- Sen Ron Wyden: Health insurers are running so-called ghost networks, in which providers are listed in networks but don’t actually offer care. Why is he surprised?
- New CMS rule would make it easier for ineligible people to continue receiving benefits and reduce safeguards to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Nonprofit hospital chain sucks out profits, while leaving a poor, minority community without essential services.
- Study: More than 80% of people sampled in Greece report witnessing informal (off the books) payments for health care and the number is also high elsewhere in Europe. (Health Affairs, gated) Unfortunately the authors call rationing by price “corruption,” whereas rationing by waiting is apparently a civic duty.
More than half of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals operate as not-for-profit entities. In theory non-profit hospitals get an exemption from income tax, property tax, sales tax and get preferential financing because they provide a public service to the communities in which they operate. I worked for a large non-profit hospital system years ago and a financial analyst did the math and estimated our tax exclusion was worth something like $100 million a year. In return for the huge tax advantage all the hospital had to do was provide between 4% and 5% of net revenue in charity care for low-income patients.
This is priceless:
Thanks to 340B, Richmond Community Hospital can buy a vial of Keytruda, a cancer drug, at the discounted price of $3,444… But the hospital charges the private insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield more than seven times that price — $25,425, according to a price list that hospitals are required to publish. That is nearly $22,000 profit on a single vial.
- How are state universities just like hospitals? Unflattering.
- More empirical evidence of their similarity. Also unflattering. (NYT, gated)
- Fraudsters may have stolen $45.6 billion from the nation’s unemployment insurance program during the pandemic.
- The official child poverty rate is 15.3%; but if you count all the transfers programs, the actual poverty rate is about 2%. (WSJ, gated)
- Sitting all day can erase the benefits of a workout.