Insurers Are Deploying Host Of Tactics That Can Price Already-Expensive Sleep Apnea Aid Out Of Reach
Patients have been required to rent CPAPs at rates that total much more than the retail price of the devices, or they've discovered that the supplies would be substantially cheaper if they didn't have insurance at all.
A CPAP Machine Can Help Some Get Better Sleep But Insurers Don't Make It Easy
As many CPAP users discover, the life-altering device comes with caveats: Health insurance companies are often tracking whether patients use them. If they aren't, the insurers might not cover the machines or the supplies that go with them. And, faced with the popularity of CPAPs — which can cost $400 to $800 — and their need for replacement filters, face masks and hoses, health insurers have deployed a host of tactics that can make the therapy more expensive or even price it out of reach. (Allen, 11/21)
Meanwhile, a study reveals the hidden cost benefits of wishes granted to sick children —
Critically Ill Children Who Received Wishes Cut Their Health Care Costs
Researchers looked back at the cases of nearly 1,000 children with serious illnesses who were treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Half the children had received wishes and the other half hadn't. The children granted wishes were substantially less likely to visit the emergency department or to have an unplanned hospital admission within two years as compared with children who hadn't received wishes. (Researchers matched the children's personal and disease characteristics in the study.) "My hypothesis is that these kids, when they come back, are more engaged with their families and medical providers, and perhaps they're more adherent to their treatment plan," says the study's lead author Dr. Anup D. Patel, section chief of neurology at Nationwide Children's Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. (Haelle, 11/20)