As more Americans move into health insurance plans that require them to foot a larger portion of the bill for their care, hospitals are taking steps to ensure consumers live up to their end of the bargain. Many health systems and physician groups are adopting new strategies to ensure they'll collect for providing health services, including asking patients for payment before treatment and hiring contractors to enroll patients in payment plans.
Obamacare Deductibles 26% Higher Make Cheap Rates a Risk
Americans seeking cheap insurance on the Obamacare health exchanges may be in for sticker shock if they get sick next year, as consumers trade lower premiums for out-of-pocket costs that can top $6,000 a person. While that has allowed President Barack Obama to tout the affordability of plans, it poses a choice: Do consumers gamble they won’t face a major medical bill, or boost monthly premiums just in case?
How Much is that X-Ray? Still Hard to Say, Even in Massachusetts
Finding out how much an X-ray costs sounds like a simple question. But it is actually very difficult to get an answer. In Massachusetts, a new state law requires insurers to be able to tell members how much a test, treatment or surgery will cost. But while the new law pulls back the curtain on prices of health procedures to some degree, the burden is still on the patient to ask for information. And, as a recent test drive of the new law showed, there are quite a few hoops for patients to jump through.
Carrot or the Stick? Which Works Better with Wellness?
Wellness programs are more popular than ever. But while more and more companies are stepping up campaigns to encourage exercise and healthy diets, many are finding that penalties are possibly the best prescription for wellness success.
Dr. Samir Qamar is part of a new and growing generation of concierge doctors who, in this era of health reform, see more opportunity in the middle class than they do in the jet set. The trend has bifurcated the retainer medicine industry: On one end, patients pay thousands of dollars a month for lavish celebrity-type treatment at traditional concierge practices. On the other, pared-down clinics charge roughly $50 to $100 a month for basic primary-care medicine, more accessible doctors, and yes, money savings for those looking to reduce their health spending.