May 19, 2013 |
When Maria and Vadim Brodsky's then-7-year-old daughter needed an MRI two years ago to examine a tumor in her head, they took her to a hospital in their health plan's network and were dismayed to receive a $4,500 bill. The couple had a $6,000 deductible on their family plan. And even though the bill was reduced to $3,000 - the price the provider and insurer had agreed to by contract - the Brodskys had to cover all of it. The next year, when their daughter needed another MRI, the Huntingdon Valley couple took her to a stand-alone facility and put the procedure on a credit card.
May 14, 2013
TO: GOV. CORBETT Re: Re-election Look, I know things aren't going all that well. There's your dismal poll numbers. And fallout from that thing you said about the state's unemployed being too high to get jobs. And that sorta dovetailed with that thing you said in 2010 about the unemployed staying unemployed in order to collect benefits. And it reminded everybody about that thing you said in 2012 about women opposed to ultrasounds just having to close their eyes.
May 10, 2013 |
TRENTON - Spending on prescription medicines in the United States fell for the first time in decades last year, slipping as cash-strapped consumers continued to cut back on use of health-care services. Patients also benefited from a surge of new, inexpensive generic versions of widely used drugs for chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, according to a new report. Total spending on medications dipped 1 percent, to $325.8 billion last year from $329.2 billion in 2011. Likewise, average spending per person on medicines fell by $33, to $898 last year, according to the report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
May 5, 2013
The biggest changes in health insurance in a generation are set to take effect this year and next. Robert I. Field, a law and public health professor at Drexel University, answers questions about the changes stemming from the health law. Insurance exchanges are coming. What are they? An exchange is a marketplace where you can buy health insurance for you and your family. Most people will access them online, but there will be offices for those who prefer human contact.
April 27, 2013 |
Philadelphia City Council passed a pioneering equal-rights bill Thursday offering tax incentives to businesses that expand health coverage for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees - a measure hailed as the first of its kind in the nation. The bill extends rights to "life partners" throughout the city code in a wide range of matters, such as medical decision-making; provides gender neutrality on certain city forms; and requires health insurance offered to city employees to cover the needs of transgender individuals, including sex-change surgeries.
April 26, 2013 |
This story has been updated. IN A MOVE that the LGBT community called "historic," City Council approved a bill yesterday that would require the city's health plan to pay for transgender city workers to complete "gender-confirmation surgery. " The bill also would require newly constructed or renovated city-owned buildings to have gender-neutral bathrooms. "We're continuing on the American road to full equality and civil rights for all of our citizens," said Councilman Jim Kenney, who sponsored the bill at the request of the LGBT community.
April 12, 2013 |
IN THIS ERA of sky-high health-care costs and overbooked doctors, you don't need health insurance and you don't need an appointment at Temple ReadyCare on Roosevelt Boulevard, just south of Byberry Road. It's next door to Chickie's & Pete's, and it's just as walk-in friendly, which explains why more than 2,100 Northeast Philadelphia patients have walked into the nonemergency urgent-care facility since its New Year's Day opening. "We opened up just as flu season hit," said Dr. Steve Matta, who came from the Temple ReadyCare in Port Richmond to man the Northeast office.
April 12, 2013 |
'YOU DON'T TALK to 'em . . . You plant 'em!" Larry "The Rock" Zeidel is standing over me now, fists clenched, his mammoth knuckles inches from my face. Four months ago, he was lying pale-faced in the intensive-care ward of Bryn Mawr Hospital, his legs swollen and blackened from a congestive heart condition worsened over the years by a lack of medical insurance. But there is little hint of that man now. Now it is easy to understand why he has ignored those health problems, why he has in the past refused or flatly not sought health insurance provided by the Social Security he collects in his advanced age. At 85, more than 4 decades removed from his last days as a stick-wielding hockey enforcer, Larry Zeidel lives most of his waking hours still inside that character, rambling on in no apparent chronological order about a modest heyday that he surrendered so much of his life to obtain.
April 11, 2013
SEVERAL years ago, I wrote about health care in Japan, where the government had begun charging corporations for their overweight employees. The Japanese tackle diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease with a tape measure first: A waist circumference greater than 33.5 inches for women and 35.5 inches for men is enough to trigger a fine for an employer. My readers scoffed at this strategy, reacting with laughter and a lot of eye-rolling. Fast-forward to today. With health-care costs soaring in the United States, many companies have started to penalize overweight employees.
April 11, 2013 |
Chris Christie called Mike Rice, so gifted at hurling basketballs and homophobic epithets at his players, an "animal. " No, Rice is merely a former Division I coach, a product of the system. Division I sports is about winning and money, while tolerating behavior that would be unacceptable anywhere else on campus. Had Rice been an economics professor and engaged in similar actions, he would have been gone within the week. Rice's actions weren't initially extreme to Rutgers officials, who initially chose to suspend and fine him. The only reason Rice is now the former coach is because he was caught on a videotape that went viral, produced by an angry staffer whose contract was not renewed in a possible extortion being investigated by the FBI. So, really, there is something for everyone.