SingleCare Industry News Round-up, 5/18

Cropped SingleCare logo By | May 20, 2016

SingleCare rounds up the healthcare news and developments that matter, every week. This week, read about the $629 Band-aid and more.

What’s happening this week in healthcare? First, read a 1-year-old who cut her finger and was taken to the emergency room. Fortunately, she ended up needing only a band-aid. Unfortunately, this band-aid ended up costing her family $629.00. Learn more about facility fees in:

The case of the $629 Band-Aid — and what it reveals about American health care

This billing system has its own flaws. Medicare has historically relied on tiered facility fees, with five different prices tethered to the complexity of the case. But it’s recently found that providers seemed to be “upcharging” their facility fees — picking codes that paid higher rates than the severity of their case should permit. A simpler solution might be transparency — requiring hospitals to post their facility fees on the door so that patients have a sense of what the base price is for entry.

Next, read some good news from a recent study by the Urban Institute showing that the number of lower income kids getting health coverage continues to improve.

Health Coverage Rates For Lower Income Children Improving

The coverage increase among children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP mirrors changes in the uninsurance rate for children overall, which fell from 7 percent in 2013 to 5.8 percent in 2014, the researchers noted. They estimated that 4.5 million children younger than 18 are still uninsured. That population varies significantly among states, according to the report, with uninsurance below 4 percent in 14 states and above 9 percent in four: Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. There were coverage gains for all types of children between 2013 and 2014, including those of different ethnic groups, ages and family incomes. But progress has been slower for some groups, including adolescents between age 13 and 18 and Hispanic kids in families in which no parent speaks English.

Finally, LifeHacker asks why healthcare services are so expensive and explores industry shifts (such as the rise in specialty drugs) that have led to higher premiums.

Why Health Care Is So Expensive

When you get sick, you shouldn’t have to decide between medical care and rent. Medical costs are already unreasonable for 25 percent of Americans, and are getting worse every year. Pricey insurance and unexpected medical bills are a potential ticket to bankruptcy, and you have little power to protect yourself.

All caught up? As you can see, it gets expensive out there, but we at SingleCare have a few great ideas to solve the problem. For starters, check out how you can save an average of 50% on prescriptions.

[Main image credit: Purestock, Thinkstock]