Project looks at high price of health care in Dallas

In their “The Cost of Care” package, Dallas Morning News reporters seek to explain why, as Jim Landers says in the lead of a key story, one of the nation’s largest cities is “broken market where doctors, hospitals and other providers shower patients with services of diminishing value but staggering cost.”

The problems are clear: The Dartmouth Atlas ranks Dallas as the 13th priciest health market in the nation, while new Census data gives Texans the dubious honor of living in the least-insured state in the nation. The whys and hows of these issues are trickier, but the Morning News wades into the health spending morass.

Dallas sees no relief in health care expenses as competition drives up costs

Jim Landers explores the paradox that health care in the city is expensive because there’s so much competition, and considers the contributions marketing and medical records make to health care costs. The piece includes an interesting profile of CIGNA regional president David Toomey’s attempts to rein in costs in the area.

‘Vicious circle’ of uninsured results in higher bills for health coverage, taxes in Dallas-Fort Worth

Robert Garrett and Jason Roberson explain how everybody pays the price for the area’s super-low insurance coverage rates, and put an exact cost estimate, both financial and human, on the price of a high uninsured population.

Doctor-owned hospitals a lucrative practice, though opinions split on benefits

Gary Jacobson’s weighs the costs and benefits, both economic and medical, of doctor-owned hospitals, which are more common in Dallas than any other major metropolitan area.

Medical imaging a growth industry, but some say unneeded scans increase expenses

Ryan McNeill assesses just how useful the high-speed, unregulated growth of medical imaging has been for patients, doctors, investors and other stakeholders.

Critics see home health care boom as wasteful, but others tout benefits

When you’re looking to explain growing costs, it makes sense to focus your efforts on growing sectors, and Gregg Jones does just that, looking at the fast-growing home health sector. He leads with Medicare fraud, but then shows just how much deeper and more complicated the cost equation of home health care can get.

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