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Articles written by Trudy Lieberman

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 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    April 12, 2017

Industry fights revealing prices

Turning healthcare consumers into educated shoppers has long been a goal of employers who foot the bill for most care, politicians and some consumer organizations that believe that someday shopping for care should be as easy as comparing brands of...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    March 1, 2017

Clarifications sought about Medicare issues

Over the past few months, these columns have raised plenty of questions about Medicare, present and future, and I’ve received many responses to those questions from readers. Today’s column addresses some of readers’ concerns about Medicare, a...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    February 15, 2017

Don't rely on pharmacies to catch drug interactions

When you fill a prescription at your local pharmacy, you assume the medicine you receive is safe and won’t interact badly with other drugs you’re taking. That’s not an unreasonable assumption, considering that pharmacists enjoy a positive...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    January 25, 2017

Major changes might be coming to Medicare

What’s going to happen to Medicare? That’s not an insignificant question given the political shift in Washington. Now, with Republicans controlling the presidency and both houses of Congress, some ideas they’ve been pushing for years have a...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    January 11, 2017

Hospitals get penalized for harm

Anyone facing a hospital stay for themselves or a family member should look at new data the government released right before Christmas showing that it penalized 769 of the nation’s hospitals for having high rates of patient injuries. The monetary...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    January 4, 2017

Changing Obamacare likely To mean higher costs, less coverage, or both

Lori Eng, a 62-year-old office manager who works in western Nebraska, sent an email not long ago telling me she was “terrified” she might lose her Obamacare health insurance. The many horror stories passed along in the media had frightened her,...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    December 28, 2016

21st Century Cures Act Is no panacea

Will patients benefit from the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act? After listening to politicians and reading the headlines, most people might think it’s the best thing ever to come along for patients. “A new day for medical research is on...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    November 23, 2016

What to know about choosing insurance

Even though the election is over and Republicans are in a position to repeal and replace Obamacare as they’ve been vowing to do for several years, that doesn’t mean you should avoid signing up for 2017 insurance coverage. If you’re eligible...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    October 26, 2016

Measure would allow California to negotiate medication prices

The fight in California over a ballot initiative that would begin to control the price of pharmaceuticals paid by state programs shows how difficult it is to “do something” about the high price of prescription drugs. According to the Bureau of...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    September 28, 2016

Residents' insurance may go up next year

Recently I got a note from a reader of these columns who lives in Warren, Ohio. He had seen conflicting reports about next year’s insurance premiums. The man was skeptical of an article he had read, which reported that insurance premiums are...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    September 21, 2016

Obesity rates still higher than 1990

Is the message that the nation is getting too fat beginning to sink in? The answer is “yes but,” says the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit, non-partisan group that aims to protect the health of communities and make disease prevention a...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    August 10, 2016

Hospital safety ratings available

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently signaled to the nation’s hospitals that it was getting serious-and tough-about patient safety and the quality of care hospitals provide. The government’s rating system-five stars for...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    July 20, 2016

Help for hearing loss is often unaffordable

Nearly two-thirds of adults over age 70 have hearing loss that doctors consider “clinically meaningful.” In plain English that means as people age, they are likely to become hard of hearing.  Many of those people, however, don’t get the help...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    June 15, 2016

Higher insurance premiums likely

An Indiana couple who wrote to me a few weeks ago has experienced the ups and downs of Obamacare, and they wanted me to know about one downside they now face---a monthly premium of $836. “No one should have to pay those high premiums unless...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    June 1, 2016

Protections for patients in place

Who protects consumers of healthcare? Two recent emails from readers got me thinking about that question. I don’t mean consumers in their role as patients whose medical well-being is looked after by state medical boards and health departments that...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    May 25, 2016

Healthcare consumers get little help

Who protects consumers of healthcare? Two recent emails from readers got me thinking about that question. I don’t mean consumers in their role as patients whose medical well-being is looked after by state medical boards and health departments that...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    May 18, 2016

Surgeries go better with experienced doctors

If you need a risky, complicated surgery, would you go to a hospital or surgeon who had performed the procedure only a time or two before? Most people would say no, but the evidence indicates otherwise. Patients do go to doctors and hospitals that...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    May 11, 2016

3-day rule can make nursing home stays expensive

Judy Norblade, a retired marketing director, and her husband, Paul, a retired teacher, thought they had all their financial bases covered. They had Medicare, good supplemental coverage from a Medigap policy, a drug plan that paid for most of their...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    May 4, 2016

Life expectancy for rural women drops

Those of us who grew up in small rural communities in the 1950s and 60s, expected to have longer life spans than our parents. The trends were in our favor. White women born in 1900 could expect to live, on average, just shy of 49 years; white men 46....

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    April 6, 2016

Drug coupons mask drugs' real costs

What would make your medicines cheaper? That’s a question Americans are asking every time they go to the pharmacy and find the price of a maintenance drug they’ve been taking has doubled or tripled, or that a new medicine, like one of the new...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    March 30, 2016

Taking care of the nation's elderly may not be a top priority

During a recent visit to Copenhagen, I squeezed in a visit with city officials to learn more about the Danish health system particularly the country’s arrangements for long-term care, a topic that draws endless complaints from American families,...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    March 23, 2016

Prices for Medical Airlifts Can Hit the Stratosphere

Not many of us think about needing air ambulances. We don’t dwell on that possibility, but for people hurt in car accidents or who live in smaller or rural communities without medical care at hand, being airlifted to a hospital can mean the...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    March 2, 2016

Drug coupons mask the real price of medicines

What would make your medicines cheaper? That’s a question Americans are asking every time they go to the pharmacy and find the price of a maintenance drug they’ve been taking has doubled or tripled, or that a new medicine, like one of the new...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    February 10, 2016

Social Security tied to Healthcare Affordability

When the presidential race begins to focus seriously on issues, you’re likely to hear a lot about Social Security and to some extent Medicare. The nub of debate will center on two questions: Should we cut Social Security or expand it? Should...

 
 By Trudy Lieberman    Opinion    November 11, 2015

The 'Cadillac Tax' brings more costs, less value to your health insurance

More health insurance upheaval is coming your way. The value of your health insurance is shrinking, and you may be paying more for less this year and in years to come. Perhaps your employer has taken away the choice of plans with large provider...

 

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