The Dirty Little Secret about Big Pharma

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As the New York Times reports, when Big Pharma companies are under fire for skyrocketing drug prices, they would like you to believe that prices have to be so high to support research and development (R&D). But is that the truth? Questions: 1. What did the authors of the new study find that the 18… Read more »

Denied Healthcare Coverage? Maybe you should check with your FitBit?

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Healthcare companies have increasingly offered cash promotions and discounts to users who provide their Fitbit data. But could this be used by insurers rather than to improve customer health? Questions: 1. In what types of negative ways could this data be used, according to the article? 2. What issues in Congress could promote the negative… Read more »

Sick Leave? How does it hurt business?

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Many people go to work even when they are sick. But should this happen in the restaurant industry? As Chipotle found out outbreaks of norovirus, E. coli and salmonella can devastate business. This article discusses the lack of sick leave in the restaurant business and how food workers are the source of about 70% of… Read more »

New Study on Hospital Costs

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Twenty of the 50 U.S. hospitals that charge the most for their services are located in Florida — and all but one of them are for-profit, according to a study released Monday. Questions: 1. Which facility is at the top of the list for charging the most and how many times more do uninsured patients… Read more »

Medical Malpractice Reform: Will it save money?

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According to the New York Times, many people believe that medical malpractice reform is the key to removing waste from the health care system and making the practice of medicine better. But a growing body of evidence shows that belief is most likely mistaken. Questions: 1. What is the rationale for malpractice reform as cost… Read more »

Nothing’s sacred!

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Over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically. According to the Washington Post, this is, in part, because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer. Questions: 1. How large… Read more »

Biotechnology Firm, Amgen, Acquires Anti-cancer Drugs

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Although Amgen is the world’s largest biotechnology company, they have not been in the anti-cancer drug market until now. Amgen, like other drug makers, is trying to refresh aging product lines through the acquisition. Questions: 1. What is the ranking of this takeover of biotechnology firms, in terms of historic purchases? What are examples of… Read more »

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Who is the Most Expensive of Them All?

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It is hard to fathom but the newest British royal boy who was born in fanciest hospital ward in Britain cost $15,000. However, that is nothing compared to the average U.S. birth, where new parents are billed $30,000 and eventually pay $18,000. Questions: 1. What drives the high pregnancy health costs in the U.S. as… Read more »

Read the fine print

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It is likely that when you get your first job or when you move to a new job that you will be asked about enrolling in a long-term care insurance benefits program. According to Ms. Siegel, one of the most important reasons for people buy long-term care insurance is to avoid burdening a spouse or… Read more »

Survey Shows that Out-of-Network Providers Are Billing Consumers up to Several Thousand Percent more than the Government would pay for similar Medicare Services

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According to a new study from the Center for Policy and Research, the nation must address the soaring cost of medical care that continues to rise at an unsustainable rate. For consumers who choose to seek care out-of-network, their survey shows that the charges billed by some out-of-network providers can exceed several hundred or several… Read more »