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]

Consumers Union: Public Needs Full Access To Database Of Problem Doctors

Consumers Union: Public Needs Full Access To Database Of Problem Doctors

In September, the Department of Health and Human Services removed the Public Use Data File of the online National Practitioners Data Bank after receiving a complaint from a doctor whose history of malpractice claims was published in a newspaper article. Public access was recently restored, but with a whole host of limitations that our cohorts at Consumers Union think need to be removed. [More]

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Health Care Reform Case

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Health Care Reform Case

We all knew this was going to happen; it was just a matter of when. Today, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the appeals in the case to strike down — at least in part — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. [More]

Poll: 28% Of Americans Who Take Prescription Meds Resort To Risky Behavior To Save Money

Poll: 28% Of Americans Who Take Prescription Meds Resort To Risky Behavior To Save Money

With the economy and job market still stuck in “blargh,” more people are making potentially dangerous decisions about their health care, all in the name of stretching their dollar just a little bit farther. [More]

Target Won't Take Sealed, Unused Blood Glucose Meter Back

Target Won't Take Sealed, Unused Blood Glucose Meter Back

There are two important lessons that we can take away from M’s e-mail about trying to return an unopened, unused blood glucose meter to Target. First: never, ever, ever purchase a gift for someone at Target without also giving them the receipt. Consider laminating it, then stapling it to the recipient’s forehead. Second: when you receive a marketing call, think critically about who could have sold your name, or whether the entire call might be a scam. [More]

Proposed New Health Insurance Forms Seek To Make Sense Of It All

Proposed New Health Insurance Forms Seek To Make Sense Of It All

Much about the health insurance business is deliberately byzantine, intended to discourage customers from understanding all the fine details of their policies. But today the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new way of labeling insurance policies that would spell out the costs and benefits of health plans in easy-to-understand language. [More]

Appeals Court Rules Mandatory Health Care Coverage
Unconstitutional

Appeals Court Rules Mandatory Health Care Coverage Unconstitutional

The legal battle over health care reform continued this morning after an appeals court in Atlanta ruled that the portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring Americans to have some sort of health insurance is unconstitutional. [More]

Make Sure The Nursing Home Isn't Dosing Grandma Into Submission

Make Sure The Nursing Home Isn't Dosing Grandma Into Submission

A pill is just so much easier. Drug ‘em up and shut ‘em up. Rather than deal with all the individual needs of elderly persons with dementia in their care, some nursing homes are dosing them with powerful antipsychotics. Not only have the folk not received a diagnosis that the medicine was designed to treat, not only does the drug turn them into zombies their families don’t recognize, but the FDA has warned that using antipsychotics on older patients with dementia nearly doubles their risk of death. [More]

Birth Control To Be Covered By Health Insurance Without Copay

Birth Control To Be Covered By Health Insurance Without Copay

Late last month, an Institute of Medicine panel issued recommendations to the White House that birth control, along with a variety of women’s health services, should be covered under the Affordable Care Act. Earlier today, the Dept. of Health and Human Services made its final decision on the matter public. [More]

Health Care Reform Survives First Appeals Court Battle

Health Care Reform Survives First Appeals Court Battle

One down… at least two more to go. Yesterday, a U.S. Court of Appeals panel in Cincinnati gave round one of the fight over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the White House, upholding a lower court ruling that a stipulation in the law that requires Americans to purchase health insurance does not violate the Constitution. [More]