Retail clinics: cheaper per visit and access-enhancing, but cost-expanding

A study in Health Affairs finds that retail clinics achieve cost-savings for primary care maladies. However, an aspect of this story illustrates Roemer’s Law: that the health care market suffers from supply-induced demand.   In plain English: the more supply of health services you add to the market, the more costs will be incurred. Or […]

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Bad health care debt is greater among insured than uninsured Americans

As more costs are being charged to consumers by hospitals and other providers, bad debts are growing. More debt is being racked up by people with insurance than those without coverage. Over two-thirds of bad debt are generated by insured patients. This is the finding of nTelagent, Inc., a company that markets retail point-of-service technology. […]

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Health insurance coverage remains stable…but don't break out the champagne just yet

In 2007, the percentage of people in the U.S. with health insurance increased to 82.8%, up from 82.1% in 2006. This increase in the insured resulted from growth in enrollment in government insurance programs — namely, Medicaid. The proportion of Americans with employer-based plans was stable between 2006 and 2007 at 62.2%. These statistics were […]

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What will American health care look like in 2012?

Major national health reform between 2008 and 2012, the next Presidential election, may take a back seat to many issues: The Economy, financial services bailouts, oil prices, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and as a wild card, Georgia?), among other front-burner challenges facing the U.S. Based on the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll into […]

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Mercer predicts higher health costs in 2009–especially for consumers

Health benefit costs will increase in 2009 by just under 6%. This would be a slightly slower rate compared with the past several years, according to Mercer, the benefits consulting firm that calculated health cost growth of about 6% each year since 2005. Mercer’s finding that health benefits costs are slowing down next year echoes […]

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