Side Deals, Kickbacks And Lucrative Clauses Are Built Into Medical Costs. Smart Negotiators Can Get Around Them.
Medical costs are often dense and hard to understand, so most employers cede control to their insurers and the companies managing benefits. But taking an active role in monitoring and negotiating prices can pay off in the end.
Health Insurance Industry Insider To Employers: Learn To Negotiate
Marilyn Bartlett took a deep breath, drew herself up to her full 5 feet and a smidge, and told the assembled handful of Montana officials that she had a radical strategy to bail out the state's foundering benefit plan for its 30,000 employees and their families. The officials were listening. Their health plan was going broke, with losses that could top $50 million in just a few years. It needed a savior, but none of the applicants to be its new administrator had wowed them.Now here was a self-described pushy 64-year-old grandmother interviewing for the job. (Allen, 10/2)
In other news on health care costs —
At Elegant McLean Psychiatric Outpost, $2,150 A Day, And Insurance Is Not Welcome
McLean’s steady expansion into the realm of private-pay care, which now accounts for 40 percent of its residential beds and several outpatient programs, exposes a tension in mental health care: Options for the upper middle class and wealthy are growing at a time when many other patients say they can’t get their insurers to pay for adequate treatment. The phenomenon threatens to create a two-tier system “where high-quality care is only accessible to those with enough resources to afford care out of their own pocket,’’ said Brian Rosman, policy director at Health Care for All, a Boston-based patient advocacy group. (Kowalczyk, 9/30)