KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Examining Cost: Why Are Health Care Services So Expensive?

The New York Times looks at the cost of care and asks why it's so difficult for consumers to find out what a service costs. In the meantime, new research shows ending copays and making medication easier to use drives lower rates of hypertension.

The New York Times: How To Charge $546 For Six Liters Of Saltwater
Luckily for anyone who has ever needed an IV bag to replenish lost fluids or to receive medication, it is also one of the least expensive. The average manufacturer's price, according to government data, has fluctuated in recent years from 44 cents to $1 (Bernstein, 8/25).

The Associated Press: Simpler Medications, No Co-Pays Linked To Big Drop In Hypertension
Research suggests giving patients easier-to-take medicine and medical visits with no co-pay can help drive down high blood pressure, a major contributor to poor health and untimely deaths. Those efforts were part of a big health care provider's eight-year program, involving more than 300,000 patients with high blood pressure (8/25).

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