Not-so-transparent: early days for consumer tools on health price and quality

Providing price and quality information is viewed as a Holy Grail among health plans and providers, who see transparency as the key for igniting health care consumerism. However, that Grail remains elusive, as issues of tool usefulness and consumer trust cloud the market. A Health Plan Work in Progress: Hospital-Physician Price and Quality Transparency, a […]

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WHO speaks out on the social determinants of health: universal health access and beyond

The lower one’s socioeconomic position, the worse the person’s health. This is the sobering finding in a landmark report published but the World Health Organization (WHO), Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. While children born in Japan can live beyond 80 years, and newborns in […]

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The cost of beauty, an American obsession

About $7 billion is spent each year on cosmetics. Another $1.5 billion is spent on breast augmentation, $1.3 billion on lipoplasty, and nearly $1 billion on abdominoplasty — aka, “tummy tucks.” Beauty At Any Cost is an important report from the YWCA. The organization has quantified the economic costs of the never-ending search for ‘beauty,’ […]

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Pharmacies are trusted, and health plans aren't (much)

Americans trust pharmacies and drug stores a whole lot more than they do health plans, according to a survey from the Better Business Bureau and Gallup.However, the percentage of people with lots of trust in pharmacies and drug stores fell by 9 points between September 2007 and April 2008. The proportion of Americans trusting health […]

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Out-of-pocket costs and the uninsured

Government finances 3/4 of uncompensated health care in the U.S., according to Covering The Uninsured In 2008: Current Costs, Sources Of Payment, And Incremental Costs appears in the August 25th online edition of Health Affairs, the influential health policy publication. This analysis was done by a team from The Urban Institute and George Mason University. […]

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