Why American Health Care is So Expensive

This video by Vox and Ezra Klein explains why American health care is so expensive, and it does so simply and effectively. It mentions each of the top issues I write about here at Modern Health Talk, including the political influence of a medical cartel that profits from treating illness and injury with a fee-for-service business model. The video gives me Read More …

Insurance Cost = Premiums + Deductibles + Copays

OPINION by Wayne Caswell, founder & senior editor, Modern Health Talk This is an obvious opinion piece that I posted on Huffington Post in response to another opinion piece, It’s Not Just You — Those Health Insurance Deductibles Are Getting Scary. MY RESPONSE: The article was well written but misleading because it failed to acknowledge that Total Insurance Cost = Premiums + Read More …

Healthcare in the age of Dr. Google

Healthcare in the age of Dr. Google: the 2014 digital patient journey is sponsored by Fathom Healthcare, a healthcare marketing company. Ask any medical professional what has changed about patient behavior the last few years, and she is sure to talk about a physician who never was accepted to med school … the ubiquitous “Dr. Google.” When patients start to Read More …

Healthcare Reform Debate at Supreme Court (UPDATED)

My consumer lobbying and healthcare interests explain my attention to this week’s Supreme Court case and the many articles I’ve commented on and tweeted about. Comments generally go something like this: Without the mandate, we need another way to pay for the Affordable Care Act (opponents call it ObamaCare) or an entirely new alternative to our existing healthcare system. The Read More …

Influencing Healthcare Policy – Lobbying, Incentives & Insurance

By Wayne Caswell, Founding Editor, Modern Health Talk As President Trump’s administration transitions from the Obama era, a conservative ideological shift will influence healthcare policy, but so will other factors. They are discussed here, based on my response to “The Past, Present and Future of Healthcare Policy” at ReferralMD. Influencing Healthcare Policy Although The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more Read More …

Chipping Away at Healthcare Special Interests Yet?

Is it just “One Step Forward and Two Steps Back?” or is something bigger happening? Last week I read an excellent article in Huffington Post by Charles Francis, and it inspired today’s post about public interests versus special interests. In this article I’ll reflect on the healthcare progress consumers are making despite politicians working against them. But first, more on Read More …

Patient Choices in the Used Car Lot of Healthcare

Guest essay by Chris Oldenburg [with editor’s comments at the end] In America we love our choices. Drive by any car lot and you might see 10 models that only differ in exterior color. We also love simplicity and service. Those cars had better have a clear cost taped to the windshield right next to a list of what’s included.

People Like the ACA, so it’s hard to Repeal. Here’s why.

It’s not surprising that so many people like the ACA (Affordable Care Act), and that it’s been difficult for Republicans to repeal. ACA (Obamacare) versus AHCA Here are 12 reasons people like the ACA (also known as Obamacare), along with detail in supporting charts that compare it with the Republican’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). Most of this work is attributed to The Century Foundation. Read More …

Trumpcare will kill more Americans than Terrorists have

Today I commented on The Senate’s Trumpcare Bill Will Kill 50 Times More Americans Than Terrorists Have. This FORBES article frames the issue in a way that puts the large numbers in perspective. According to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, “15 million people losing insurance translates to at least 18,000 preventable American deaths.” If Republicans simply repeal Obamacare instead, 38,400 would Read More …

Ask the Right Questions about Healthcare

By Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk Politicians Need to Ask the Right Questions about Healthcare In Healthcare: Mandatory Coverage or Universal Access?, Dr. Josh Luke presents one perspective – that of a hospital CEO. Readers should know that he represents the medical industrial complex, which also includes insurers, drug companies, equipment providers, and testing companies. Their collective interest is to protect the Read More …

Now the Real Work of Healthcare Reform Begins

Roberts Saves Obamacare: Now the Real Work of Reform Begins By Arianna Huffington The narrow survival of the Affordable Care Act last week was certainly cause for celebration. But as the jubilation subsides, it’s important to realize that having avoided what would have been a giant step backward doesn’t mean we’ve taken a giant step forward. Because the law as Read More …

As Our Health Goes, So Does Our Economic Recovery

  It’s the Health Care, Stupid: As Our Health Goes, So Does Our Economic Recovery By Peter Abaci, M.D., Chronic pain specialist (original on Huffington Post) “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein As we head into the final stages leading up to election day, expect the fight over Read More …

Social Media in Politics

I’ve posted several articles about social media in HEALTHCARE, including: Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media Social Media Growth is Fastest among Boomers Consumers use Social Media more than Health Companies Physicians find and help Patients through Social Media Physician use of Social Media This article is about social media in POLITICS. While I try not to Read More …

Health Reform needs a WELLNESS emphasis

How can healthcare systems encourage patients to take greater ownership of their health so they live longer? That was the question posed to a Linkedin discussion group that generated some interesting responses. I initially weighed in with: Public Health and Social Programs We don’t often think of clean running water, indoor toilets, sanitation systems, and school vaccinations as having profound Read More …

Why High Medical Bills Are Killing Us

In his 38-page TIME magazine special report, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us,” Steven Brill dives into our health care system to understand why things cost so much, avoiding the more traditional question of who pays for what. What he found was both disturbing and telling. (His 3:38 min video introduction is at the end.) His first story Read More …

Get the Health Incentives Right

Fixing our broken healthcare system, reducing costs, and improving care all comes down to getting the objectives and health incentives right. This post is based on a comment I made when Pritpal Tamber called for “Creating a parallel system to health care” in MedCity News back in 2014. At least for consumers, Modern Health Talk (www.mHealthTalk.com) can already be called the Read More …

The High Cost of Health Care – Infographic

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina produced the following infographic about the high cost of health care, and I added the following comment. The key to getting costs under control is to get the incentives right all along the health care continuum. PAYERS — Where insurance companies once were able to control profits by selecting only the healthiest customers and cutting Read More …

Consumers Screwed with Insurance Loopholes

Insurance Loopholes & Master Pricing: How Surprise Medical Bills Knock Consumers Down Most of us know which local hospitals and doctors are covered by our insurance providers, but even when we make sure that we only see an in-network physician or surgeon, nearly one-third of privately insured Americans are still hit with higher-than-expected medical bills, often because their in-network hospital Read More …

Is American Health Care the Best?

“Is American Health Care the Best?” The answer to that question might depend on whom you ask, but by almost all measures we aren’t even close. That was the message of this article on Vox that says people who believe our health system is the best are “measuring it wrong.” Here’s some measures we should be considering, followed by some supporting graphs and Read More …

Why Medicare-for-All is Not Enough

Doctors Prescribe Single-Payer Health Care Reform Well before Bernie Sanders entered the presidential race, a nonpartisan group of 39 leading doctors set out to fix the glaring problems in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). The single-payer plan they proposed, essentially Medicare-for-All, has since been endorsed by over 2,000 physician colleagues and published in the American Journal of Public Read More …