Tag Archives: Inside Healthcare
March 14th, 2014 | 0
Shoppers searching the Internet for health insurance coverage can be forgiven if they are confused. A New York woman waiting to speak to an official Obamacare navigator the other day told me she decided to ask for help because she couldn’t understand the policies on the website of the New York exchange. When I asked one of the navigators about this woman’s confusion, she assured me all the summary information about the policies was there, but warned “you have to know where to look.”Continue Reading
February 12th, 2014 | 3
A couple weeks ago, the Medicare Rights Center, a well-known New York-based advocacy group, released a report card showing how well seniors are faring with Medicare. The report is a good barometer of the troubles beneficiaries face when navigating Medicare’s very complicated system for getting health care.
One particularly compelling finding popped out: 21 percent of the 14,000 callers to the Center’s national help line in 2012 had trouble covering the cost sharing that Medicare requires. This means that almost a fourth of seniors struggle with paying the deductibles for Part B – doctor and outpatient services – and for Part D, the drug benefit.Continue Reading
October 30th, 2013 | 0
On Monday, Pro Publica provided the latest word on the usefulness of hospital ratings, an issue that seems never to disappear despite the growing body of work that raises questions about the methodology used to create them, their conflicts of interest with sponsors, and, most importantly, their usefulness to the public.
A health reporter in Billings, Montana, wanted to know how she should write about ratings, and Pro Publica‘s senior writer, Charlie Ornstein, responded with: “Reporters should avoid writing about hospital ratings if they can. But if they do, they should consult state health department data and the federal Hospital Compare website and look for recent inspection and deficiency reports posted on hospitalinspections.org.” All advice I agree with — not just for journalists but for the public, too.Continue Reading
June 13th, 2013 | 0
The saga of insurance rates continues: will consumers buying coverage in the new state shopping exchanges find lower or higher rates? On one side are those who say the newly insured will see lower premiums for coverage. Count the president in that camp. Others, including insurance industry types, say for many groups of people rates may be higher. What’s been left out of the debate, however, is the question: higher or lower compared to what? And here’s where the whole rate discussion gets murky and confusing.Continue Reading
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