Consumers Are Denied Price Information As They Pay Bigger Share Of Health Costs
Forty-five states fail to require that prices for hospitals and doctors be made public to give consumers the tools they need to comparison shop and pay their bills, finds a new report. And health care spending for kids, largely related to newborn hospitalizations, is outpacing that for adults.
The Miami Herald:
As Consumers Shoulder More Costs, Health Care Prices Remain Hidden In Florida, Other States
Consumers with health insurance shouldered more of the expense for their medical care in 2014, but Florida and nearly every other state did little to require that prices for hospitals and doctors be made public — hindering comparison shopping and allowing dominant hospital systems and insurers to drive up costs overall, according to a report released Wednesday. Florida was among 45 states that received a failing grade for neglecting to adopt laws that give patients the data they need to plan for their healthcare expenses, according to the report produced by two nonprofit groups, Catalyst for Payment Reform in California and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute in Connecticut. (Chang, 7/8)
Health-Care Cost Rising? Blame The Kids
Health-care spending on children grew at a much faster pace than the overall U.S. population over a three-year span, driven in part by an increase in hospital admissions for newborn babies, according to a new study. The wide disparity identified in the Health Care Cost Institute report raises questions about whether that higher spending rate is actually leading to better health outcomes for kids, and to what extent insurance prices will be affected if the trend continues. (Mangan, 7/8)