(voteprime)

Silly Me, Expecting My Mail-Order Pharmacy To Pay Attention To My Meds

Don’t expect your mail-order pharmacy to look out for you or for your health. That’s what reader Kathleen learned when her auto-refill prescription got auto-refilled, in spite of her new and exciting prescription for the same medication in a higher dose. Isn’t the point to having everything run by benevolent computers that they’re smarter than we are, and don’t make silly human errors? [More]

(yoshiffles)

Paging 1994: Report Says Hospitals Are Leaking Billions Of Dollars By Still Using Beepers

There are no doubt millions of children in the United States right now who would greet a pager with a blank stare, having never witnessed one in action. And yet the country’s hospitals still rely on beepers and other outdated technology for communication between staff members. But being stuck in 1994 isn’t a cheap endeavor, according to a new report — it’s actually costing hospitals billions of dollars a year. So why do they still use them? [More]

The man in the foreground did not try to con a Minnesota hospital.

Posing As Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour To Scam Hospital For $100K In Treatment Is Not A Good Idea

Pretending to be a legend of rock in order to rack up a six-figure hospital bill may sound reasonable — to a crazy person — but it’s likely just going to end up with you in a whole mess of trouble. [More]

(blue_j)

Last Year 80 Million Working-Age Adults Skipped Medical Care Because They Couldn’t Afford It

Can’t afford to seek medical care, even if your’e insured? You’re not alone — a new report says around 80 million people, or 43% of  working-age adults skipped out on getting the treatment they needed last year because they simply couldn’t pay for it. Included in those ranks are the insured as well as the uninsured, a sign that health costs are rising for everyone. [More]

(Jeffrey Beall)

More Readers Crunch The Numbers, Figure Out Pet Health Insurance Doesn’t Work Out So Well

Last week, we shared an account by reader Howard about his dog’s illness and the results of his decision to get a VPI pet health insurance policy. While health insurance is just that–insurance, not an investment vehicle–Howard and other readers have crunched the numbers and found that the policies are a worse deal than just sticking the money in the bank. [More]

(RedandJonny)

10 Things We Learned From Time’s Analysis Of Why We Pay So Darn Much For Healthcare

If you have some time this weekend, sit down and read the fantastic cover story in this week’s Time magazine, “Bitter Pill.” In it, Steven Brill lays out over 36 print pages (11, when laid out for the web) a core question that no one really ever asks in the course of the debate over health care in this country: why are our bills so high? More importantly, why are our bills so high when only un- or underinsured middle-class people seem to pay the sticker price for their medical care? [More]

(blue_j)

Senators Take Another Stab At Eliminating Paid Medical Debt From Credit Reports

This happens all too frequently: Someone with good credit suddenly incurs a large number of medical bills. Sometimes it’s too much money for the person to pay off in time, sometimes one bill will get overlooked and the debt is sent to collections. That person’s credit will now carry that stain for up to seven years. [More]

ProPublica's Dollars For Docs tool already lets you sort through available data from some companies.

Govt. To Publish Data On What Drug & Device Makers Pay To Individual Doctors & Hospitals

Want to know if your doctor is receiving free lunches and other perks from Pfizer, GSK or some other huge player in the pharmaceuticals or medical device business? Starting in Sept. 2014, that information will be made available to consumers courtesy of the federal government. [More]

(Consumerist)

More Than 50 San Francisco Restaurants Accused Of Scamming Customers & Employees By Pocketing Health Care Surcharge

For more than four years, dozens of restaurants in San Francisco have been tacking on surcharges to diners’ bills, claiming that the money was to go toward health care costs. But it turns out that millions of those dollars were just going into restaurant owners’ pockets. [More]

(lungstruck)

Can The Auto Insurance Model Work For Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance?

With most people with employer-sponsored insurance plans, an employee who never visits the doctor pays the same premium as her co-worker who is a regular in his doctor’s waiting room. But what about plans that either reward an employee’s healthy behavior or penalize those with risky lifestyles? [More]

(jking89)

Denny’s Franchisee To Add 5% “Obamacare Surcharge”

The owner of dozens of Denny’s restaurants and the Hurricane Grill chain says he plans on adding a 5% “Obamacare Surcharge” to his menus in 2014 when a number of facets of the Affordable Care Act will kick in. [More]

Maybe A Garbage Truck Garage Is Not The Best Place To Set Up A Wellness Clinic

Maybe A Garbage Truck Garage Is Not The Best Place To Set Up A Wellness Clinic

With more than 200 sq. miles in area, the city of Chicago should have plenty of space to set up a temporary clinic for city employees’ wellness screenings. And yet some city workers had their blood drawn at a clinic set up inside the same garage where garbage trucks rest between trash pickups. [More]

More Uninsured Americans Not Filling Prescriptions, Delaying Doctor's Visits, Skipping Medical Procedures

More Uninsured Americans Not Filling Prescriptions, Delaying Doctor's Visits, Skipping Medical Procedures

While the U.S. economy is arguably inching toward improvement, costs for health insurance continue to climb. Combined with still-high unemployment and a growing number of employers requiring employees to pay a larger share of their insurance premiums, and there are a lot of uninsured and under-insured Americans out there. And according to the Consumer Reports annual prescription drug poll, a growing number of these people are going without needed care or medication. [More]

When Hospital Systems Acquire Private Practices, We All Pay More For Health Care

When Hospital Systems Acquire Private Practices, We All Pay More For Health Care

A growing number of private health care practices are being purchased by hospitals. And even if that practice remains changed in all other ways, you can expect that the costs for procedures and visits will increase dramatically. [More]

Which Strange Home Remedies Do You Swear By?

Which Strange Home Remedies Do You Swear By?

I spent the better part of a day last week attempting to keep chicken soup and ginger ale down as my system fought off some mysterious one-day bug. I’d thought about mentioning my illness to my friends on Facebook (I don’t have kids, so what else am I going to post about?) but didn’t want to be inundated with hundreds of tips on sure-fire home-brewed remedies. [More]

Will Affordable Care Act Lead To More Or Less People With Employer-Sponsored Insurance? (Hint: No One Knows)

Will Affordable Care Act Lead To More Or Less People With Employer-Sponsored Insurance? (Hint: No One Knows)

With the clock ticking down to 2014, when many of the controversial portions of the Affordable Care Act start kicking in, the folks at the Government Accountability Office thought they would look into whether or not certain provisions in the law would cause some employers to stop offering health insurance to employees, or cause them to add benefits, or lead consumers to look for cheaper options elsewhere. After sifting through available studies, the GAO came to a conclusion that we’ll probably just have to wait and see. [More]

Photographic Evidence That Hospitals Should Maybe Rethink How They Bill Patients

Photographic Evidence That Hospitals Should Maybe Rethink How They Bill Patients

Twice a week for the past three months, Consumerist reader P. has been going to her hospital’s gym for brief, doctor-ordered cardio workouts. Her insurance isn’t footing the bill and each session is only $9.00, so she’s been assuming that the hospital was wisely waiting until her tab reached an amount worth billing before it sent an invoice. Not exactly… [More]

What's To Come Of All The Space Left Over By Shrinking Big Box Stores?

What's To Come Of All The Space Left Over By Shrinking Big Box Stores?

In recent years, a number of big box retailers and department store chains have begun the process of closing stores and cutting the size of some existing outlets. But since there isn’t exactly a huge rush by other retailers to snap up those spaces, are we going to inundated with empty ghost stores that stand as a reminder of the big box boom? [More]