health care costs

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We asked you, our listeners and readers, to share  your concerns with healthcare costs. And the results are in. 

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Americans are divided on lots of issues. But a new national survey finds that people across the political spectrum agree on at least one thing: Our health care system needs fixing.

Arline Feilen lost her husband to suicide in 2013. Three years later, she lost her dad to cancer. And this February, she lost her 89-year-old mom to a cascade of health problems.

"We were like glue, and that first Mother's Day without her was killer. It just dragged me down," said Feilen, who is 56 and lives in suburban Chicago. "It was just loss after loss after loss, and I just crumbled."

How U.S. Health Care Became Big Business

Apr 12, 2017

Health care is a trillion-dollar industry in America, but are we getting what we pay for? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical journalist who formerly worked as a medical doctor, warns that the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.

Costs Of Widely Prescribed Drugs Jumped 5,241 Percent In Recent Years

Nov 29, 2016
Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Jess Franz-Christensen did not realize the seriousness of her son’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis until staff in the doctor’s office offered to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Her next shock: The cost of Jack’s medicines.

West Virginia Grapples With High Drug Costs

Oct 17, 2016

Skyrocketing prices for essential medicines like the EpiPen, are generating public outcry, congressional hearings and political promises for policy fixes. In the meantime, the increases continue to hit pocketbooks — even of people who don't rely on these expensive drugs. In a state like West Virginia, where dire budget shortfalls have been a problem over the last few years, the problem is especially pronounced.

Karen Shakerdge

Dennis Rodgers flips over a bright pink piece of paper and rattles off his choices:  “Attempt resuscitation or do not attempt resuscitation... to do limited intervention or to take no medical intervention… whether to intubate or not to intubate.”

In LA, Moms-To-Be Share Appointments

May 13, 2016
Anjik Butler and Alexandria Smith share their pregnancy concerns during a group session at the Eisner’s Women’s Health Center in Los Angeles. Shared medical appointments are becoming more common as a way to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Heidi de Marco / KHN

LOS ANGELES — The women sat in a circle and bemoaned their sleepless nights. It seemed unfair: Their babies weren’t even born yet.

Mayra Del Real’s daughter turned somersaults in her belly every few hours. Alexandria Smith lay awake with heartburn. When she wasn’t propped up with every pillow in the house, she was making bleary-eyed trips to the bathroom.

Sofia Mejia, pregnant with her third baby, laughed knowingly.

“It’s really priceless — those moments in the middle of the night,” she said. “You get used to it.”

These moms-to-be weren’t just commiserating over coffee. They were at a routine prenatal visit — all five of them at once.

That Surgery Might Cost You A Lot Less In Another Town

Apr 27, 2016

Need knee replacement surgery? It may be worthwhile to head for Tucson.

That's because the average price for a knee replacement in the Arizona city is $21,976, about $38,000 less than it would in Sacramento, Calif. That's according to a report issued Wednesday by the Health Care Cost Institute.

Study Says Patients Can Manage Complex Care At Home — And Cut Costs

Mar 21, 2016
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Lauren Silverman

The Holy Grail in health care is finding a way to cut costs and improve outcomes. Researchers at Parkland Hospital in Dallas say they’ve uncovered a way to do both — so that patients who typically have to stay in the hospital for more than a month can go home and care for themselves.

Warren J. Smith III didn’t want to lose his leg, but an infection just kept coming back.

It all started with a motorcycle accident in 2009. Since then, he’d had dozens of operations, round after round of antibiotics and countless days in a hospital bed --isolated in sterile rooms.

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