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01 Jun

Average COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000

The economic burden of COVID-19 is especially high in people aged 65 years or older, particularly for people of color, researchers find.

Health News Results - 168

Having a baby is expensive. The cost of diapers, a crib, a car seat and all the other infant necessities can really add up, and now a new study shows that having a child comes with its own hefty hospital price tag for many U.S. families.

About one in six families in the Michigan Medicine study spent more than $5,000 to have a baby. For privately insured families whose babies required time...

COVID-19 could be a much more expensive experience for folks who fall ill this year, thanks to the return of deductibles and copays, new research suggests.

Most folks who became gravely ill with COVID last year didn't face crushing medical bills because nearly all insurance companies agreed to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus care during the height of the pandemic, explained Dr. Kao-Pin...

Norman Mayer, 86, walks around with a computer chip in his chest and doesn't think a thing about it.

Doctors implanted a tiny heart monitor chip in Mayer's chest after he suffered a mini-stroke in late 2015, to track his heartbeat and potentially detect an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (a-fib).

"You don't even know it's there," said Mayer, the sitting mayor of th...

In rural America, more people die from chronic health conditions and substance abuse than in suburbs and cities, and the gap is widening.

Researchers report in a new study that the difference in rural and urban death rates tripled over the past 20 years mostly due to deaths among middle-aged white men and women.

"We looked at all-cause death, and found that instead of the difference...

Despite calls from some leading health experts to scrap annual physicals because they are a waste of time and money, a new study finds advantages to routine screenings.

"While it is disappointing that I can't tell my patients a visit with me or my colleagues will help them live longer, it is good to know there are proven, measurable benefits," said senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Linder. ...

A twice-daily pill can dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who are genetically prone to the disease, researchers report.

The pill - olaparib (Lynparza) - works by blocking a natural enzyme called PARP that normally fixes DNA damage in healthy cells, but in these women actually promotes the growth of cancerous cells.

Early high-risk breast cancer patient...

The cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations averaged nearly $22,000 for older Americans in 2020 - and much more for those who became critically ill, a new government study finds.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the cost of COVID-19 care to the Medicare program, which covers Americans aged 65 and up.

On average, the investigators found, the prog...

About 1 in 10 U.S. cancer survivors delays follow-up care because they can't afford associated medical bills, even if they're insured.

That's the conclusion from an analysis of data from more than 5,400 survivors of various cancers. Most were insured, college-educated and had annual incomes above the national average. Their average age was 67, and most were female and white.

Up to 1...

Patients facing relatively simple outpatient surgeries are nonetheless being told to undergo a number of preoperative tests that just aren't necessary, a new study reports.

More than half of a group of patients facing low-risk outpatient surgery received one or more tests -- blood work, urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a chest X-ray -- prior to their operation.

One-third of p...

U.S. hospitals have been required to make their prices public since 2019, but 18 months into the rule more than half weren't doing it, a new study finds.

In 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule requiring hospitals to publish their "chargemasters" on their websites. A chargemaster is a rundown of a hospital's services, along with their list prices - something akin to the manufactur...

WEDNESDAY, May 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) - When people with low incomes are asked to help pay for their health insurance, some drop their coverage, even when bills as low as $20 per month arrive.

That's the upshot of a new study of Medicaid expansion in the state of Michigan.

Leaving the insurance plan means people may miss out on preventive care or timely treatment of illnesses. It...

Sleep problems cost America's health care system nearly $95 billion a year and raise the cost of health care by 60%, a new study finds.

Researchers discovered the number of doctor visits and prescriptions was nearly doubled in people with sleep problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia, compared to people without these conditions. People with sleep problems were also more likely to visit...

Many American workers remain in jobs they'd rather leave -- simply because they don't want to lose their health insurance, a new Gallup poll reveals.

That's the situation for 16% of respondents in a nationwide poll of more than 3,800 adults conducted March 15-21.

The fear is strongest among Black workers. Pollsters found they are more likely to keep an unwanted job at 21% than Hispa...

When prescription drug "list" prices go up, patients often take a hit in the wallet, a new study shows.

Researchers found that while some people are buffered against drug price hikes by their health insurance plan, many are not.

Those in plans that require co-insurance or a deductible for prescriptions typically watch their out-of-pocket expenses rise, according to the study.

Health care in rural America has become ever more scarce during the coronavirus pandemic, with folks finding it increasingly difficult to find a doctor or get to a hospital.

For a decade, rural areas have been losing hospitals to financial problems, forcing residents to either drive long distances or shrug their shoulders and forgo needed care.

Add to that a nationwide shortage of d...

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine could potentially provide universal protection against future COVID variants as well as other coronaviruses -- maybe even the ones responsible for the common cold. And it's dirt cheap -- less than $1 a dose, researchers say.

The vaccine targets a part of the COVID virus' spike protein that appears to be highly resistant to mutation and is common across nea...

Dialysis is time-consuming, making it hard for kidney failure patients to keep fit. But cycling during treatment sessions could boost patients' heart health and cut medical costs, new research shows.

Dialysis can lead to long-term scarring of the heart, which can eventually lead to heart failure, so British researchers decided to find out if exercise could reduce these side effects.

About six in 10 U.S. workers who've been hospitalized for an injury return to their jobs, but physical disabilities and financial struggles are common, researchers say.

For the study, investigators analyzed federal survey data from trauma patients who were hospitalized with injuries between 2008 and 2017. The patients completed the surveys about seven weeks, on average, after leaving the ...

Cancer screening rates are beginning to rebound after plummeting during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey finds.

And patients are being diagnosed with more advanced cancers than before the pandemic, according to the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

"The trend toward more advanced disease, while alarming, does not automatically mean worse outcom...

The overall eye health of people with diabetes benefits from preventive drug injections directly into the eyeball, but it's too soon to tell whether such treatment will better preserve their vision long-term, new clinical trial results show.

Regular injections of aflibercept (Eylea) caused a more than threefold reduction in blood vessel leakage inside the retina, and a more than twofold r...

Black people have higher diabetes death rates than white people in the 30 largest cities in the United States, a new study finds.

But placing a cap on the price of insulin could narrow that racial gap, according to researcher Joanna Buscemi, of DePaul University in Chicago. Insulin medication is needed by all people with type 1 diabetes and many who have type 2, the more common form of th...

Nonsmokers usually try to avoid secondhand smoke, but many kids have no option, and now a new study finds tobacco smoke exposure puts them at higher risk of hospitalization.

Compared to other kids, those exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to have had an urgent care visit over a one-year period, and to incur higher costs for such visits. They also were nearly twice as likely to b...

Fewer children end up in ERs for asthma attacks if nearby coal-fired power plants are shut down, a new study finds.

"When these power plants close, we see a reduction of somewhere between 12% and 18% in emergency department visits for asthma," said senior researcher Emily Pakhtigian, an assistant professor of public policy at Pennsylvania State University. "When the plants close down, chi...

For people who are obese, even a small amount of weight gain may come with higher medical costs, a new study finds.

It's well known that obesity contributes to health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers -- and health care costs reflect that.

But the new study dug a little deeper into the connection between weight and medical costs. Overall, health ...

The United States could save thousands of lives each year by addressing its lack of enough primary care doctors, a new study projects.

There has been a shortfall of U.S. primary care doctors for a long time, with much of the problem concentrated in rural areas and poverty-stricken urban centers.

And the future looks bleak: A report last year from the Association of American Medical ...

Black Americans who live in rural areas are two to three times more likely to die from diabetes and high blood pressure compared with white rural folks, and this gap hasn't changed much over the last 20 years, new research shows.

The study spanned from 1999 through 2018, and will be published as a research letter in the March 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiolo...

Financial worries can hamper the success of cancer treatment and raise patients' risk of death, according to a new study that offers the first evidence of such a link.

"The association we found was very strong, and very concerning," said senior study author Dr. Anurag Singh, director of radiation research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. "If you are worried abo...

Opioids and arthritic knees are a costly mix, new research claims.

"These data offer new evidence of the magnitude of the societal burden generated by opioid use and misuse, and could be used to educate health care providers and health policy decision makers on the best alternatives to opiate use," said lead investigator Elena Losina. She's a professor of orthopedic surgery at Brigham and...

Wider use of prescription generic drugs could save Medicare nearly $2 billion a year, researchers say.

The new analysis of Medicare Part D prescription drug claims for 2017 used a random 20% of beneficiaries, 224 drugs with one or more generic substitutes and at least 1,000 claims.

Medicare Part D accounts for roughly one-third of all prescription drug spending in the United States....

Older Americans on a Medicare Advantage plan could face hospital bills of $1,000 or more if private insurers start charging out-of-pocket costs for lifesaving COVID-19 care, a new study warns.

Cost data show that Medicare Advantage patients pay an average $987 out-of-pocket when they are hospitalized with the seasonal flu, and about 3% pay more than $2,500, according to the report.

...

U.S. hospitals are expected to lose billions again in 2021, leaving them in dire financial shape as the COVID-19 pandemic guts the industry for a second year.

Hospitals could lose $53 billion to $122 billion in revenue in 2021, between 4% and 10% of their total revenue, according to an analysis prepared by consulting firm Kaufman Hall & Associates for the American Hospital Association.

Access to potentially lifesaving 3D mammography isn't equal, new research shows.

"This study was about whether adoption of this technology is equitable. We're showing that it has not been, even though it has been [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved for a decade now," said Dr. Christoph Lee. He is professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattl...

Americans pay nearly three times more for prescription drugs than people in dozens of other countries, a new study shows.

Researchers analyzed 2018 data and found that prescription drug prices in the United States average 2.5 times more than in 32 other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations.

The cost of brand-name drugs is even more -- an average of 3...

According to 2018 data, one in five people in the United States probably carries a sexually transmitted infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

On any given day in 2018, nearly 68 million people had a sexually transmitted disease, according to the new CDC report. There were 26 million new cases that year. The agency refers to these diseases -- such as HIV, sy...

Air ambulance service is pricey, but promises lifesaving speed by providing rapid straight-line helicopter transport for critically ill patients.

But a new study out of Denmark questions whether that expensive haste winds up saving more lives.

Researchers found no statistically significant difference in the death rate between people transported by ground ambulance or helicopter, acc...

A combination of mask use, social distancing and routine testing would eliminate nearly all COVID-19 infections on U.S. college campuses, a new study claims.

Using a computer model that simulated a semester of a mid-sized college (5,000 students and 1,000 faculty), researchers assessed the effectiveness and cost of 24 combinations of four common preventive strategies: social distancing; m...

Many Americans most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic don't believe that racism is associated with poorer health, a nationwide poll shows.

The ongoing poll of more than 4,000 lower- and middle-income Americans focuses on communities of color.

"It really struck us that -- despite the virus's spread across the country to all types of communities -- there's not a consensus view on the ...

You have probably seen the social media posts: Your good friend's co-worker is raising money online to help pay for cancer treatments or another friend needs funds to pay medical bills after a car crash.

Crowdsourced fundraising seems to, at least partly, fill a gap between out-of-pocket health care costs and what people can afford.

A new study looked at what the role of one of the ...

Research brings grim findings for these economically tough times: People who must move because they can't make the rent often miss out on needed medical care.

The study, of over 146,000 California residents, found a connection between unaffordable housing and health care use: Of people who'd moved in the past five years because they couldn't afford the mortgage or rent, about 27% had skip...

Rising out-of-pocket costs for neurological tests could lead many Americans to forgo them, researchers warn.

Their study, published online Dec. 23 in the journal Neurology, analyzed neurology care costs for more than 3.7 million people in a large private insurance claims database.

They found that average, inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic tests rose by a...

People diagnosed with cancer often have many concerns, including "financial toxicity," the hardship and stress associated with the cost of treatment.

New research found that for men with early-stage prostate cancer, choices about initial treatments can be a source of stress. And the cost is a big reason why.

"Cost of treatment and the associated financial burden could be an importan...

Americans who lost their jobs this year due to the coronavirus pandemic have remained healthier and more secure thanks to expanded unemployment insurance, a new study reports.

Struggling folks who received benefits reported that they were less likely to go hungry, miss a rent or mortgage payment, delay needed medical care, or suffer from anxiety or depression, according to the findings.

Nearly half of Americans fear unexpected medical bills and 44% say they couldn't pay a $1,000 surprise bill, a new poll shows.

Those fears aren't unfounded. Among those with private health insurance, 68% have received unexpected medical bills and 33% couldn't pay them on time, while 23% said they haven't paid them yet.

Many Americans (81%) want Congress to pass laws to end surp...

Social and financial struggles are common among Black American cancer survivors and take a heavy toll on their health-related quality of life, according to a new study.

Health-related quality of life among cancer survivors -- how a person perceives their mental, physical and social well-being -- tends to be significantly lower among Black Americans than in other groups.

In this stud...

If Joe Biden becomes the next president, he would have clear and ambitious plans for the nation's health -- expanding the Affordable Care Act, empowering public health agencies to deal with COVID-19, and passing a stimulus bill that would support struggling doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.

The question is how much he'll be able to accomplish with a Senate that remains in the han...

If Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is repealed, pediatric cancer patients could lose critical insurance coverage, a new study warns.

Kids with cancer often require intensive treatment and long-term follow-up to beat the disease. The ACA allows them to stay on their parents' insurance coverage to age 26 and bans exclusion of patients with preexisting conditions.

...

Many Americans who get recommended colon cancer screening may end up with "surprise" medical bills, a new study suggests.

Looking at insurance claims for more than 1.1 million elective colonoscopies, researchers found that 12% involved out-of-network charges.

That's concerning, the study authors said, because those patients may well have faced bills averaging $400 for a...

Young women with cancer are at a high risk for employment and financial consequences, a new study finds.

"Our study addresses the burden of employment disruption and financial hardship among young women with cancer -- a group who may be at particular risk for poor financial outcomes after cancer given their age and gender," said researcher Clare Meernik, a fellow at the University of...

In rural America, drinking has become particularly deadly for many, a new government report shows.

Deaths related to alcohol use in those regions rose 43% between 2006 and 2018, health officials reported.

Over that time, the rate of deaths went from 11 per 100,000 people to 15 per 100,000. Also, the rate of deaths among women more than doubled, according to researchers ...

Since the passage of "Obamacare," fewer Americans are facing insurmountable medical bills -- but the benefit does not seem to be reaching people with private insurance, a new study shows.

Researchers found that after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, the number of Americans incurring "catastrophic" health care expenses each year dropped -- from 13.6 million in 2010 to 11....

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