Stories

The Element of Surprise with Hospital Bills

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 0 comments

The Element of Surprise with Hospital Bills

By Eric Funk As a patient with a long history of atypical migraines, I have firsthand experience with the importance of controlling costs of care. I have seen attempts to reduce expenses throughout my journey within the healthcare system. At a primary care office, I was congratulated for scheduling an appointment with my primary care provider rather than using the Emergency Department. The tone of the physician spoke to the cost that the ED visit would have incurred. The initial primary care visit and subsequent prophylactic medication I was prescribed have certainly saved me from many ED...

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Grief and Challenges of End of Life Treatment

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 2 comments

Grief and Challenges of End of Life Treatment

By Benjamin Schnapp, MD “Tell me about your mother.” That is always how it begins. There was never quite enough time the last few years, time to put her affairs in order, time to talk about the unpleasantness that comes at the end of life. Now here we were, standing watch beside her stretcher in the emergency room. Upstairs was the grim certainty of the intensive care unit, the ceaseless beepbeep-beep of the life-support machines, the endless expensive tests that would likely all be for naught. Yet there was the fear. There was always the fear. “You mean you didn’t do everything for...

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Bringing Clinicians, Patients, and Financial Administrators into a Common Conversation About Affordable Care

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Blog, News, Stories | 0 comments

Bringing Clinicians, Patients, and Financial Administrators into a Common Conversation About Affordable Care

By Neel Shah, MD MPP and Dan Michelson, MBA It all started a few years ago with an out-of-the-blue e-mail: “Neel – I saw the work you are doing via the article in the journal ‘Leadership’.  Congratulations as this is a great area of focus to pursue – the need to take down the complexity as it relates to cost/charge/reimbursement is a tough and an important issue.  There may be some interesting ways we can collaborate.  Best, Dan” That e-mail would lead to a major initiative, a National Story Contest called The Best Care, The Lowest Cost: One Idea at a Time that we are...

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The Price of Certainty in the ICU

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 0 comments

The Price of Certainty in the ICU

By Tom Peteet, MD Mr. J was as close to a typical sixty year-old patient as possible, wary of doctors and selective in when he took his blood pressure medications. On a sunny Thursday, he woke up nauseated and called an ambulance. During evaluation in the emergency room, his blood pressures reached atmospheric levels (nearly 300 systolic). He began seizing, which soon stopped and was transferred to the ICU. As the admitting resident, I dutifully went through the potential causes of his elevated blood pressure: medication noncompliance, surreptitious cocaine use, and even the zebra diagnosis...

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The Costs of Cancer Care

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 4 comments

The Costs of Cancer Care

By Holly Woodcock I’m a nurse and a patient. My story starts out during Thanksgiving of 2009 when I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the tender age of 47. Stage IIIB. Metastatic, but curable they told me. After three surgeries, hospital stays, blood work, traveling, chemotherapy for six months, all the follow-ups with physicians, CT scans, the medications needed at home, I’m still paying. As a consumer, it’s really enough to make a head spin. As a nurse, I’m aware of hospital costs. I know it’s expensive. Expenses add up fast as $100 co-pay after $100 co-pay are requested...

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