Category Archive: Health Care Costs

At Urgent Care, He Got 5 Stitches and a Big Surprise: A Plastic Surgeon’s Bill for $1,040

The Biden administration is weighing how to treat urgent care clinics as part of broad regulations banning surprise, out-of-network medical bills. At the heart of the matter: What counts as an emergency?

Olympic Dream Dashed After Bike Crash and Nightmare Medical Bill Over $200K

A bicyclist from California competed in a Pennsylvania race that could have landed him in this month’s Tokyo Olympics. Instead, a crash on the velodrome track landed him in two hospitals where his out-of-state, out-of-network surgeries garnered huge bills.

Bye-Bye to Health Insurance ‘Birthday Rule’? Kansas Lawmaker Floats Fix

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) introduced a bill to do away with a health insurance rule that dictates which parent’s plan becomes a new baby’s primary insurer. This could save some parents from unexpected, sometimes massive medical bills. Davids took up the issue after a KHN/NPR Bill of the Month story on one family’s unexpected $207,455 NICU bill.

The Pandemic Made Telemedicine an Instant Hit. Patients and Providers Feel the Growing Pains.

Patients seem to like remote visits, and health care providers now depend on them. But outages, freezing and other glitches cost time and money, and compromise quality of care.

Facing Headwinds on New Alzheimer’s Drug, Biogen Launches Controversial Campaign

The makers of Aduhelm, a drug approved last month despite concerns raised by experts about its effectiveness, have launched a website and ads designed to urge people who are worried about their memory to ask doctors about testing. But some health advocates say it is misleading because some memory loss with aging is normal.

Contraception Is Free to Women, Except When It’s Not

The landmark federal health law required most commercial health plans to cover a comprehensive list of birth control methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration free of charge to female patients. But health plans don’t have to cover every option, and newer methods are not included in the federal list of covered services.

After 18 Months, Sutter Antitrust Settlement Finally Poised for Formal Approval

A year and a half after Sutter Health agreed to a tentative settlement in a closely watched antitrust case, the San Francisco judge presiding over the case indicated she would sign off on the terms, pending agreement on another contentious issue: attorney fees.

After 18 Months, Sutter Antitrust Settlement Finally Poised for Formal Approval

A year and a half after Sutter Health agreed to a tentative settlement in a closely watched antitrust case, the San Francisco judge presiding over the case indicated she would sign off on the terms, pending agreement on another contentious issue: attorney fees.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Changes the Covid Conversation

With covid cases on the upswing again around the country, partisan division remains over how to address the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Biden administration proposes bigger penalties for hospitals that fail to make their prices public as required. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Tami Luhby of CNN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite stories of the week they think you should read, too.

Sen. Wyden: $3.5T Budget May Have to Trim but It Can Set a Path to ‘Ambitious Goals’

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is helping to negotiate the health care spending framework for the Democrats’ budget plan, said lawmakers may have to settle for very basic versions of programs deployed in the package. But the key, he added, is to get the “architecture of these changes, bold changes,” started and show people what is possible.

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