For tens of millions of Americans, the start of a new year means the counter has gone back to zero on their health insurance deductible. If they need health care, they’ll pay for some of it out of their own pockets before their insurance takes over. As insurance plans with deductibles grow in popularity, a new study takes a national look at what those plans mean for people with common chronic health conditions.
Thousands of times a day, doctors sign the hospital discharge papers for patients who have just had surgery. About half will get some sort of post-surgery care. But a new U-M study finds huge variation in where they end up, depending on where they had their operation. And that variation in turn leads to huge differences in how much their care costs.
A health care reform idea originated by University of Michigan faculty will get a major test among members of the nation’s military and their families, thanks to a provision in the national defense spending bill signed by President Obama Friday.
The smartphones that nearly all Americans carry could transform how people manage their health, especially for those with complex health needs. But a new study suggests app makers are falling short when it comes to actually serving those who could get the most benefit from mobile health apps.
In a hopeful sign for the health of the nation’s brains, the percentage of American seniors with dementia is dropping, a new study finds. The downward trend has emerged despite something else the study shows: a rising tide of three factors that are thought to raise dementia risk. Those with the most years of education had the lowest chances of developing dementia.
A half billion dollars – at least -- gets spent each year on blood tests to see which hospital patients have a genetic quirk that makes their blood more likely to form dangerous clots. And most of that spending probably isn’t necessary, according to a new paper by a U-M team.
America’s opioid drug epidemic has struck hard in Michigan. But now, a team from the University of Michigan is striking back at a key factor: opioid prescriptions for patients before and after surgery.
A new study shows just how much it costs to care for surgical complicatoins in the hospital and beyond, and how widely hospitals can vary in their ability to keep patients from suffering, or dying from, the same complications.
Rather than charging all patients the same amount for every doctor visit and prescription drug, health insurance plans' out-of-pocket costs should be based on how much a specific clinical service improves health, say two experts who have studied the issue. They have specific recommendations for how to change IRS and Medicare policy to make this possible.
Even as doctors across America encourage their patients to share concerns about depression, anxiety and other concerns, so they can get help from modern treatments, a new study suggests the doctors may be less likely to seek help for those same concerns about themselves.
Nearly 15 million times a year, Americans with heart trouble climb onto a treadmill to take a stress test that can reveal blockages in their heart’s blood vessels. It’s a major factor in deciding what doctors should do next for them. But in October, many such patients may not be able to get the best possible test, due to a looming shortage of a crucial short-lived radioactive element
Dying in America is an expensive process, with about 1 in 4 Medicare dollars going to care for people in their last year of life. But for African Americans and Hispanics, the cost of dying is far higher than for whites. A new study tries to get to the bottom of this expensive mystery.
t was July of 1966. Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, “You Can’t Hurry Love” was on the radio, Billie Jean King had won her second Wimbledon title, and NASA had just launched its first moon-orbiting spacecraft. But in health care, that month holds a different historical significance. The landmark event was quiet, but its impact lasts to this day, in the form of better health care for Americans of all ages.
More seniors are getting help from family, friends and hired helpers to keep them in their homes, despite disabilities that keep them from total independence, a new study finds. But that increase isn’t happening evenly across all groups. And the rising demand may have implications for the lives and careers of caregivers, and for policies that aim to support at-home caregivers.
A team of experts has put together a list of the key diagnostic tests that every country should have available, with high quality standards, in order to make the best use of the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines. Many developing countries will need help with establishing high-quality labs to use them, but in the end it may be cost effective.
Even if you have what you might think of as good health insurance, your next hospital stay could cost you more than $1,000 out of your own pocket, a new study finds. And that amount has gone up sharply in recent years – a rise of more than 37 percent just for straightforward hospital stays for common conditions.
It happened fast. It happened in nearly every hospital in the state of Michigan. And it didn’t come with dreaded side effects. “It” was a change in the type of patients treated by the state’s 130 hospitals – or rather, the insurance status of those patients. A new study shows that the proportion of those patients who lacked insurance dropped by nearly 4 percentage points, and the proportion covered by Medicaid rose more than 6 points, within three months of the launch of the Healthy Michigan Plan in April 2014.
Despite predictions that expanding Medicaid would crowd doctor’s offices with new patients, and crowd out patients with other kinds of insurance, a new study finds no evidence of that effect. In fact, the 600,000 Michiganders who signed up for the Healthy Michigan Plan in its first year faced better odds of getting an appointment, and similar wait times for a first appointment with a new clinic, before and after the expansion.
Last-ditch, high-tech heroic treatments. Days in the hospital intensive care unit. You might think this is what makes dying in America so expensive – and that it’s where we should focus efforts to spend the nation’s healthcare dollars more wisely. But a new study finds that for nearly half of older Americans, the pattern of high spending on healthcare was already in motion a full year before they died.
early one in three American senior citizens choose to get their government-funded Medicare health coverage through plans run by health insurance companies. The rest get it straight from the federal government. But if health policy decision-makers assume the two groups are pretty much the same, they’re mistaken, a new study finds.