Even the savviest Medicare drug plan shoppers can get a shock when they fill prescriptions: That great deal on medications is no bargain after prices go up.
Pharmacy benefit managers have curtailed in-person audits of pharmacy claims during the pandemic, switching to virtual audits done by computer. That has markedly increased the number of claims they can review — and the chances for payment denials — squeezing pharmacies and bringing in more cash for the benefit companies.
A Trump administration rule mandating that hospitals disclose true prices on their websites took effect this year. But compliance is spotty and even when the data is public, it’s hard to find and understand.
In his campaign, President Joe Biden promised to undo policies, particularly health policies, implemented by former President Donald Trump. Yet, despite immense executive power, reversing four years of action takes time and resources.
Under a rule that kicked in Jan. 1, hospitals are required to make public the prices they negotiate with insurers. That’s a lot more information than was previously required, which was only the posting of “chargemasters” — the hospital-generated list prices that few consumers or health plans actually pay.
Caregiving is in crisis for low-income caregivers. Family and friends who provide help with daily tasks for anyone with complex health needs or decreased mobility face high demands and are in short supply. This work is largely unpaid and unseen, and families are left to fend for themselves with few options to ease their caregiving duties.
A provision the Trump administration tucked into its final rule on health plan price transparency requires telling consumers what they will pay out-of-pocket for drugs and showing them what the plan paid.
Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Americans are paying too much for their prescription drugs. Over the last six years, the median cost of prescription drugs has increased over 70 percent, leaving Americans with an ever-increasing burden for prescriptions that their lives literally depend on. As someone whose family is personally impacted by high prescription drug costs, I understand the struggles that Americans are facing.
A routine doctor’s visit for a sore throat brought more than $28,000 in charges for one New York City woman in our latest “Bill of the Month” installment.
In our ongoing, crowdsourced investigation with NPR and CBS, we’ve armed future health system pilgrims with the tools they need to avoid exorbitant medical bills and fight back against unfair charges. Here’s a look back at 2019’s stories.