Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Afternoon Link-Fest

From FoIB Jeff M, we learn that Medicaid may be in even more dire straits than we'd imagined:

"West Virginia is peering over the cliff of a Medicaid funding shortfall ... Medicaid goes into FY 2013 with a slight budget surplus, but FY 2014 poses a $236 million shortfall, “which is daunting.”

Now what could possibly be happening in 2014 that would cause this financial earthquake?

Oh, yeah.

■ Next up, the Institute for HealthCare Consumeris​m (IHC) reports that consumer-centric health plans (aka High Deductible Health Plans, or HSA's) could save tens of billions of health care dollars each year. They note a RAND study claiming that "[g]rowth Of Consumer-Directed Health Plans To One-Half Of All Employer-Sponsored Insurance Could Save $57 Billion Annually."

Regular readers know that we're big fans of these kinds of plans, but I have to say that I'm still a bit skeptical of that number. And, since these plans are outlawed under ObamneyCare©, we may never know the truth.

We've written before about "hidden providers" (most recently, here); recently, a local man and his son ran into that particular buzz-saw (metaphoricaly, anyway):

"Steve Mahoney took his youngest son ... to the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center of Dayton after the boy sliced off his fingertip in a door ... no one told Mahoney that the plastic surgeon ... doesn’t accept health insurance."

On the one hand, it's really not the hospital's responsibility (or even ability) to confirm whether or not a particular provider is in-network, or even accepts any insurance. On the other hand, when you're dealing with your young child's missing digit, how likely are you to be considering that at all?

As you'll see in the article, the problem stems in part from EMTALA.

What's EMTALA?

Glad you asked.

And, finally, FoIB Holly R sent us this article on health care alternatives for folks without insurance:

"I’ve gone to a bunch of doctors, and have learned some things along the way about getting health care without health insurance"

Well-written, not preachy, some helpful tips.

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