June 9, 2015 Insurers typically get substantial discounts off hospital sticker prices, but people treated out of their plan's network or the uninsured can wind up paying the full bill.
A free pregnancy test dispenser hangs next to a condom dispenser in the women's restroom at the Peanut Farm bar in Anchorage.
May 10, 2015 A small number of bars are offering the free tests as part of a state-funded pilot program aiming to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
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Anne Koller closes her eyes as an oncology nurse attaches a line for chemotherapy to a port in her chest. Koller typically spends three to six hours getting each treatment.
Sarah Jane Tribble/WCPN
April 14, 2015 Cancer treatment is increasingly expensive, even for patients who have insurance. Some doctors advocate discussing the costs of cancer treatment as they would hair loss, pain or other side effects.
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September 12, 2014 While there were increases in the second quarter of this year, they don't appear to be pushing the growth in health spending toward the painful levels of a decade ago.
June 24, 2014 Although medical costs will increase as the economy improves, the shift of expenses to workers by employers will help restrain the overall cost of care a little.
Hospitals in Maryland may soon have an unusual, new way to make money.
January 10, 2014 Hospitals in Maryland would be financially rewarded for keeping people healthy and out of the hospital. The arrangement, once unimaginable, could serve as a model for containing hospital costs elsewhere in the country.
Have you thought about getting a PET scanner?
October 15, 2013 Running a hospital that scores well on keeping more patients alive or providing extensive charity care doesn't translate into a compensation bump for top executives. Nonprofit hospitals have been under scrutiny for paying high salaries to chief executives while skimping on benefits for their communities.
June 13, 2013 Instead of waiting for individual hospitals to apply to build proton centers, a health planning council solicited proposals, promising to favor collaborative approaches. A five-hospital group that teamed with a private company got the go-ahead to build in New York City.
May 31, 2013 The green light comes despite questions about whether the proton beam treatment is more effective than less expensive options. The two centers, about three miles apart, will compete for patients in the Washington area.
Where a person lives seems to have an effect on Medicare spending. But why?
May 29, 2013 Waste and aggressive treatment might not explain Medicare cost variations after all. Differing levels of health by region could account for most of the cost variation, an analysis finds.
A cancer pill can cost patients more than the same treatment given as an infusion.
May 17, 2013 Even cancer patients with health insurance can face steep copayments for drugs, a sizable share of hospital bills and significant incidental expenses. So wouldn't it make sense for doctors and patients to talk about financial issues up front?
Average hospital charges for a major joint replacement, such as an artificial hip, vary widely, as this map from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
May 8, 2013 In a first, Medicare has revealed how much individual hospitals bill and how much they are paid for common treatments. The charges vary widely. And while Medicare and private insurers generally pay far less than what hospitals request, the uninsured may pay something closer to these sticker prices.
May 6, 2013 The growth in health spending has definitely slowed, according to several recent studies. Some reasons: the weak economy, a shift of costs to patients and fewer expensive technologies being introduced.
If you bought this 1954 Buick when it was new, the price was just about as mysterious as it is today for hip replacement surgery.
February 11, 2013 When researchers asked hospitals how much a total hip replacement would cost a 62-year-old woman paying cash, a surprising number couldn't or wouldn't say. Health care could learn something from the car industry about working with consumers, critics say.
Among common health problems, depression was linked to the highest increase in annual spending by employers' on workers' health care.
November 6, 2012 People with high blood sugar had medical expenses that were almost one-third higher than average, as did people with high blood pressure. But among common health problems, depression was linked to the highest spending increase.
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