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SingleCare Industry News Round-up 7/1: Drug Prices, Cheap Telehealth, and Insurance Transparency

By | July 1, 2016

This week in healthcare news, read about prescription drug prices, a cheaper healthcare costs with telehealth, and the need for transparency in healthcare.

First, watch a two-minute synopsis of why prescription drug prices have continued to skyrocket in recent years.

“High prescription drug prices have been a problem for years. Now, with the introduction of new treatments for cancer, hepatitis C, and high cholesterol that can run tens of thousands of dollars a year, the cost of medicine has spurred a national debate. […] The industry says it has to charge high prices to fund research and development, and that it offers discounts and rebates to help make treatments more affordable.”

Next, read about how patients are using telemedicine services as a reliable method for cutting healthcare costs.

There are at present roughly 200 “telemedicine networks” with 3,500 service sites operating throughout the United States. More than 15 million Americans annually receive some type of medical care remotely. […] Those routine on line consultations typically cost about $45. That compares with $100 or more for an in-office visit, $160 for a visit to an urgent-care clinic and $750 or more at a hospital emergency room, according to The Journal.”

Finally, learn why a lack of transparency around Obamacare and the insurance industry could have major consequences for taxpayers.

“More transparency surrounding these numbers and their final release must become a priority for healthcare leadership. In 2015, final premium increases weren’t released by HHS until late October right before open enrollment began. Should the same pattern happen this year, taxpayers will not have enough time to prepare, research and decide what the best coverage option is. Furthermore, businesses have a right to know if they will be able to provide insurance for their employees, taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going, and as election season nears, voters also have a right to know how their healthcare costs will change in order to make an educated decision.”