The Biden administration is weighing how to treat urgent care clinics as part of broad regulations banning surprise, out-of-network medical bills. At the heart of the matter: What counts as an emergency?
Doctors in Washington state used human body bags filled with ice and water to rapidly cool the sickest patients affected by record heat last month.
Only severely injured patients are supposed to be billed for “trauma team alert” fees that can exceed $50,000.
Two intractable failings of the U.S. health care system — addiction treatment and medical costs — come to a head in the ER, where patients desperate for addiction treatment arrive, only to find the facility may not be equipped to deal with substance use or, if they are, treatment is prohibitively expensive.
Experts say rural communities must find new models to keep emergency services afloat as more 911 calls go unanswered.
Veteran health journalist Marshall Allen has been exposing health care grifters for years. Now he’s written a book about how to fight them. Host Dan Weissmann spoke with Allen about some of the best tips from “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”
A college student never got an answer for what caused her intense pain, but she did get a bill that totaled $18,736 for an ER visit. She and her mom, a nurse practitioner, fought to understand all the charges.
What’s known as emergency room boarding of psychiatric patients has risen between 200% and 400% monthly in Massachusetts during the pandemic — and the problem is widespread. The CDC says emergency room visits after suicide attempts among teen girls were up 51% earlier this year as compared with 2019.
HCA charges patients an “activation fee” of up to $50,000 for trauma teams at centers located in half its 179 hospitals — and they often don’t need trauma care, an analysis of insurance claims data shows.
The state, concerned about the high cost of care at these stand-alone facilities, is offering hospitals more Medicaid money if they convert them to other uses, such as primary care or mental health centers.