Latest Commentary

New cholesterol drugs will lead to huge healthcare cost increases but few benefits

The U.S. healthcare system has had a hard time digesting the recent debut of Sovaldi and Harvoni, two drugs that have proven effective in curing hepatitis C but cost close to $100,000 for a regimen....

Why healthcare price gouging will get worse before it gets better

Healthcare financial malfeasance sometimes flies under the radar. That appears to be the case with a remarkable report the Reuters wire service published last week regarding how victims of defective...

Medicare has not only remade healthcare finance, but pushed race relations forward

At age 50, Medicare is baked into the American landscape in much the same way as guns and pizza. Take any of those three away, and the entire republic would probably collapse. But unlike guns and...

Price transparency progressing despite poor state grades

I suspect that all parents of school-aged children have experienced a moment of anxiety when a report card shows up in the mail: How are they doing? Are they failing anything? For advocates of...

How I learned to stop worrying about the healthcare finance bomb

The columnists at Forbes magazine seem to be the leading practitioners of this warning: Healthcare spending as a portion of the U.S. economy is inching dangerously close to 20 percent. The authors...

CMS' joint replacement initiative won't keep surgery volumes in check

I am hopeful the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposal to bundle payments for hip and knee joint replacement surgeries will become operational by early next year. But I...

Marilyn Tavenner's troubling leap from public to private sector

I suppose in these uncertain times it's a good thing when an American who's just a year from qualifying for Social Security is offered a job with a salary higher than what she had been...

RFID tracking slowly working its way into hospital inventory control

Supermarkets and your refrigerator tend to have the same issue in common: "Best If Used By" labels. If you don't get around to selling or consuming that yogurt or luncheon meat by a...

The troubling patient collections approach I encountered at HFMA ANI

Is there something wrong with me? I asked that question to myself last Wednesday afternoon at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Annual National Institute in Orlando, Florida....

HFMA's healthcare pricing guide for consumers falls short

In advance of its annual national institute that opened in Orlando on Monday, the Healthcare Financial Management Association has released an update of "Understanding Healthcare Prices: A...