It’s messy: Digital health platforms must be high tech and high touch to win

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It’s messy: Digital health platforms must be high tech and high touch to win

June 10, 2014 6:43 am by | 2 Comments

Get the MedCity Startup Index for May. Apps are out, platforms are in. Investors and entrepreneurs have figured out that not only does it sound better to call your product…


Study: EHRs haven’t changed medical billing for inpatient care. But what about outpatient?

Study: EHRs haven’t changed medical billing for inpatient care. But what about outpatient?

July 9, 2014 11:45 am by | 0 Comments

A new study says there’s no need to worry about hospitals using their new electronic medical records to generate bigger bills and boost their income. It’s been a concern since…


Advocates accuse insurers of discriminating with high cost-sharing for chronic disease drugs

Advocates accuse insurers of discriminating with high cost-sharing for chronic disease drugs

July 8, 2014 4:59 pm by | 0 Comments

Four Florida insurers allegedly discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS by structuring their prescription drug benefits so that patients are discouraged from enrolling, according to a recent complaint filed with federal officials. The complaint,…



Utah hospital’s ‘perfect care’ standards trim $2.5 million in fat from budget

Utah hospital’s ‘perfect care’ standards trim $2.5 million in fat from budget

June 30, 2014 9:13 am by | 0 Comments

SALT LAKE CITY – When a car rolls off an assembly line, the automaker knows exactly what parts, labor and facilities cost.  Not so in health care, and now some…


Insurers: We’ll pay for gene sequencing — when there’s proof it improves patient care

Insurers: We’ll pay for gene sequencing — when there’s proof it improves patient care

June 19, 2014 12:18 pm by | 0 Comments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Aimee Robeson just wants an answer. Her son, Christian, was born in 2010 with multiple, mysterious syndromes that leave him unable to speak, chew, or walk on…


Medicare patients learning the costly way that being ‘observed’ and ‘admitted’ aren’t the same

Medicare patients learning the costly way that being ‘observed’ and ‘admitted’ aren’t the same

June 11, 2014 4:21 pm by | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People on Medicare who spend one or two nights in the hospital are finding out, and often too late, that they weren’t really “admitted” to…


New estimate pegs the lifetime cost of autism at $2.4 million per person

New estimate pegs the lifetime cost of autism at $2.4 million per person

June 9, 2014 5:50 pm by | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The cost of supporting people with autism spectrum disorders throughout their lives could be as high as $2.4 million per person, according to a new…


America has healthcare all figured out – except for the delivery system

America has healthcare all figured out – except for the delivery system

June 4, 2014 10:46 am by | 1 Comments

You the patient are really not the customer of the physician. Since the insurer will determine whether and how much the physician will be paid for attending to your needs,…



FDA cancer chief: Insurers, patients, doctors, lawmakers must work together to cut drug costs

FDA cancer chief: Insurers, patients, doctors, lawmakers must work together to cut drug costs

June 1, 2014 2:12 am by | 0 Comments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – By law, Dr. Richard Pazdur, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s cancer drug czar, is not allowed to consider the cost of treatments his agency reviews, only whether they are safe and effective.
But Pazdur is not blind to escala…


Oncology society: Doctors need to consider benefits, side effects and price equally

Oncology society: Doctors need to consider benefits, side effects and price equally

May 31, 2014 1:36 am by | 0 Comments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Cancer doctors should consider the financial as well as the medical impact of treatment for patients as healthcare costs continue to grow faster than the overall economy,…


Massachusetts program’s tip for healthcare cost savings: Stop cutting school nurses

Massachusetts program’s tip for healthcare cost savings: Stop cutting school nurses

May 20, 2014 7:33 am by | 3 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A Massachusetts program that put full-time registered nurses in schools more than paid for itself by averting medical costs and lost work for parents and…


Pain and medical bills may cause bombing survivor to go for amputation after all

Pain and medical bills may cause bombing survivor to go for amputation after all

April 30, 2014 5:30 am by | 0 Comments

The story of a woman who survived the Boston Marathon bombing is a sad but perfect illustration of the tension that often comes up in a patient-doctor relationship. The tendency…


Four old meds leading the price spike among generics: doxycycline, albuterol, clomipramine, and captopril

Four old meds leading the price spike among generics: doxycycline, albuterol, clomipramine, and captopril

April 21, 2014 4:00 am by | 0 Comments

Pharmacist Larry Cowan can flip through his records and spot the generic drugs that have taken big price jumps in the past year or so.
There’s digoxin, a heart medicine that he used to buy for pennies a pill.
“Now the price is close to 10 times that,” …


Washington state hoping that Medicaid expansion will cover more inmate health costs

Washington state hoping that Medicaid expansion will cover more inmate health costs

April 13, 2014 9:19 am by | 0 Comments

The state’s prison system anticipates saving more than $1 million this year on inmates’ medical bills because of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Now, state lawmakers want to see if Washington’s home for violent sex offenders can find similar ways to b…


Payers, providers, patients – even politicians – attacking Gilead over $1,000/day hepatitis C pill

Payers, providers, patients – even politicians – attacking Gilead over $1,000/day hepatitis C pill

April 13, 2014 8:19 am by | 3 Comments

The nation may have finally met a drug it cannot afford.
Sovaldi is a long-awaited breakthrough for the 3 million Americans suffering from the hepatitis C virus. And at $1,000 a daily pill, or $84,000 over 12 weeks of treatment, the medication could ge…


More Texas doctors drop insurance and move to cash only

More Texas doctors drop insurance and move to cash only

April 12, 2014 4:26 pm by | 0 Comments

LAREDO — For 12 hours a day, the waiting room at Dr. Gustavo Villarreal’s family practice is often packed with patients, people who will pay a flat $50 fee for…