1. A Trip to the E.R.

    Read the latest story from New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal in her series on healthcare, “Paying Till It Hurts.”

    Rosenthal was on Fresh Air to talk about her first two pieces where she covered joint replacement and birth costs in the U.S. compared to abroad.

    Here, she talks about the E.R. visit:

    SAN FRANCISCO — With blood oozing from deep lacerations, the two patients arrived at California Pacific Medical Center’s tidy emergency room. Deepika Singh, 26, had gashed her knee at a backyard barbecue. Orla Roche, a rambunctious toddler on vacation with her family, had tumbled from a couch, splitting open her forehead on a table.

    On a quiet Saturday in May, nurses in blue scrubs quickly ushered the two patients into treatment rooms. The wounds were cleaned, numbed and mended in under an hour. “It was great — they had good DVDs, the staff couldn’t have been nicer,” said Emer Duffy, Orla’s mother.

    Then the bills arrived. Ms. Singh’s three stitches cost $2,229.11. Orla’s forehead was sealed with a dab of skin glue for $1,696. “When I first saw the charge, I said, ‘What could possibly have cost that much?’ ” recalled Ms. Singh. “They billed for everything, every pill.”

    Read Rosenthal’s article here.

  2. fresh air

    elisabeth rosenthal

    new york times

    paying till it hurts

    healthcare

  1.  Elisabeth Rosenthal tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross why she’s writing a series on rising healthcare costs:

"[The purpose is] to make Americans aware of the costs we pay for our healthcare. Because so many of us have insurance and we don’t see the bills, we tend to think of healthcare as free. ‘Why not get that colonoscopy? It doesn’t cost anything. What’s the difference if my hip replacement costs $100,000? I’m not paying.’ But in fact, we’re all paying. And as we know, healthcare is a huge cause of individual bankruptcies now. Copays and deductibles are going up, and the nation — because it pays for a lot of medical care and subsidizes a lot of medical care — just can’t afford the way we’re doing this anymore.”
View in High-Res

     Elisabeth Rosenthal tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross why she’s writing a series on rising healthcare costs:

    "[The purpose is] to make Americans aware of the costs we pay for our healthcare. Because so many of us have insurance and we don’t see the bills, we tend to think of healthcare as free. ‘Why not get that colonoscopy? It doesn’t cost anything. What’s the difference if my hip replacement costs $100,000? I’m not paying.’ But in fact, we’re all paying. And as we know, healthcare is a huge cause of individual bankruptcies now. Copays and deductibles are going up, and the nation — because it pays for a lot of medical care and subsidizes a lot of medical care — just can’t afford the way we’re doing this anymore.”

  2. fresh air

    interview

    healthcare

    New York Times

    Elisabeth Rosenthal

  1. New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal in her series, “Paying Til It Hurts” does an in-depth analysis of rising healthcare costs in the U.S.  She’s on the show tomorrow to discuss her recent articles.
This comparative chart is from her first article “The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill"  She goes into why colonoscopies are why the U.S is first in hospital expenditures:

Colonoscopies offer a compelling case study. They are the most expensive screening test that healthy Americans routinely undergo — and often cost more than childbirth or an appendectomy in most other developed countries. Their numbers have increased manyfold over the last 15 years, with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that more than 10 million people get them each year, adding up to more than $10 billion in annual costs.

image via The New York Times View in High-Res

    New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal in her series, “Paying Til It Hurts” does an in-depth analysis of rising healthcare costs in the U.S.  She’s on the show tomorrow to discuss her recent articles.

    This comparative chart is from her first article The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill"  She goes into why colonoscopies are why the U.S is first in hospital expenditures:

    Colonoscopies offer a compelling case study. They are the most expensive screening test that healthy Americans routinely undergo — and often cost more than childbirth or an appendectomy in most other developed countries. Their numbers have increased manyfold over the last 15 years, with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that more than 10 million people get them each year, adding up to more than $10 billion in annual costs.

    image via The New York Times

  2. fresh air

    interview

    New York Times

    healthcare

    medical bills

    Elisabeth Rosenthal

  1. In the real world, the choices aren’t made clear in the employee benefits office. In the real world, the cheap health plan and the expensive health plan both promise you ‘medically necessary’ care and you don’t really know what that means. So you sign up for this care and you think, ‘Aha! This one’s cheaper than the other. And it’s promising medically necessary care. You don’t really know that one car is a Lexus and one car is a Chevy. These two plans are being presented to you as Lexuses. And so you say, ‘I’ll buy it.’ But in fact, in terms of the care it makes available, it’s cheap because it’s a Chevy, not a Lexus.

    — Physician and health policy expert Gregg Bloche explains how it’s really, really confusing to pick health insurance plans….and why picking the wrong plan may mean the denial of treatment.

  2. gregg bloche

    Health Policy

    Healthcare

    medical insurance

  1. The principles of the oath, says Dr. Gregg Bloche, are under an “unprecedented threat.” In The Hippocratic Myth, Bloche details how doctors are under constant pressure to compromise or ration their care in order to please lawmakers, lawyers and insurance companies. View in High-Res

    The principles of the oath, says Dr. Gregg Bloche, are under an “unprecedented threat.” In The Hippocratic Myth, Bloche details how doctors are under constant pressure to compromise or ration their care in order to please lawmakers, lawyers and insurance companies.

  2. Healthcare

    Health Policy

    medicine

    physicians

    gregg bloche

    the hippocratic oath

  1. In the current health care system, you’re not paid to keep people healthy. If you’re a complex patient with a range of problems, it doesn’t fit into the world [of primary care visits.] You needs a project manager — a whole team to take you under their wing and see you through this course of illness. What [Brenner’s] creating is the system as it should be.

    — Atul Gawande, talking about Dr. Jeff Brenner, who is working to lower health care costs in Camden, New Jersey by targeting the chronically ill.

  2. Healthcare

    atul gawande

    the new yorker

    jeff brenner

    camden

  1. Atul Gawande joins Twitter. (Gawande on Fresh Air last July talking about hospice and end-of-life care decisions.) View in High-Res

    Atul Gawande joins Twitter. (Gawande on Fresh Air last July talking about hospice and end-of-life care decisions.)

  2. atul gawande

    healthcare

    fresh air