Senate Investigating Drug Companies Behind Huge Overnight Price Hikes

Senate Investigating Drug Companies Behind Huge Overnight Price Hikes

A handful of pharmaceutical investors have been snapping up the rights to previously affordable prescription drugs, only to immediately raise prices to the point where patients now pay hundreds of dollars for a single pill — resulting in huge additional costs for consumers, insurers, and healthcare providers. Not only has this practice drawn the ire of the medical community, it’s also resulted in a Senate committee investigation. [More]

No, this isn't a prank. A child's healthcare clinic in North Carolina now carries the "Krispy Kreme Challenge" name.

Now You Can Take Your Kids To The “Krispy Kreme Challenge” Clinic

While hospital naming rights have long been up for grabs to big donors, it’s not every day that a healthcare facility is branded with the name of a product that most people associate with being unhealthy. There’s no “Black Tar Heroin Elder Care Facility” or “Stick Your Finger In The Light Socket Cancer Center,” but there is now a Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty Clinic. [More]


Hospital Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Copay And Deductible, Sticks Patient With $3,900 Bill

When a California man checked with the hospital about the copay for his daughter’s treatment, the hospital told him it would $500. Except what they meant to tell him was that his insurance deductible would be $500, but that he’d be stuck with a bill for nearly $4,000. [More]

Daraprim, whose price increased from $13.50/pill to more than $750/pill after being acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals, is just one of the drugs being investigated by the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

Doctors Not Happy After Drug Goes From $13.50/Tablet To $750 Overnight

Gripe as we might, consumers understand that price increases do happen. What’s not as easily understood is how the price for something can go from $13.50 one day to $750 the next — especially when it’s a generic drug used to save lives. [More]


Patients At NYC Hospitals Will No Longer Become Accidental Reality TV Stars

We don’t know about you, but the last thing we want when we go to the hospital is for anyone — not even our loved ones — to shoot video of us. We certainly wouldn’t want to find out that we’re being filmed without our permission by a crew for some cruddy reality TV show. And after one such show actually broadcast the secretly recorded death of a patient in a New York City hospital, it looks like patients in NYC may not have to worry about being caught on camera at your worst. [More]

An example of the new statistics users can find for health facilities on Yelp. [via Yelp]

Yelp Adds Hospital Wait Times, Nursing Home Fine Info To Reviews

When a trip to the emergency room is in order, you’re usually in a hurry, because, after all, it’s an emergency. Sitting around waiting to be seen by a doctor can be an agonizing experience for those in need of quick help. While Yelp can’t hurry along those doctors, it can apparently tell you just how long you might expect to be camped out in the hospital E.R. [More]


New Rules Change The Way Non-Profit Hospitals Handle Low-Income Patients’ Debts

While some hospitals work to assist patients in paying their unexpected and often expensive medical bills, other institutions have been known to employ aggressive tactics that harshly penalize patients who are unable to pay their medical debts. However, the adoption of new federal rules aims to change the way in which non-profit hospitals handle consumers and their debts. [More]

Patient Faces Bankruptcy After Ambulance Takes Her To Out-Of-Network Hospital

Patient Faces Bankruptcy After Ambulance Takes Her To Out-Of-Network Hospital

Most of us know that it could cost us everything we own if we go to a hospital that isn’t covered by our insurance plan. But what if you’re unconscious and have no say in the matter? That’s the case for a Wisconsin woman who owes $50,000 to a hospital that claims she should just pay up and be happy she’s still alive. [More]

Hospital Teams With Bank To Offer Interest-Free Loans So Patients Can Pay Their Bills

Hospital Teams With Bank To Offer Interest-Free Loans So Patients Can Pay Their Bills

Health care, especially of the emergency kind, has been known to leave consumers with hefty bills and few options expect to go into debt. But now some health systems are finding ways to give their patients relief when it comes to credit-destroying medical bills. [More]


Hackers Steal Info For 4.5 Million Hospital Patients

The new week begins much like the previous week ended — with news of another massive data breach. The latest hack victims are the millions of patients of Community Health Systems, which operates more than 200 hospitals in 29 states. [More]


Police Arrest Man Who Left Hospital Untreated Because You Can’t Wander Around With Tuberculosis

While you might think that your health is your own gosh darn business — and it is, to some extent — when you’re wandering out there in the world with an infectious and potentially fatal disease, your health is everyone’s business. So when one man refused treatment and left the hospital, he ended up with police on his trail. [More]

Hospitals Now Use Consumers’ Personal Habits To Predict Health Issues

Hospitals Now Use Consumers’ Personal Habits To Predict Health Issues

By now we know that every purchase a consumer makes is added to a list detailing one’s spending and life-style habit, which is used to target people for marketing campaigns and other services. But how would you feel if that information was used by your doctors to keep tabs on your health? [More]

Hospital Chain Inflated Bills, Pressured Doctors Into Generating Admissions, Lawsuits Claim

Hospital Chain Inflated Bills, Pressured Doctors Into Generating Admissions, Lawsuits Claim

There are many accusations of money-grubbing in the health care industry. Most of them are subtle: a preferred medication here, a handshake behind closed doors there. But actually hanging a chart on the wall and proudly color-coding your ER doctors like car salesmen based on how high their admission rates are? That’s about as in-your-face as the pursuit of profit gets. [More]


Report: Nation’s Top Hospitals Not Pushing Baby Formula On New Moms

From diapers to formula to clothing and other infant-care items, newborns are a huge source of revenue to numerous industries. That’s why some of these businesses put together new-mom goodie bags to be handed out at maternity wards, hoping to create loyal customers from the start. Some people are concerned that the practice of including free formula in these bags makes it too easy for a new mom to avoid nursing her child. And according to a new survey, many of the nation’s best hospitals are saying no to the goodie bags. [More]


If Hospital Names Its ER After Abercrombie & Fitch, Will Patient Gowns Come In XL Sizes?

Ohio State University is reportedly gearing up to name its new emergency department after Abercrombie & Fitch, as a nod to the $10 million the Ohio-based company donated to the medical center in recent years. We can’t help but imagine half-clothed doctors with rippling muscles, and artfully ripped denim hospital gowns with a surfeit of cargo pockets (the better to carry your IV bag in?) — but not in XL or XXL sizes for women, natch. [More]

(santa barbarian)

Bad News: Your Medical Records Are Probably For Sale

Electronic medical records are kind of cool: they help your doctors beam your prescription records back and forth from pharmacies and are supposed to save everyone money and time. What you may not realize, though, is that digital records are easy to share, and what’s easy to share is easy to sell. Somewhere, your most private medical data is probably for sale. [More]


Hospital Bills Patient 21 Months After Treatment, And Long After Original Bill Was Paid

When you pay off your portion of a hospital bill, you might assume that you’ve fulfilled your financial obligation to the healthcare provider. That is, until nearly two years later when the hospital sends you a new invoice without any further explanation. [More]


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]