What Makes US Healthcare So Expensive? It’s Price, Not Overutilization, Say Researchers at IHME and UCLA

Recent studies exploring the economics behind the high price of US healthcare independently point to the price of labor, goods, services, administrative costs, and pharmaceuticals as primary reason why the US spends almost twice as much as peer countries on healthcare It is regularly reported that the cost of healthcare in the United States is notably more expensive that in most developed nations. Overutilization of medical services in this country is often given as a reason why this is true....

EHR Systems Continue to Cause Burnout, Physician Dissatisfaction, and Decreased Face-to-Face Patient Care

New study published in the Annals of Family Medicine (AFM) indicates that despite efforts to improve EHR usability and efficiency, primary care physicians continue to spend more than 50% of their workdays on computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and other clerical tasks instead of engaging in direct patient care Do electronic health record (EHR) systems improve or degrade the productivity of physicians? That question has been the subject of robust debate. Now comes a new study in a...

Five Reasons Why Retail Clinics Are a “Game-Changing” Threat to Traditional Healthcare Providers That Could Strain Clinical Laboratories and Pathologists

Research conducted by Kalorama suggests the popularity of retail clinics represents a trend towards newer healthcare models that challenge existing models of care, and which could severely impact hospitals, clinical laboratories, and pathology groups In recent years, pathologists and medical laboratory managers have watched as retail clinics housed in drug and grocery stores became a go-to service for healthcare customers seeking relief from minor illnesses. However, to market research company...

Bundled Payments for Joint Replacements Cuts Costs for Medicare; Hospitals Held Accountable for Quality of Care

Clinical laboratories must stay informed about the success of bundled-payment initiatives because they will need to negotiate a share of these payments where medical laboratory testing is involved Research published this year concluded that bundled payments for joint replacement services performed on Medicare patients reduce Medicare’s costs without negatively affecting patient outcomes. Because these types of surgeries do not generally utilize many lab tests, the question is still out as to...

Federal Judges Block Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana Deals to Protect Market Competition and Healthcare Consumers

Mergers that would have reshaped the nation’s largest insurance companies would directly affect the provider networks independent medical laboratories rely on For pathology groups and medical laboratories, the news about two thwarted deals involving mega insurance companies might be seen as a positive development. The proposed deals—Anthem’s $48-billion bid to buy Cigna, and a proposed $37-billion Aetna–Humana merger—would have reshaped the US health insurance industry had they not been...