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]

Cancer-Stricken Student Convinces Aetna CEO To Pay Off His Medical Bills Via Twitter

Cancer-Stricken Student Convinces Aetna CEO To Pay Off His Medical Bills Via Twitter

Talk about the power of social media — one graduate student battling Stage IV colon cancer in Arizona found out his Aetna health insurance plan had exceeded his $300,000 limit.He took to Twitter to express his frustration as his medical bills continued to grow and it turns out someone very influential was listening — the CEO of Aetna, who has subsequently agreed to pay “every last penny” of the man’s medical expenses and agrees that the healthcare system is broken. [More]

Wide Array Of Women's Health Care Costs Must Be Covered By New Insurance Plans As Of Today

Wide Array Of Women's Health Care Costs Must Be Covered By New Insurance Plans As Of Today

A few months ago the Obama administration announced new rules as part of its health care reform plan requiring U.S. insurers to cover a wide swath of preventative health services for women at no extra cost to women, including contraceptives, breast-feeding supplies and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women, prenatal care, routine breast and pelvic examps and pap tests. Starting today, all of those things will be covered in new plans as well as renewed plans. [More]

Report: Supreme Court Ruling Means Affordable Care Act Will Be Cheaper But 3 Million Will Go Uninsured

Report: Supreme Court Ruling Means Affordable Care Act Will Be Cheaper But 3 Million Will Go Uninsured

The Congressional Budget Office has been busy crunching numbers since President Obama’s health-care initiative was upheld by last month’s Supreme Court ruling, and it seems there’s a little bit of both good and bad news as a result. The bulk of the Affordable Care Act was upheld in the ruling and it turns out it’ll be cheaper to execute than previously thought, but the decision also means it will leave millions of people without insurance. [More]

Shortages Force Paramedics To Use Expired Drugs

Shortages Force Paramedics To Use Expired Drugs

Many of us have probably popped a pill or two that we knew had passed its expiration date. But when you get medical care from professionals, there is usually the expectation that you’re getting the freshest stuff available. But a conspiracy of conditions has led to some emergency responders stocking their ambulances with out-of-date drugs. [More]

Will States Eventually Opt In To Medicaid Expansion?

Will States Eventually Opt In To Medicaid Expansion?

With several states’ governors already saying they will opt out of the Medicaid expansion intended to bring health care to millions of currently uninsured Americans, some are calling it the death knell for this portion of the Affordable Care Act. But others say that the federal subsidies will be too tempting, and that it’s just a matter of time until these states decide to take part in the program. [More]

Texas Governor Says No To Medicaid Expansion

Texas Governor Says No To Medicaid Expansion

Last week, while states like Florida and South Carolina were stating their intentions to opt out of the portion of the Affordable Care Act that expands Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans, Texas — where approximately 2 million currently uninsured residents would have been eligible for coverage. remained oddly quiet on the matter. That is, until Governor Rick Perry declared his intention this morning. [More]

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act’s Individual Insurance Requirement

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act’s Individual Insurance Requirement

In today’s big news, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the individual insurance requirement that was the key part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, by a vote of 5-4. The court rejected arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to either have health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine. [More]

Health Care Is Getting So Expensive, Young Adults Would Rather Just Skip It

Health Care Is Getting So Expensive, Young Adults Would Rather Just Skip It

Who needs silly things like prescriptions and MRIs when health care costs so much? Not the millions of young adults who are skipping necessary care and treatment because of the rising cost of getting medical attention, says a new report. [More]

Retired Couples Need $240,000 Just To Cover Health Care Costs

Retired Couples Need $240,000 Just To Cover Health Care Costs

If you and your loved one are looking down the road toward living out your golden years together, be prepared to have a pile of cash stashed away to cover your medical bills. [More]

People In 49 States Saw Significant Decline In Health Care Access During Last Decade

People In 49 States Saw Significant Decline In Health Care Access During Last Decade

During the previous decade, millions of Americans, regardless of whether they have insurance or not, found it increasingly more difficult to find — or afford — seeing the doctor or dentist, according to a new study from the folks at the Urban Institute. [More]

Health Care Fraud Prosecutions Up 78% Since Launch Of Affordable Care Act

Health Care Fraud Prosecutions Up 78% Since Launch Of Affordable Care Act

It’s been more than two years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, and while the Supreme Court mulls over the reform’s future, a look back over the last couple years shows a sharp increase in health care-related criminal fraud charges. [More]

Bioethicist: If We're Going To Tax Obese People More, We Should Tax Cat Owners Too

Bioethicist: If We're Going To Tax Obese People More, We Should Tax Cat Owners Too

A growing number of people believe that obese Americans should pay more in taxes than healthy folks since being overweight can put you at a higher risk for health problems. It’s similar to the logic used to justify additional taxes on cigarettes. But bioethicist Art Caplan asks: Why not tax cat owners more while we’re at it? [More]

Doctors Skip The Whole Insurance Thing By Charging Monthly Retainers

Doctors Skip The Whole Insurance Thing By Charging Monthly Retainers

What if, instead of paying hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars each month for health insurance that you may not even be taking advantage of, you paid a retainer of somewhere between $39 to $79 a month to your primary care physician? Some doctors say this kind of service can work out to the benefit of both caregiver and patient. [More]

Study: Only 14% Of Medical Errors Reported By Hospitals

Study: Only 14% Of Medical Errors Reported By Hospitals

In order for a hospital to participate in the Medicare program, it must develop and maintain a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program to “track medical errors and adverse patient events, analyze their causes, and implement preventive actions and mechanisms that include feedback and learning throughout the hospital.” However, a new study by the Dept. of Health & Human Services found that only a small portion of patient errors are being reported — and that hospitals don’t seem to give a damn about fixing things. [More]

Bank Of America Decides To Let Foreclosed-Upon Family Stay In House Until Wife Dies

Bank Of America Decides To Let Foreclosed-Upon Family Stay In House Until Wife Dies

At the intersection where Foreclosure Ave. crosses Health Care Blvd. lives a California couple who had to choose between mortgage and the health insurance needed to cover the wife’s late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Until recently, it looked like they would be forced to vacate the house they’d bought 15 years ago, but Bank of America has decided to delay the eviction until after the wife’s death. [More]

More Americans Getting Their Medical Care At Retail Locations

More Americans Getting Their Medical Care At Retail Locations

A growing number of supermarkets, drugstores and other retailers are opening in-store clinics offering everything from flu shots to dental, vision and general medical care. And the people aren’t shying away from using these services. [More]