Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 12:19 pm
Three times in one week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo returned to the emergency room of the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, seeking relief from intense back pain. Each time, Granillo waited a little while and then left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.
"I was in so much pain, I wanted to be taken care of 'now,' " says Granillo. "I didn't want to sit and wait."
Paying $850 per month for health insurance for a family of three is not out of the ordinary, even when that insurance comes with a $5,000 annual deductible. But it become just too much for a man we'll call Mr. Smith, from Hollywood.
Mr. Smith is 52 years old and works in the marine industry. He's lived in Hollywood since 2000. He requested we don't use his first name due to privacy concerns, but he wasn't shy about his recent hernia surgery.
Richard Coll isn’t exactly racing out the door to get a colonoscopy, but at 63-years-old, he knows he shouldn’t put it off any longer. One thing stands in the way, though: getting a price for the procedure, up front.
“Shopping around, and everyone I asked, whether it was the doctor or an institution like a hospital, they looked at me like I was crazy,” says Coll.
He lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he makes his living as a self-employed property manager. The job awards him flexibility, but not health coverage.
Almost before the ink was dry, the state's largest nursery is protesting a rule floated by health regulators setting up the framework for Florida's new medical-marijuana industry.
Miami-based Costa Farms filed a challenge Monday in the state Division of Administrative Hearings, questioning the proposed use of a lottery to pick five licensees --- one in each region of the state --- to grow, process and distribute the non-euphoric strains of cannabis legalized by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott this spring.
In our Power of Price series, we’ve been exploring how the secrecy shrouding health care pricing can raise costs — the cost of the care itself and the cost to employees who get their insurance through work.
There’s a movement to make those prices more transparent. More than a dozen other states have started something called an “all-payer claims database.”
These databases track what actually gets paid for care at different hospitals by various insurers. They can be used to analyze the true cost of health care and make it public.
Figuring out the real price of health care is complicated — even if you've already paid your bills. You can hear just how complicated it is here:
And if health care pricing wasn’t convoluted enough, it’s hard to talk about it without running into some conversation-stopping jargon. Words that mean one thing to the rest of the English-speaking world can mean something completely different in health care — like a “charge” that isn’t the same as the price.
To help clarify, here’s a glossary of common terms in the world of health care finance:
On The Florida Roundup: It’s been called the “physician gag rule” or a law that pitted “docs versus glocks.” And a recent federal appeals court upheld the 2011 state law prohibiting doctors from inquiring about patients' gun ownership. The Florida law was the first of its kind in the U.S.
Some Obamacare insurance subsidies were struck down by one court but upheld by another during a tumultuous day for the Affordable Care Act. One of the rulings is a direct threat to the tax credits that have recently helped thousands of Floridians buy health insurance.
Community of Health of South Florida received a $2 million grant to train primary physicians. The center is the first in the state to receive funding from the Health Resource and Services Administration.
Thirteen medical residents started a training program this month to meet the needs of many patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act.
This month, Florida became the first state to offer a Medicaid plan dedicated to people who are diagnosed with severe mental health disorders.
It’s part of a larger move by the state’s Medicaid officials to move coverage towards a managed care system. It means one organization takes care of and coordinates all of a person’s health care needs: no more separate dental, vision, and internal medicine plans.
Mental health issues are almost twice as prevalent among Medicaid recipients than in the general population.