KEY TAKEAWAY: Anger over healthcare costs is not going to lead to workable solutions yet the media is generating anger via headlines that fail to adequately communicate the complexity and greed that has become the American healthcare system.
KEY TAKEAWAY: The current economic cost of unpaid family care is about $67 billion and includes reduced work hours and foregone earnings for Americans 20 to 64 years old who take time off from their jobs to help a loved one manage serious medical issues. This is based on population demographics and wage data from 2013.
KEY TAKEAWAY: So far in 2019, more than 3,400 drugs have boosted their prices, a 17% increase compared with the roughly 2,900 drug price increases at the same time in 2018, according to a new analysis by Rx Saving Solutions, a consultant to health plans and employers. The average price hike for those 3,400 drugs stands at 10.5% or about 5 times the rate of inflation, the study found.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Google searches for health-related information doubled among patients in the week before an ER visit, with more than half searching for clinical information related to the reason for their visits, such as the symptoms they were experiencing or potential illnesses they believed they might have. Another 15 percent searched for the location of the emergency department or other logistical information. Patients often searched health-related terms multiple times before heading to the hospital.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Changes, big changes, are coming to healthcare. Among the targets are insurers who are raking in billions as well as PBM’s and pharma. As more companies merge or swallow up smaller one’s pharma is going to have to cut the fat because the public is not going to allow price gouging anymore.
KEY SUMMARY: For years, businesses have responded to rising health care costs primarily by shifting more of those costs onto their employees, through higher deductibles and other cost-sharing. The average deductible is now 212% higher than it was in 2008. Employers cover more people than any other insurer and account for about 20% of all health care spending — almost $700 billion in 2017. With rising, costs companies may decide to form their own health insurance organizations.
IN SUMMARY: A study, in the journal JAMA Network Open, found a substantial industry-wide rise in insurer and out-of-pocket costs for top-selling, brand-name prescription drugs, highlighting one of the foremost problems in health care today: unimpeded price increases in the pharmaceutical market. Pharma companies are daring the government to intervene in the drug pricing debate.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Over 80,000 new cancer cases are associated with low whole-grain intake, low dairy intake, high intake of processed meats and red meat, low fruit and vegetable intake, and high intake of sugary beverages. In other words we aren’t doing enough to prevent some cancers.