Photo: Romain Blanquart, USA Today Network
The lead-tainted water in Flint, Mich., got one national reporter wondering: What other areas could have children affected by dangerous water?
Laura Ungar, who covers national and regional health stories for USA Today and Gannett, was part of a team looking at the wider implications of the water crisis in Flint to go beyond the Detroit suburb and seek what other areas could be facing unknown risks. Continue reading
As large insurers, such as United Healthcare, Humana and Aetna, drop out of the Healthcare.gov marketplace, consumers are left with fewer and fewer choices, especially in certain geographic areas.
Sarah Kliff, Sarah Frostenson and Soo Oh of Vox gathered the data to show us just how little competition there will be:
“There are currently 687 counties on the Healthcare.gov marketplace with just one insurer signed up to sell in 2017 — nearly four times the 182 counties that had one insurer this year.”
Source: Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws — July 2016Here’s how price transparency should work for a woman with a silver-level insurance plan in one state. Assume this consumer could go to any hospital and would choose based on the cost of care, meaning her out-of-pocket costs (deductible plus co-insurance). She could pay $5,079 at the highest-priced facility or $3,531 at the lowest-priced hospital. The difference between the two is $1,548.
Progress toward widespread price transparency comes slowly, according to the latest annual report from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) and the Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR). In the “Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws – July 2016,” issued on Tuesday, the authors, Suzanne Delbanco, CPR’s executive director, and François de Brantes, HCI3’s executive director, explained what states are doing to give consumers the information they need to shop for care based on price.
As in past years, most states are doing poorly: 43 states earned an F grade for failing to meet even minimum standards. Last year, 45 states got an F. Continue reading
Nursing home star ratings are misleading and disingenuous, according to a recent analysis comparing ratings with quality measures alone. More than a thousand nursing homes nationally with high overall ratings had only one or two stars in quality measures, which could point to some serious health implications for residents. Continue reading
Hispanic medical and dental leaders at a recent joint meeting in Washington, D.C., highlighted the urgency of getting more culturally competent health care services to their communities.
A chronic shortage of Spanish-speaking health care providers has contributed to a lack of access to care and widespread health disparities among Hispanics, they stressed. Continue reading