Healthcare Costs

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Taking a stand against provider consolidation

I'm rarely one to advocate for fighting instead of finding peace, but every now and then, you just have to stand up for what you think is right. And that's how I view the recent decision from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois to not negotiate with hospitals that affiliate with each other. I recognize the right of providers to work together and address the problem of ever-rising healthcare costs. And I certainly don't think that provider consolidation is the only driver to those increasing costs. Insurers have their share of blame, as well.

Reference pricing exposes cost variation, but doesn't save money

Although the practice of reference pricing helps emphasize the wide variation in medical costs, it doesn't actually decrease healthcare spending, according to a new report.

Cigna: Consumers fear healthcare costs could dampen financial futures

Consumers worry that soaring healthcare costs could impede upon their financial well-being, according to a  survey released today by Cigna.

4 signs the ACA is working

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of HealthCare.gov's launch, and the debate regarding the healthcare reform law's popularity and effectiveness continues. An article in the New Republic said despite the controversy, it's important to look at the end result. It outlines four ways that prove the Affordable Care Act is working. 

Big companies, insurers urge uptake in wellness programs

Aetna and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association are joining forces with some of the biggest companies to urge the entire business community to embrace wellness programs as a way to lower healthcare costs and boost employee health.

Should insurers create wellness programs?

Although a growing number of employers are investing in wellness programs to help lower their health-related costs, research doesn't always prove that these initiatives are effective. That leaves insurers wondering whether they should invest the time and resources necessary to develop and implement wellness programs.

American healthcare: more for less?

A new trend in healthcare is underway in America, writes  Vox's  Sarah Kliff in her  latest analysis. She's calling it "the get more, pay less" era.

Narrow networks lower spending by a third, research finds

Although narrow networks aren't popular among providers and some states are even urging insurers to widen their provider lists, narrow networks can help lower healthcare costs by reducing patient spending by as much as a third, according to a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

UnitedHealth puts robust price transparency tools in consumers' hands

As health insurers continue their quest of achieving consumer engagement, many believe that offering price transparency tools is a key factor in achieving that goal. And UnitedHealth is taking those tools one step further by providing very specific cost estimates to their members. That means UnitedHealth members can get an extremely accurate price for total service cost, out-of-pocket expenses, co-payments and any outstanding deductibles. To learn more about how UnitedHealth is leading the charge on price transparency,  FierceHealthPayer  spoke with Victoria "Tory" Bogatyrenko, UnitedHealth's national vice president for product, innovation and marketing.

Covering all preventive tests leads to higher utilization, costs

As insurers are covering more preventive tests and screening, as required by the Affordable Care Act, two financial experts question whether such coverage actually incurs additional costs for the companies.