Latest Commentary

Big pharma's pricing a significant factor in driving up current healthcare spending

There's currently a schism between healthcare prices and healthcare spending. Prices are budging only grudgingly. That's likely the confluence of the Great Recession, the Affordable Care Act...

GOP's replacement for ACA should deeply worry hospitals

Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the King v. Burwell case are less than a month away. That means members of the media have amped up the hand-wringing over how the ruling will go,...

Meet the right-hand man for healthcare's ridiculous cost curve

"Look at this," my father-in-law implored. For the first time in more than a decade, he clenched and unclenched his right hand. "And this," he added. He raised and lowered his...

Will there actually be any takers on the HHS plan to speed up value-based payments?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' announcement yesterday that it plans to more aggressively sync provider payments with the quality of care they provide is a bold and overdue...

An interview with K.B. Forbes, advocate for the uninsured

A recent study in Health Affairs had some eyebrow-raising data. A nearly decade-old law on the books in California regulating how much hospitals can charge uninsured patients has helped to...

Healthcare finance through the class divide

If you want the ethos of the ivory tower's upper floors laid bare, Robert Pear's recent ironic New York Times article does the trick. A significant swath of the Harvard University faculty is...

New federal patient finance rules are impressive--so long as they're enforced

These have been less than heady days for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Two agencies under its supervision, the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, have been under fire. The former has been criticized for agents going missing at inopportune times at the White House, while the latter couldn't find emails about how it investigates political fundraising groups for their tax exemptions.

iPad apps to arrive before Christmas: 2014 edition

It's that most wonderful time of the year again. With a little more time on my hands, snow on the ground and a roaring blaze in the hearth (I live in Los Angeles, but I am optimistic such events...

HBO's Will Scheffer takes on CMS, hospice revenue: A must-watch for healthcare finance leaders

The first time I saw the dark HBO comedy "Getting On," every single healthcare policy synapse lit up in my brain. That one 30-minute episode explored the Centers for Medicare &...

Place the blame for high hospital prices squarely on deregulation

"That government is best which governs least" is a quote attributed to founding father Thomas Jefferson. Even if Jefferson almost certainly did not say or write those words, it has been...