Health & Wellness, Health Care Reform

New US Govt Health Data Web Site

The U.S. government has created a new web site that will track your payments to physicians. It intends to display drug and device connections to physicians. It is not expected that the data will be complete for some time. The link is http://www.cms.gov/openpayments/index.html

Pulitzer-Prize winning health writer Charles Ornstein of Pro Pubblica, an investigative journalism web site, has written a report on this subject at the following link:

http://www.propublica.org/article/what-to-be-wary-of-in-the-govts-new-site-detailing-industry-money-to-docs

Photo of Charles Ornstein is from the Association of Health Care Journalists. Ornstein is on its Board of Directors.

Charles Ornstein

 

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Health & Wellness, Health Care Reform, Long-Term Care

Considerations for Reporting on Heath Care Costs

Three healthcare writers have posted on WordPress through the Association of Healthcare Journalists their challenges with covering health care costs – how “wildly” variable they are in the U.S., including block to block in the same city.  The link to their comments is at the end of the last sentence.

Six (or more) things to remember when reporting on health care costs

by Pia Christensen

health-care-costs-reportersHealth care costs lack transparency and are wildly variable, not just from region to region but sometimes from block to block within the same city. It is a complex topic, with chargemaster prices, what insurers paid and what consumers pay (if anything). Then there are the administrative rules set by Medicare and Medicaid and the negotiated rates between insurers and providers. It’s daunting, but Lisa Aliferis of KQED, Rebecca Plevin of SCPR and Jeanne Pinderof clearhealthcosts.com have teamed up to offer guidance for reporting on health care costs in this new AHCJ tip sheet.