As the number of Americans without health insurance continues to rise, so too do the costs borne by those who have coverage, who face what might be called a “hidden health tax.” Uninsured people who receive health care often cannot afford to pay the full amount themselves, so the costs of this uncompensated care get shifted to those who have insurance.
While most of the health reform debate has focused on expanding coverage, eliminating pre-existing conditions exclusions, or reducing costs, there are myriad ways that health reform will also improve the quality of your care. It will do this through rewarding quality of care over quantity, promoting better information-sharing, and investing in preventive care.
One of the least mentioned aspects of the health reform law are measures that will improve the quality of health care. Although the benefits were not scored by the Congressional Budget Office, these measures are intended to positively change care, in both patient and doctor satisfaction and costs.
According to David Brown of Washington Post,
This series explains what Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are and discusses how to build ACOs that meet patient needs, improve quality, and reduce health care costs.
Not a week goes by without another report reminding us that the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, yet has worse health outcomes than most. How do we solve this problem and get more for our money? We need to focus on getting each person the right care at the right time.
Lays out the basics of how managed long-term care in Medicaid works; highlights key questions for advocates to ask when evaluating how managed care will affect consumers.
Explores how wellness programs can encourage people to adopt healthy behaviors, provides examples of model programs, and includes a checklist for designing consumer-friendly wellness programs.
If you have reliable health insurance, you may not think of sports arenas as typical health care venues. But for the millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans, free health clinics, such as the one held last week by Care Harbor LA at L.A. Sports Arena, are often the only option. Thousands of L.A.-area residents waited in line overnight last Monday to receive one of the 4,800 wristbands for Care Harbor’s 5th annual free health care clinic, held Thursday to Sunday.
Is newer always better? Not in the case of a pricey new cancer drug, according to clinical trial data and experts around the nation. The drug, Zaltrap, is getting lots of media attention not because it is novel for a new drug to be twice as expensive as its competitor and no more effective (the FDA doesn't require new medicines to be either more effective or less costly than existing drugs), but because Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—one of the nation's premier cancer treatment centers—has decided that it won't offer Zaltrap to its patients.