I really like this idea, but … well, see after the quote.
It’s easy to compare prices on cameras, vacations, and homes. But in the United States, patients fly blind when paying for health care. People typically don’t find out how much any given medical procedure costs until well after they receive treatment, be it a blood draw or major surgery.
This lack of transparency has contributed to huge disparities in the cost of procedures. According to Castlight Health, a startup based in San Francisco, a colonoscopy costs anywhere from $563 to $3,967 within a single zip code. EKGs can range from $27 to $143, while the price for a set of three spinal x-rays varies from as little as $38 to as high as $162.
When someone else is picking up the tab, mystery pricing is not much of a problem. But these days, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*
I recently received a note mailed to health care providers from Steve Sisler, Vice President of Sales Development for Zanfel Laboratories, Inc. Zanfel is a product used to decrease the skin reaction attributable to poison ivy and similar plants (e.g., poison oak and sumac). Here is an edited part of the note that I received:
While attending the recent American Academy of Family Physicians trade show, numerous health care professionals stopped by the Zanfel Laboratories booth to ask questions and gain additional knowledge regarding the Zanfel product and the overall disease state of urushiol-induced allergic contact dermatitis. Additionally, a great many prescribers voiced concern over the recent price increases of Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash. The conversations were very specific in that the retail price for Zanfel had increased to $42.99, $44.99 and even as high as $48.99 plus tax. These prescribers are aware of the retail price increases because their patients are calling them back after visiting CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. Their patients are aware that Zanfel had previously been sold for approximately $39.99 plus tax. These patients are upset because they believe that Zanfel Laboratories has initiated a retail price increase.
Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash has not had a cost increase in over Read more »
This post, Product Used For Poison Ivy Skin Reaction Undergoes Price Increases, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
The concept of cost-effectiveness in medicine is elastic. One’s view on this issue depends upon who is paying the cost. Of course, this is true in all spheres of life. When you’re in a fine restaurant, you order differently when the meal will be charged to someone else. Under these circumstances, the foie gras appetizer and the jumbo shrimp cocktail are no longer luxuries, but are considered as essential amino acids that are necessary to maintain life.
In the marketplace, except in the medical universe, goods and services are priced according to what the market will bear. If an item is priced too high, then the seller will have fewer sales and a bloated inventory. Consumers will not pay absurd prices for common items, regardless of supernatural claims of quality.
- Would you pay $100 for an ice cream sundae that boasted it was the best in the world?
- Would you pay $1000 for a tennis racket that promised performance beyond your ability?
- Would you pay $500 for a box of paper clips that never lose their tension? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
Those who market heart scan services should be more careful about what they promote and to whom.
When ProPublica’s Marshall Allen got a telemarketing offer for heart scans for him and his wife, he followed up with a story, “Body Imaging Business Pushes Scans Many Don’t Need – Including Me.”
Reminding Allen about the deaths of figure skater Sergei Grinkov, baseball player Darryl Kile, newsman Tim Russert and actor Patrick Swayze, the salesman said:
“You never know when it could happen. … Boom, you’re dead!” he exclaimed, slapping a desk for emphasis.
But Allen tells another story – of complaints by patients and regulators about the business. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
Last month, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued a report, Healthcare Unwired, examining the market for mobile health monitoring devices, reminder services, etc. among both healthcare providers and the general public. One of the big take-away points seems to be that 40% of the general public would be willing to pay for mobile health (or “mHealth”) devices or services ranging from reminders to data uploads — and the reaction by insiders is either joy (40% is good) or dismay (40% is not enough).
PwC estimated the mHealth market to be worth somewhere between $7.7 billion and $43 billion per year, based on consumers’ expressed willingness to pay. Deloitte recently issued a report on mPHRs, as well — and there is tremendous interest in this space, as discussed in John Moore’s recent post over at Chilmark Research. I agree with John’s wariness with respect to the mHealth hype — there is certainly something happening out there, but significant questions remain: What exactly is going on? Is there reason to be interested in this stuff or is it just something shiny and new? Can mHealth improve healthcare status and/or healthcare quality and/or reduce healthcare costs? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*