- An argument for mask wearing, even after the Cochrane Review meta-analysis.
- An early (and completely uncritical) history of medical licensing. To be paired with Regulation of Medical Care by moi — for balance.
- Why Daylight Savings Time matters: “The body releases sleep-time and wake-time hormones at a particular time.” Studies have shown that deadly car accidents, workplace injuries, and heart attacks increase following the springtime change.
- Should a face-to-face meeting be required before doctors prescribe a controlled substance for a patient?
- California to end Walgreens contract over abortion pills policy.
- What the Biden plan to “save” Medicare doesn’t do: repeal the Democrats’ IRA bill that takes $246 billion out of Medicare. (CBO p. 72)
Category: Doctors & Hospitals
- Does lead in the air affect learning in school?
- Stephen Pinker: The development of artificial general intelligence is incoherent and not achievable.
- Increased access to physicians results in better health – at least in Nigeria.
- If the estimates from Statista Consumer Marketing Research are accurate, from 2020 to 2022 the world bought 928 billion masks at a cost of $389 billion — most of them made of plastic. I wonder how much of the plastic ended up in the ocean?
- Oops. The Inflation Reduction Act will increase taxes on millions of Americans earning less than $400,000, despite the president’s repeated promises not to do that. And that’s only for starters.
Hospitals Ignoring Price Transparency Rule; CMS Ignoring Hospitals’ Noncompliance
Prices in health care are often difficult to obtain and meaningless when you obtain them. There is not one price but dozens of prices depending on who the payer is. There are different prices for Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealth. There is the pricemaster (list) price that almost nobody pays. The chargemaster price is often the official cash price if you lack insurance coverage and don’t inquire prior to care. Then there is the cash price if you negotiate in advance of care, which is often lower than the list price. If you were to inquire about the price, assuming you were told a price at all, you would likely be given the pricemaster charge for a specific billing code without information about which billing codes belong together. You see, a knee surgery isn’t one code, it’s numerous codes so hospitals can bill for numerous services.
How to Create Transparent Pricing
James Capretta and David Bernstein (AEI) recommend these changes for CMS:
- Require transparent, “all in” prices for standardized services required to fully complete a clinical intervention.
- Require all providers to participate in this bundled pricing system.
- The prices posted for these services should be “walk up” prices available to all patients, irrespective of their insurance status.
- Require insurers to make available to their enrollees the dollar value of their median out-of-network rates, so that patients could then apply those payments from their insurers to any provider of their choosing.
- An additional option would be to allow patients to place the dollars saved by selecting lower-priced providers into tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs) for future use.