Health Care

7:50am

Wed May 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Medicare Pulls Back Curtain On Hospital Bills

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 6:28 am

Average hospital charges for a major joint replacement, such as an artificial hip, vary widely, as this map from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
HHS

When it comes to health care, the biggest of the big data are all about Medicare.

So, it's kind of a BIG deal when the government releases what individual hospitals charge Medicare — and what they actually get paid — for the most common diagnoses and treatments.

In a first, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made those figures from more than 3,000 hospitals public Wednesday.

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9:18am

Tue May 7, 2013
Shots - Health News

Veterans Have Unusual Choice Thanks To Health Exchanges

When the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a hearing recently, members expressed concern that veterans might not qualify for subsidies for the new health insurance marketplaces if they were enrolled in VA health coverage.

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2:46pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Shots - Health News

Why A Slowdown In Health Spending Is Starting To Look Real

iStockphoto.com

So you know all that talk about how the boatload of money going to health care will bankrupt the nation if something isn't done soon?

Well, it turns out that while politicians were bickering, the problem started taking care of itself. Well, a little bit.

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3:10pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

Second Thoughts On Medicaid From Oregon's Unique Experiment

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

Two years ago, a landmark study found that having Medicaid health insurance makes a positive difference in people's lives.

Backers of the program have pointed to that study time and again in their push to encourage states to expand the program as part of the federal health law.

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1:09am

Tue April 30, 2013
Shots - Health News

Why Calif. Doesn't Want Smokers To Pay More For Health Insurance

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Californian State Assemblyman Richard Pan (center) is the author of legislation that would bar higher prices for health insurance sold to smokers.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won't be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but a bill moving forward in the California Legislature would prevent that from happening.

The Affordable Care Act is supposed to remove discrimination in the pricing of health insurance for things like gender and medical condition. Critics say a tobacco surcharge creates a new category of discrimination against smokers.

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