

Priority Health launches health care app to pull up shades on provider cost differentials

[By: Jay Greene, Crain’s Detroit Business]

Priority Health is offering members a way to estimate the cost of their doctor visit or hospital procedure and shop around for a lower cost option.

Read more…

Consumer Needs Driving Price Transparency

[By: Patricia Smith, President and CEO, Alliance of Community Health Plans, The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism]

How could we benefit if it were the norm in health care to offer real-time, understandable, price information? Might consumers’ out-of pocket payments go down? Could the relentless climb in health care prices slow? Could the entire system – cost, health, quality and care experience – improve?

Read more…

[New Mexico] Governor Signs Health Care Price Comparison Bill

[By: , KUNM radio]

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill today that makes it so people seeking health care can find out what different routine procedures cost at hospitals around the state.

Read more…

Value, interoperability are keys to success

[By: Richard Pizzi, Healthcare IT News]

Humana CEO calls on healthcare industry to transform itself. … “Value-based reimbursement and interoperability are the keys to change … Information should be a shared asset, not a proprietary asset.”

Read more…

Looking for quality in health care

[By: DR. STANLEY SCHWARTZ, Tulsa World]

Well, OK, Inc. is a coalition of businesses in northeastern Oklahoma … bringing the nationally recognized Leapfrog Group to [the] region.

Read more…

Mostashari wants ‘day of action’ for widespread patient access to records

[By: , MedCity News]

Patient advocates are planning a “day of action” to generate mass demand for consumer access to medical records in the wake of a plan to roll back the Meaningful Use requirement for engaging patients in their own care. … “Patients are not an advocacy group. They are not a special interest. They’re why we do this,” Mostashari said. … While no date has been set, the general consensus is that the event should take place by mid-June, in time to influence HHS in its Meaningful Use changes.

Read more…

[Texas] Senate Committee approves SB 425 to protect consumers through transparency for freestanding Emergency Rooms

[By: The Orange Leader]

Getting down to business with patient engagement

[By: Mike Miliard, Healthcare IT News]

“Disengaged consumers are more than twice as likely to experience a medical error,” [Jan Oldenburg, senior manager in the advisory services practice of Ernst & Young] said. “Engaged consumers actually cost less. They pick less expensive treatment options, are more thoughtful about what’s really important and tend to have fewer readmissions.”

Read more…

Mayo Clinic and Optum360 Partner to Improve Experience for Patients

[By: Press Release, Market Watch]

Optum360 and Mayo Clinic will collaborate on enhancing and redesigning specific elements of the revenue cycle to increase efficiency while creating a convenient, accurate, transparent and personal experience for patients. … The partnership includes a next-generation patient cost estimator…

Read more…

The Modern Day Health Care Disrupters

[By: Lola Butcher, Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN)]

Loyalty recedes as cost, convenience drive consumer choice. Retailers, insurance exchanges and apps challenge hospitals’ traditional business model.

Read more…

HIMSS Leadership Survey: 11 Key Findings

[By: , HIT Consultant]

The survey of more than 300 participants … examined key trending issues impacting the business of healthcare … Here are 11 key findings from the survey … 72 percent of respondents report that consumer and patient considerations, such as patient engagement, satisfaction and quality of care will have a major impact on their organization’s strategic efforts over the next two years….

Read more…

 

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare Transparency News – Weekly Wrap Up – April 10, 2015

Highlights from this week's Healthcare Transparency News, Studies, and Articles:

New York’s public hospitals must compete to survive, CEO says

[By: Melanie Evans, modernhealthcare.com]

Dr. Ramanathan Raju, CEO of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., said … that the organization’s financial stability will depend on its ability to win over patients. “In this new environment, the marketplace will dictate and decide which hospitals will remain open, which hospitals will struggle and which hospitals will close.”

Read more…

A push for transparency in healthcare pricing

[By: Dan Gorenstein, Marketplace]

…when it comes to health care, an industry we spend $3 trillion dollars a year on, prices often remain a mystery. Some people say that genuine cost transparency would make some of the waste and price variations vanish.

Read more…

New Campaign to Advocate for Healthcare Transparency

[By: PR Newswire]

[Clear Choices Campaign’s] members include consumer advocates, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, employers, and doctor groups … committed to empowering consumers with the information needed to make wise healthcare decisions…

Read more…

Anthem CEO: Insurers must ‘pivot’ to win loyalty

[By: Holly Fletcher, The Tennessean]

“We believe we are moving into a retail world so that our customers … are having to make choices, … and so we have to be responsive,” [Joseph Swedish, CEO of health insurer Anthem] said. “We need to build loyalty on a brand they respect. That is retail behavior, not a traditional environment in a (business-to-business) world.”

Read more…

How did hospital bills get so complicated?

[By: , LA Times]

Billing has evolved continually over the last century, but rising costs and changes in insurance reimbursement during the 1980s — still central themes in today’s healthcare market — take center stage in this story.

Read more…

What’s New in Health Care Cost Transparency?

[By: Chris Duke, Altarum Institute]

Recent Developments in Health Care Cost Transparency

Read more…

Cost of cancer drugs varies widely based on who’s paying

[By: MedicalXpress.com]

Uninsured cancer patients are asked to pay anywhere from two to 43 times what Medicare would pay for chemotherapy drugs, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Read more…

3 major challenges of healthcare price transparency

[By: Ayla Ellison, Beckers Healthcare]

The lack of price transparency in healthcare threatens to erode public trust in our healthcare system, but this erosion can be stopped.

Read more…

Virginia Mason Medical Center embraces price transparency

[By: Anthony Brino, Healthcare Finance]

Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center is now disclosing estimated prices for its 100 most common outpatient surgical procedures, and posting it for the public online. … “Changes in health insurance plans often mean individuals are paying higher out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services,” said Steve Schaefer, Virginia Mason’s vice president of finance. “Understandably, they are looking ever more closely at cost…”

Read more…

What’s So Interesting About Atlantic’s Huge Health Care Give

[By: Kiersten Marek, Inside Philanthropy]

The Atlantic Philanthropies … just made a massive five-year $14.8 million grant to the Boston-based nonprofit, Community Catalyst, with the goal of empowering consumers—especially among vulnerable populations—to transform health care systems in ways that improve care, expand access, and reduce costs.

Read more…

NY law that protects consumers from surprise medical bills takes effect today

[By: James T. Mulder, syracuse.com]

A new state law designed to protect New York consumers from getting hit with surprise medical bills from doctors and other providers … took effect today. … “We have seen thousands of cases where consumers who had done everything right and tried to stay in network still got socked with huge, surprise, out-of-network medical bills,” said Benjamin Lawsky, the state’s superintendent of financial services. … The law treats consumers as if they stayed in-network.

Read more…

Healthgrades names top hospitals for patient experience, patient safety

[By: Henry Powderly, Healthcare Finance]

Read more…

Contact us with your news story at news@newchoicehealth.com

Healthcare 101 — 3 Things You Need to Know about Healthcare Consumerism

Need a Medical Procedure? You Have More Choices Than You Think!

Everyday thousands of patients in the U.S. use NewChoiceHealth.com to shop for a medical procedure. Whether they are insured or uninsured, whether they need a simple MRI or a more complex surgery – they are seeking help to better understand their options and to make an informed decision. Our conversations with these healthcare consumers and experience helping them shop for local providers continues to remind us how much confusion still exists, and that patients are often kept in the dark or misinformed.

To help you with your shopping experience, we boiled down the most common questions and misconceptions into this short introduction on Healthcare Consumerism. Whether you are new to healthcare consumerism, or if you have experience shopping for your healthcare needs – we hope you find NewChoiceHealth.com to be an informative guide to help you better navigate today’s healthcare market. Continue reading

Blue Cross Blue Shield Study Highlighting Healthcare Price Discrepancies

Last week Blue Cross Blue Shield released a very informative report (The Health of America Report) showing how the same procedure can cost significantly more at one facility over another – even within the same market. Healthcare price discrepancies are not news, but it is encouraging that a large insurer like Blue Cross is making this information public. But more on that in a second, let’s take a quick look at the data.

Continue reading

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