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November 2013
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Is It Really About Zombie Doctors?

A small excerpt from Dr. Zubin “ZDoggMD” Damania’s TEDMED talk this year?

Do you think doctors are becoming zombies? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!

Study: Cancer Patients Reluctant To Ask About Costs of Treatments

If only. A new study finds that cancer patients are reluctant to ask about the costs of their treatment. Sadly, doctors aren’t really any better:

Although more than half the participants said they wanted to talk about cost with their physicians, only 19 percent had actually done so. Yet 57 percent of those who did . . . → Read More: Study: Cancer Patients Reluctant To Ask About Costs of Treatments

Would We Just Be Better Off Without Health Insurance?

One Portland, Maine doctor seems to think so. And has the experience to prove it:

Dr. Michael Ciampi announced on April 1st that he would no longer be accepting insurance in any form as payment for his services.

But this was no April Fool’s joke: Dr. Ciampi says he decided to cut out the middleman . . . → Read More: Would We Just Be Better Off Without Health Insurance?

Are Your Doctor’s Charges “Reasonable and Customary”?

If you are lucky enough to have health insurance, one of the keys to keeping a handle on your healthcare costs is understanding what are “reasonable and customary” charges under your health insurance policy. If you can understand your health insurance policy’s “reasonable and customary” charges, you will have taken the first step in finding . . . → Read More: Are Your Doctor’s Charges “Reasonable and Customary”?

Have You Ever Gotten a Medical Bill With No Explanation?

Always ask what you’re paying for!

When Keith Yaskin and his wife, Loren, rushed their 2-year-old son to the hospital with a dangerous infection in his neck, they weren’t thinking about how much his care would cost. After his three-day inpatient stay with nonstop intravenous antibiotics, they were hit with $8,900 in charges.

But the . . . → Read More: Have You Ever Gotten a Medical Bill With No Explanation?

Doctor Gets $3.8 Million Judgment Against Anthem Blue Cross

Interesting case out of California. A Los Angeles jury ruled that Anthem Blue Cross illegally barred Dr. Jeffrey Nordella from its provider network, slapping the health insurance giant with a $3.8 million judgement:

The jury ruled late Monday in favor of Jeffrey Nordella, 58, an urgent-care and family-practice doctor who alleged that Anthem barred him . . . → Read More: Doctor Gets $3.8 Million Judgment Against Anthem Blue Cross

Where Are the Doctors Taking Medicare Patients?

Are you a Medicare patient? Tell us about it in our Medicare discussion forum!

Are Patients the Problem with Health Care Costs?

Are we part of the problem? One doctor described his frustration with trying to control medical costs:

Earlier that week, for example, he had tried to avoid ordering a costly M.R.I. scan for a patient who had been suffering from headaches. After a thorough examination, my colleague was convinced the headaches were the result of . . . → Read More: Are Patients the Problem with Health Care Costs?

Obamacare: What Will Become of Corner “Bodega Clinics”?

Do “bodega clinics” have a place in the U.S. healthcare system?

The so-called bodega clinicas that line the streets of Los Angeles’ immigrant neighborhoods blend into a dense forest of commerce. Wedged between money order kiosks and pawn shops, these storefront doctors’ offices treat ailments for cash: a doctor’s visit is $20 to $40, a . . . → Read More: Obamacare: What Will Become of Corner “Bodega Clinics”?

Why Is Your Doctor Still Prescribing You a Brand-Name Drug?

Generics for a fistful of major prescription drugs like Lipitor, Singulair, and Plavix became available in the last year. So why is your doctor still prescribing you a brand-name drug when a generic drug is available?

Eight in 10 prescriptions are filled with generics rather than brand-name drugs these days.

The generics are usually inexpensive. . . . → Read More: Why Is Your Doctor Still Prescribing You a Brand-Name Drug?