Public Health & Policy

Tips for questioning costs in today’s health care system

by Joanna Fief

About two years ago in the wee hours of the morning, I found myself in a local emergency room with severe stomach pain, incessant vomiting and dehydration.  It wasn’t pretty, and I was desperate for something – anything – to ease my pain and stop my vomiting.

Gratefully, within minutes of receiving an IV with medications for pain and nausea, my symptoms subsided.  After a couple of blood tests …

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The Massachusetts gift ban benefits health insurance companies

by Edison Wong, MD

With the recent proposal to repeal the so-called Massachusetts “gift ban” (more appropriately referred to as the “interaction ban”), I asked myself who stands to gain the most from such bans?

Is it the consumers or patients? Is it the physicians or their practices? Is it the federal or state governments? Nope. Sadly, it is the insurers who gain the most, at the expense of patients.

The …

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Free clinics need more government funding

by Cole Petrochko

The nation’s free clinics provide medical service to 1.8 million patients annually — more than half of those clinics operate without government funding and serve patients who are almost all uninsured — according to the first census of free clinics in 40 years.

Responses to a national mail survey by 764 free clinics in the U.S., reported in the June issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, revealed that …

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Doctors make far less money than most people think

A video excerpt from The Vanishing Oath, a film directed by Ryan Flesher, MD.

The average physician salary in the United States is $146,000 — which is undeniably a lot of money at face value.

But it’s a lot less when you factor in the overhead costs that doctors incur.  And that’s not including the medical school debt which, on average, exceeds $150,000.

This clip shows how the take home pay of …

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