Latest California Healthline Stories
Most hospitals appear to be complying with the federal rule to post their prices online. Yet there is little follow-up by the government or industry and debate continues about whether the price lists are creating more confusion than clarity among consumers.
Health was a featured player in President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address. The president set goals to bring down prescription drug prices, end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. and cure childhood cancer, among other things. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Alice Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and, for “extra credit,” provide their favorite health policy stories of the week. Rovner also interviews KHN senior correspondent Phil Galewitz about the current “Bill of the Month” feature.
“I don’t feel any consumer should have to go through this,” says Drew Calver, who faced a life-changing surprise bill from an Austin hospital after a heart attack last year. After attention as a “Bill of the Month” patient, he paid the hospital $332. But he worries about other patients with surprise bills.
How a prescription wiped out one woman’s health reimbursement account, raising questions about prescription drug price tags and about how health care professionals deal (or don’t) with medical costs.
The proposal, which is headed to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, would impose new reporting requirements on drugmakers and health plans but wouldn’t have the power to bring down prices directly.
Such efforts have previously failed in the face of opposition from the drug industry, which questions their effectiveness and contends prices reflect research and development costs.
Rand Corp. finds that telehealth encourages patients to seek care for minor illnesses they wouldn’t bother to make an office visit for, raising overall health costs.
A new study shows that 83 percent of the largest patient advocacy groups take contributions from drug, medical device or biotech firms.
Drug prices rise for a variety of reasons but opportunities for the government to control them is limited.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco estimate that hospitals could lose nearly $1,000 per surgery by throwing away opened but unused supplies, such as gloves and sponges.