Introducing Cancer Supportive Care Digest and UnitedHealth’s new price transparency tool
This week in healthcare, UnitedHealth launches a price transparency calculator to help patients to understand total cost, out-of-pocket cost before they make an informed choice in provider. NCCN weighs in on “Big Data Soup” in oncology.
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As a part of their recent push towards greater price transparency, UnitedHealth has “recently launched the ability for any consumer to get a cost estimate” by “publishing to the public, free of cost, market average prices.” According to UnitedHealth VP Tory Bogatyrenko, “It goes along with our broader philosophy that transparency is important especially given the greater share of expenses being borne by the consumer based on their benefit design.”
This report from the NCCN Data Needs Work Group on the challenges of data generation examines “data sources, patient-derived data, payor-collected data, and regulatory policy toward data generation and use.” The report notes that “the FDA must balance the processing of large amounts of data in varying formats with the need to make regulatory decisions quickly and effectively.”
Pennsylvania insurer Highmark Health has filed a lawsuit against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “alleging that the provider overbilled chemotherapy treatments by $300 million since 2010.” According to the lawsuit, UPMC allegedly billed patients as if they were treated at an outpatient clinic (which can have higher fees) although they were actually treated at physician offices.
In a controversial theory, Russian scientist Andrei Kozlov posits that tumors could actually play a positive role in evolution, that they provide “a testing ground for genes to fully ‘express’ themselves without the distraction of the regular genetic activity in the tumors’ hosts.”
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