Healthcare Economics & Policy

While general support for a universal healthcare system remains at about 50% among the public, the impact to the healthcare industry is being weighed––and providers could see huge payment cuts under certain policies. 

Patients are worried about the rising cost of prescription drugs, and the high rate of cost growth has led lawmakers and the Trump administration to review steps to reduce runaway price growth. However, there are some ways for doctors to help patients avoid sticker shock on their prescriptions––and not many are using these tools, according to a report from NPR.

Five states have voiced they want to testify at an upcoming July hearing in the ongoing court review of the $69 billion CVS Health acquisition of Aetna.

Emergency services are well known for charging high prices, often leaving patients on the hook for sky-high medical bills when those services are billed out of network. In particular, patients with private insurance face far higher charges for air ambulance compared to Medicare rates, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs.

Despite a major push from the Trump administration over the last few years to lower prescription drug costs, more than 3,400 drugs have seen price hikes during the first half of the year, according to a recent report.

Generic prescription drugs may not be the cost-saving alternative once thought under the current design of the Medicare Part D program, which gives away such heavy discounts for out-of-pocket costs for brand-name drugs that seniors are actually shelling out way more for generics, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

Bundled payments are helping lower overall healthcare costs, with joint replacement bundles saving about $1,000 per patient annually, according to a second annual report on the model from the Lewin Group.

Methodist University Hospital, based in Memphis, Tennessee, is a nonprofit hospital operator with its own collections agency that ruthlessly pummels low-income patients over unpaid medical bills by taking them to court, according to a sort by ProPublica.

Sanford Health and UnityPoint Health have agreed to merge to become an $11 billion nonprofit health system, making it among the 15 largest in the nation.

The University of Chicago and Google are facing a class action lawsuit after one former patient at UChicago’s medical center accused the institution of sharing patient records and violating privacy rights.

Specialty drug prices commonly used by older adults in the U.S. have far outpaced the price increases of other goods and services over the last decade, according to AARP, which has been reporting on prescription drug price trends.

Out-of-pocket healthcare costs rose about 12% in 2018, according to a new TransUnion Healthcare analysis.