Latest California Healthline Stories
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.
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to reveal their prices. If patients and politicians pay attention, this could be a game changer for health care.
A new federal rule requires hospitals to post their prices online. These lists reveal the wildly different charges for basic procedures and services, but consumers will have a hard time putting this information to use.
As of Jan. 1, hospitals must post price lists — known as chargemasters — online. These massive compendiums include the costs set by each hospital for every service or drug a patient might encounter.
Drug pricing is a top issue in the run-up to the midterm elections.
The Maryland Health Care Commission has created a consumer education campaign that puts the costs of common health care procedures on a place where people might see them – T-shirts.
“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.
Not only are health prices hidden, industry players are contractually obligated to keep them secret. That’s why answering a simple question — how much does it cost to have a baby in Mountain View, Calif.? — became a journalistic quest.