Posts Tagged - ‘hospital’

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Patients Stay In Hotels For Cheaper Health Care

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Image: kevindooley under CC 3.0)

Hospitalization tends to be very expensive. The cost is passed onto you through your health insurance premiums.

A new program in Boston is experimenting with different tactics. People with in-patient procedures and surgeries that are not critical are staying in nearby hotel or motel rooms, as opposed to limited hospital beds. Even though the pilot program involves a Hilton hotel instead of the local Super 8, it still saves 15-20% over recuperation in a hospital.

It’s probably cheaper–which is appealing to health insurance plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, who will often cover the combined cost–but is it safe? A nurse stays in the room next to the patient at all times.

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Uninsured? Don’t Get Surgery In A Home Office

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

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Really, nobody–regardless of health insurance status–should undergo surgery inside a person’s home, but the uninsured may go to desperate measures.

A case in California makes this sad point: a man died after receiving a botched $3,000 gallbladder surgery. Although such actions are technically illegal, many doctors and nurses use local anesthesia to get around the laws. Don’t forget that quite a few of these providers aren’t even real physicians!

In most cases, patients should use a hospital when having major procedures. If there is cardiac arrest or another complication, they will be better equipped to deal with it. An individual health insurance policy will usually have a network of approved hospitals and reputable surgical centers, where you can get procedures done at a discount.

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Will Your Health Insurance Company Drop Some Hospitals?

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

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A growing trend in the health insurance industry is to eliminate certain elite hospitals from their provider networks. They believe that refusing to cover those hospitals–that charge significantly higher rates for services than the average–will save money for them and their consumers.

Massachusetts is promoting these so-called restricted provider networks, with a 10-20% discount on health insurance plan premiums. These plans also promote using free-standing imaging centers for medical scans.

Elite hospitals are truly superior in some areas, but their outcomes are similar to more affordable community hospitals in others. Proponents of this strategy feel that diverting some patients from these teaching hospitals will encourage them to clamp down on medical costs in order to regain their business.

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