People like to research prices before they make a big purchase - and that goes for everything from cars to surgery. At least, that’s what Democratic Assemblymember Roger Hernandez says. He says his bill would create a website that lists costs of medical procedures, so that consumers can find the best deal.
“It’s important for consumers to be equipped with the information that will give them the power to question billing practices, to question a procedure that they feel they’re being overcharged for, and thus maybe the insurance company is being overcharged for,” Hernandez says.
The website would display the amount charged for a healthcare service, and how much was actually paid. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones supports the idea of an online database.
“When you think about it, for every other good or service that we purchase, you can see a price list, but not medical services. And the prices vary all over the place. Even from the same medical provider,” Jones says.
Jones says there may be legal impediments to making more health pricing information publically available.
Premiums in California’s individual marketplace will increase for the fifth consecutive year, due in part to federal changes and a predicted departure of healthy consumers.
Kaiser Permanente’s "Salud en Español" clinic is part of a wider effort to increase culturally appropriate services for Latino residents, who are at high risk for diabetes and hypertension but are less likely than white patients to go to the doctor.
Gov. Jerry Brown opted not to include major investments in public health insurance programs in his budget revision on Friday, citing a preference for one-time spending measures over long-term commitments.
Enrollment in Covered California dropped slightly this year. Numbers out today show 1.5 million people enrolled for 2018. That's down about two percent from the previous year. A drop in renewals offset gains in new enrollees.
There's a big public health push to stop pumping livestock with antibiotics. A new report looks at which fast food chains are being choosy about their meat.
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