shutterstock_271375967 California is in the middle of an historic drought, with the government setting limits on how long people can sing in the shower. Farmers in the state may soon need to cut back on planting or production, as ground water dries up. But California is still fruitful ground for testing promising ways to improve how health care consumers, otherwise known as ...

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Recently, health insurance companies across the nation have petitioned to increase premium rates for customers covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has proposed a 25.7 percent raise in premiums; in New Mexico, BCBS requested a 56.1 percent raise; and, in Georgia, Alliant Health Plans has submitted a proposal for a hike as high as 85 ...

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Mergers and acquisitions aren’t two words that usually find their way into medical lexicon, but that is rapidly changing. However, health care, like many industries, is experiencing a new round of mergers and acquisitions that is reshaping local and national markets, as well as impacting the availability and affordability of health care services for millions of patients. According to many industry and Wall Street experts, we are on the front ...

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shutterstock_115761625 The Medscape Physician Compensation Report puts primary care physicians at the bottom of the heap, with a median earning of less than $200,000 per year in 2014. What if the largest insurer of older Americans took those numbers to heart and decided to give primary care a pay raise of 25 percent, in recognition of and better support for ...

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In many communities around the country, hospitals are one of -- if not the -- largest employers. Consequently, there are undoubtedly economic issues that would befall an area if its hospital were to close. But this post isn’t about that. It’s about the health care consequences, and by extension, the health consequences that might arise in a community when a hospital closes its doors. The logic is fairly straightforward: If a ...

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shutterstock_167475845 Imagine you were seeking major surgery, and the hospital's consent form contained this surprise statement, which you were asked to initial: "I understand that this surgeon and hospital have not performed this procedure in the last 12 months. As such, I accept the greater risk of complications and even death." It's hard to believe that you would sign the form and move ...

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shutterstock_132428099 There is a scene from the movie Dr. Zhivago that, no matter how often I see it, sends chills down my spine. Yuri returns home from World War I after the communist revolution in Russia and runs into his half brother. Yuri finds that not only has his house has been taken over , but being a doctor, he has been ...

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed Medicare for the better, and produced higher quality of care for patients. But whether the new shifts in Medicare policy will lower the total cost of health care, remains unclear. And that could present the program with a major problem in the future. For the first 40 years of Medicare, most enrollees opted for the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program. The main reason for doing so was ...

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Paying someone to mow your lawn is a pretty straightforward affair. Ryan the lawn guy will look at the lawn size and maybe the hilliness of your yard, and you’ll settle on a price for mowing and trimming it. When you decide to contract for Ryan’s services on a more regular basis, payment might get a little more complicated. If you pay Ryan every time he mows your lawn he ...

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shutterstock_66054364 I am going to make a bold statement here. Are you ready for it? There is nothing wrong with health care providers thinking like businessmen. I know what you’re thinking, but I feel the word “business” gets a bad reputation in medicine. We immediately associate the term with profit-hungry, egocentric individuals, a preconceived notion probably rooted in their unfair depiction in popular ...

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