Posts Tagged ‘money’

Why Medical Bills In The US Are So Expensive

The American health-care system is in a tug of war between physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and shareholders. At the center of it all are the patients.

Ashley Palmiscino’s insurance company was billed roughly $4 million for her five-month-old son Luca’s lung transplant. Her family had to turn to fundraising almost immediately just to keep up with the medical bills, and she’s not alone. One-third of the money raised on GoFundMe last year went to medical campaigns.

So how did we get here, and how do we turn things around?

“Once there’s all this money sloshing around in a system, there’s this sort of pile-on effect where everyone wants to grab their bit of this huge pot of money,” said Elisabeth Rosenthal, a former physician who wrote a book about how health care became big business.

“Now what we have as we’re trying to take it back and reduce costs is everyone is desperately clinging to their piece of the pie.”
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Why Medical Bills In The US Are So Expensive

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm

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Why this healthcare equity expert says Johnson & Johnson is a buying opportunity

Damien Conover of Morningstar and CNBC’s Meg Tirrell discuss how the opioid crisis impacts pharma companies and how it moves stocks with the “Power Lunch” team.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 22, 2019 at 11:20 pm

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How Canada’s Universal Health-Care System Works

Canada’s health-care system is playing a larger role in America’s political discourse as the 2020 presidential elections heat up. Progressives on the left love pointing to Canada as an equitable and efficient health care system. Conservatives use Canada as an example when warning about the dangers of socialized medicine and unchecked bureaucracy. So how exactly is medicare working in Canada and how does it compare to the United States?

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How Canada’s Universal Health-Care System Works

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 5, 2019 at 7:20 pm

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Here’s where the Democratic candidates stand on health care

Democratic candidates take the stage together for the first time as they jockey for position in the race to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 4, 2019 at 7:20 am

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Watch Democratic candidates wrangle over health-care proposals at first 2020 debate

Democratic candidates take the stage together for the first time Wednesday night as they jockey for position in the race to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. Healthcare became a major issue early in the debate. Watch how several candidates sparred over the role private insurance plays in the U.S. health-care industry.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 29, 2019 at 7:20 pm

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How French Health Care Compares To The US System

France’s health-care system, which is called “social security,” has been globally recognized for overall quality. In a 2000 report, the World Health Organization ranked it the best national health-care system in the world.

As Democrats push a government-funded health care and President Donald Trump campaigns on repealing Obamacare without a clear alternative, Health care has become a major focus of the 2020 elections. Many Americans are considering what kind of health care system they may want.

“Medicare for All” has become a mantra among the left-of-center Democrats, with most of their plans calling for a universal single-payer health-care system, closely modeled after Canada’s health-care system. But there’s another national health-care system that’s worth paying attention to: France’s.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 19, 2019 at 3:20 am

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How Amazon Could Disrupt Health Care

Amazon has been described has the “everything store, ” but it’s missing one major category – prescription medicines. That might soon change, in the wake of Amazon’s roughly $1 billion acquisition of PillPack, an internet pharmacy.

Health experts told CNBC that it’s only a mater of time before Amazon starts selling prescription drugs on its online marketplace, and that it’s assembling a team to do just that. For Amazon, pharmacy represents a multibillion market opportunity, but it’s also highly complicated and will involve battling with some entrenched competition that has a vested interest in keeping drug prices high.

But Amazon, with its scale, leverage, and supply chain expertise, could be the company to do it, the experts said.

People buying medical supplies on Amazon, such as glucometers and cold medicine, can now use their flexible savings accounts or health savings accounts to get discounts.

These programs, often referred to as an HSA or FSA, allow people with health insurance to set aside a portion of their salary before taxes to cover medical expenses that would have been paid for out-of-pocket, such as prescription medicines and medical supplies.

In a statement to CNBC, Amazon said it’s “excited to announce” the feature, which allows buyers to use their HSA or FSA debit cards towards eligible purchases.

“Customers now have the flexibility to use FSA/HSA cards on a wide range of eligible over-the-counter purchases, eliminating the need to pay out-of-pocket or submit receipts for reimbursement,” the Amazon spokesperson said.

Amazon started rolling out the offering to customers earlier this month, which was spotted by a few outlets and blogs.

In recent years, Amazon has started adding more health and wellness products, including medical devices and over-the-counter medicines.

Amazon’s rival Walmart, which currently offers pharmacy services, also has a storefront for HSA and FSA products.

The company also acquired an internet pharmacy company, PillPack, in the summer of 2018, signaling an interest in adding prescription medicines to its marketplace. It now has a leader for that pharmacy business, a veteran who helped build Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing platform. But PillPack, which primarily serves older customers who take multiple medications, hasn’t been fully integrated into Amazon and still operates independently.

Prescription drugs is a notoriously challenging product to offer, given the complex web of intermediaries that sit between the drug manufacturer and the pharmacy. To sell prescription medicines, Amazon will need to work with middlemen, known as pharmacy benefits managers, in order to take a customer’s insurance.

Some health experts suggest that the move into adding HSA and FSA cards is a smart method for Amazon to learn more about people’s spending on health.

“It’s a back end way for Amazon to learn about consumer purchasing behavior of health care products and services, as it moves more deeply into the space,” said Michael Yang, a health-tech investor with Omers Ventures.

Others believe that Amazon’s new storefront could be a starting point for the company to extend into pharmacy and employer benefits.

If Amazon had a pharmacy offering, “consumers with high deductible plans and health savings accounts may be more than willing to pay cash for prescriptions using these accounts,” said Stephen Buck, a health entrepreneur who previously worked at McKesson, a major drug distributor.

Some in the pharmacy world have speculated that Amazon will get into the space by initially focusing this segment of consumers that typically pays cash for their prescription medicine. That’s about 6 percent of the U.S. population, which is a chunk of the $450 billion pharmacy market. If it did that, those people might choose to use their health and flexible savings accounts.
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How Amazon Could Disrupt The Pharmacy Business

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 13, 2019 at 3:22 am

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Americans Had To Borrow $88 BILLION To Pay For Healthcare Last Year

“Americans borrowed a staggering $88 billion in the past year to pay for health care, a new survey finds.
About 1 in 8 had to resort to borrowing to afford care in the previous year, according to a West Health-Gallup survey released Tuesday. Also, 65 million adults say they had a health issue but didn’t seek treatment due to cost. Nearly a quarter had to cut back on spending to pay for health care or medicine.”

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 6, 2019 at 3:21 am

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Warren Buffett talks fixing health care, Jamie Dimon and Jeff Bezos

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett discusses his new health care venture named “Haven” and why he thinks it will be a success.

Industry titans Amazon (AMZN), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) teamed up a year ago to address rising health care costs in the U.S. for their employees.

Their new venture is a nonprofit called Haven, and led by Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon, professor, author, and public health leader. The goal of Haven isn’t just about making or saving money, but instead solving some of the most critical issues surrounding health care, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett told Yahoo Finance’s Andy Serwer in a wide-ranging interview.

“The plan is to support a very, very, very good thinker on this subject, who’s a practicing physician, and who commands the respect of the medical community too,” Buffett said. “In effect, figure out some way so that we can deliver even better care, and have people feel better about their care, too. They have to perceive that they’re receiving better care, over time. And stop the march upward of costs, relative to the country’s output.”

The 88-year-old investor went on to explain that the U.S. is spending far too much on health care.

“We’ve got this incredible economic machine, but we shouldn’t be spending 18%, when other countries are doing something pretty comparable, in terms of doctors per capita, hospital beds per capita, and all that,” he said. “The very top stuff in medicine, I think, is very much concentrated in this country. And that’s great. I want us to be the leader, but I think we’re paying a price. If we’re paying seven extra points of GDP, that’s $1.4 trillion a year.”

One of the more high-profile challenges in health care is soaring drug prices.

Buffett acknowledged that D.C. is trying to figure it out and said this is something Haven will take on, too.

“[You] talk to the average congressman, they regard it as a problem, and they see specific instances of drug prices or something like that, but it’s a big problem to change,” Buffett said. “The trouble is it intersects in so many ways. And that’s why we’ve got Gawande heading it. We’ve got three pretty good sized organizations backing him.”
Collectively, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan employ more than 1.2 million people — giving Gawande an opportunity to problem solve for better efficiency and outcomes.

“His game plan, it’s not something we’re going to try to lay out, because it’s in his head, to some degree. Obviously, we selected him by hearing and reading, and so on, what he’s done. But he’ll learn, as we go. We will conduct certain experiments, or he will, and try out a community where one of us has a lot of employees. There are various ways to experiment.”
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 20, 2019 at 3:21 am

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Warren Buffett on healthcare: It’s a big problem to change

Warren Buffett sat down with Andy Serwer of Yahoo Finance to discuss his plan to improve healthcare through his venture “Haven” with Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 19, 2019 at 3:21 am

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