Same Illness, But Very Different Treatment Costs
A new study published in the September issue of Health Affairs focuses on the cost of care delivered by nearly 250,000 doctors to non-elderly adults.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: UnitedHealth Cases Show Big Cost Differences For Same Illness
We've seen this before: a study showing large spending disparities to treat similar ailments and little if any link between expenditure and effectiveness. What's different about this analysis is the patients. Many reports on cost and quality disparity (the best known is the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care) are based on data from the government's Medicare program for seniors. This one, published in the September issue of Health Affairs, focuses on care provided by nearly 250,000 physicians treating non-elderly United Healthcare patients from 2006 through part of 2009 (Hancock, 9/4).
Meanwhile, The Baltimore Sun reports on what changes workers might experience during the upcoming open enrollment period.
The Baltimore Sun: Yes, Some Employers Do Provide Generous Employee Benefits
Plenty of employers say workers are their most valuable asset. But when times get tough, companies look first to cutting their largest expenses, which are often employee benefits. As open enrollment time approaches, many workers will continue to feel the pinch that a weak economy and escalating health costs have had on their benefits (Ambrose, 9/4).