Hospital shifting away from billing for individual services

Bundled payments may be the "wave of the future," the Wall Street Journal suggests. Meanwhile, health care providers are working to get patients more involved in decisions about their care.

The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Push Bundled Care As The Billing Plan Of The Future
Hospital bills may soon get a lot simpler. Traditionally, hospitals have charged patients separately for every service and supply they use-;as anybody who has waded through pages of charges knows. Fees for surgeons, anesthesiologists and other providers come in complex bills of their own. Now, more hospitals see so-called bundled payments as the wave of the future (Beck, 6/8).

The Wall Street Journal: The Health-Care Industry Is Pushing Patients To Help Themselves
It's the last mile in the race to fix health care-;getting patients more involved. Hospitals, doctors and public-health officials are pushing patients to keep track of their medical data, seek preventive care and stay on top of chronic conditions. They're measuring how motivated patients are to manage their own health and adopting a wide range of strategies to help them do better, a concept known as patient engagement (Landro, 6/8).

Los Angeles Times: Scale Of Medical Decisions Shifts To Offer Varied Balances Of Power
Doctors still make decisions sometimes, but sometimes patients make them, and sometimes doctors and patients make them together. Doctors and bioethicists are engaged in a vigorous debate about the relative merits of these various approaches. Meanwhile, you may want to consider which suits you best as a patient (Ravn, 6/6).

The Wall Street Journal: Take Your Heart Medicine-;And Win A Prize!
In the Heartstrong study being conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, 1,000 patients will be given pill bottles that transmit wireless alerts to researchers if the patients fail to take their medicine. The study is testing new ways to motivate people to take their medicine more consistently-;including greater involvement of friends and family and the possibility, every day, for those who take their pills to win a small cash prize (Ward, 6/8).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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