Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

Price Of A Common Surgery Varies From $39,000 To $237,000 In L.A.

by Chad Terhune and Sandra Poindexter, Los Angeles Times

surgical team seen from perspective of a patient on a gurney

The average charge nationwide for a major joint replacement operation was $54,239, according to federal figures. Joint replacement surgeries are Medicare’s most common inpatient procedure, costing the federal government more than $6.6 billion in 2013. Overall, the latest data show what hospitals charged and what Medicare paid for 100 of the most common inpatient stays and the 30 most common outpatient procedures. The inpatient data cover more than $62 billion of Medicare money. Read More ›

New Rules To Limit Tactics On Hospitals’ Fee Collections

by Robert Pear, The New York Times

Pregnant woman worrying over bills

“With these rules, it should be easier for low- and moderate-income people to get care without having to worry about a hospital or a bill collector hounding them for money they don’t have,” said Jessica L. Curtis, a lawyer at Community Catalyst, a national consumer group based in Boston. … The rules generally require nonprofit hospitals to give consumers at least 120 days before taking “extraordinary collection actions,” which include reporting debts to credit bureaus and using debt collection agencies. Read More ›

The Big Business Of Selling Prescription-Drug Records

by Jordan Robertson and Shannon Pettypiece, Businessweek

pharmacy workers online

Now that data mining has enabled pharmacy companies to adopt the practice, some critics say technological advances are undoing protections provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal medical privacy law. … Matchbacks have solved one of Big Pharma’s biggest marketing headaches: the layers of physicians, pharmacists, and insurers that stood between drugmakers and patients in the past. “This is the holy grail for every pharmaceutical company, to know that there’s a way to look back to actual script information,” says targeted-ad pioneer Helene Monat. Read More ›

What We’re Learning About Drug Company Payments to Doctors

by Charles Ornstein, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Eric Sagara (ProPublica), The New York Times

Stethoscope on money

The federal government Tuesday is to release details of payments to doctors by every pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer in the country, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including payments to doctors, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists for things like promotional speaking, consulting, meals, educational items and research. ProPublica has been detailing relationships between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry for four years as part of our Dollars for Docs project, and today, in cooperation with the website Pharmashine, we’ve added data for 2013. (You can look up your doctor using our easy search tool.) Read More ›

Bracing for New Challenges in Year 2 of Health Care Law

by Reed Abelson, The New York Times

In California, the state exchange is trying to get a step ahead by allowing people to begin renewing their plans Oct. 1. But anyone who wants to switch plans will still have to wait until Nov. 15, and many individuals may well want to shop around. In the Sacramento area, someone who selected an HMO plan from Anthem for 2014 faces a possible increase of nearly 17 percent, compared with a 2 percent increase for an HMO plan from Kaiser Permanente in the same area. Read More ›