Dec 9, 2017

1. Gun-related ER visits by type of gun

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Many Americans still can't afford medical expenses

Reproduced from Gallup; Note: ±4 percentage point margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

The latest poll from Gallup shows more Americans are putting off medical care because of the cost.

Why it matters: Despite a declining unemployment rate and growing GDP, an increasing number of Americans say they are forgoing often necessary medical procedures because of the cost.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

Hospital charges surge over last 2 decades, especially in the ER

Reproduced from Thomas M. Selden, 2019, "Differences Between Public and Private Hospital Payment Rates Narrowed"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rates charged by hospitals — especially for emergency department care — have skyrocketed over the last two decades, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: While most patients with insurance don't pay these prices for their care — insurers typically negotiate lower rates — those who are uninsured or out-of-network often do.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

Study: Hospital mergers don't improve quality of care

Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Measures of patient satisfaction and clinical care at hospitals that have been acquired by other hospital systems either declined or did not significantly change, indicating there is "no evidence of quality improvement attributable to changes in [hospital] ownership," according to a new independent study conducted by economists and physician researchers.

The bottom line: Research has already shown hospital mergers, which have boomed over the past 20 years, raise prices. Analysis now shows, contrary to the hospital industry's assertions, that mergers also do nothing to make patient care better.

Go deeper: A reality check on hospital mergers