health care costs http://michiganradio.org en Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-tuesday-feb-4-2014 <div><p>As Detroit continues the process of bankruptcy, there's lots of talk about turning over a new leaf in the city, a rejuvenation. But headlines have recently turned to the legal troubles of City Councilman George Cushingberry. On today's show: Can Detroit change its image if there are still leaders courting controversy?</p></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then, we spoke to an artist who's trying to change the way we think about abortion and issues of contraception through art.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And, w<span style="line-height: 1.5;">e want everything modern medicine can offer, but as taxpayers we want health care costs controlled. Is there a way</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;we achieve both goals?</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">First on the show, a</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">s Gov. Snyder prepares to reveal his 2014-15 budget tomorrow morning, there will be many eyes fixed on how much he proposes to put into K-12 education.</span><br />&nbsp;</div><p>In the “Comeback Kid” Snyder campaign ad unveiled during the Super Bowl, amidst the talk of jobs was the claim “education funding’s up”. Yet many of his critics claim the governor cut $1 billion from K-12 education.</p><p>So what’s the truth about education funding? And what should we expect to see for schools in the about-to-be released budget?</p><p>Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Paul Egan joined us today.</p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:31:04 +0000 Stateside Staff 16302 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 Can we get the best medical treatment while controlling health care costs? http://michiganradio.org/post/can-we-get-best-medical-treatment-while-controlling-health-care-costs <p>What's your reaction when the conversation turns to America's soaring health care costs – when you hear that by 2020, just six years from now, our health care spending will hit $4.5 trillion?</p><p>Maybe it's all too big, too "macro" for us to absorb on a personal level.</p><p>So try this: Should your 92-year-old grandmother undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery –surgery that costs upwards of $20,000?</p><p>What about a girl who's 17 years old? Her leukemia treatments aren't working. Her liver is failing, other organs are failing, she is near death and her family is demanding a liver transplant, which the surgeon proposed, but the HMO refuses to authorize?</p><p>These are real-life dilemmas facing doctors, patients, and us.</p><p>We want everything modern medicine can offer, but as taxpayers we want health care costs controlled.</p><p>Can we achieve both goals?</p><p>Leonard Fleck, a professor of philosophy and a medical ethicist from Michigan State University, joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:30:48 +0000 Stateside Staff 16300 at http://michiganradio.org Can we get the best medical treatment while controlling health care costs? How to compare medical costs – right now http://michiganradio.org/post/how-compare-medical-costs-right-now <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Cost comparison – it can be an effective way of saving money. Whether it's comparing the price of a cup of coffee – Starbucks versus Tim Horton's, for instance – or comparing gas prices in different parts of the city or state, checking out cost differences is, for many, just part of a regular day.</span></p><p>But what about comparing medical costs? Would you have any idea what, say, a hip replacement might cost at the hospital you go to?</p><p>If you could tease out those prices and compare them, you might find yourself wondering: Why do some hospitals in the same city or state charge thousands of dollars more for the same procedure? And why is it so tough to get those prices?</p><p>Those are the questions Ilene Wolff, a writer with DBusiness, explored in a <a href="http://www.dbusiness.com/DBusiness/November-December-2013/Charge-Master/">recent story</a>.</p><p><strong><em>To compare prices of services at different hospitals, visit <a href="https://healthcarebluebook.com/">healthcarebluebook.com</a>.&nbsp;</em></strong><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><em>To look up hospital quality information, visit&nbsp;<a href="http://hospitalcompare.hhs.gov">hospitalcompare.hhs.gov</a>.</em></strong></p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 20:40:00 +0000 Stateside Staff 15935 at http://michiganradio.org How to compare medical costs – right now 'It's not just Detroit,' hundreds of Michigan cities face huge unfunded liabilities http://michiganradio.org/post/its-not-just-detroit-hundreds-michigan-cities-face-huge-unfunded-liabilities <p>Hundreds of Michigan cities are not saving enough to cover their future retiree health care costs.</p><p>A new report says more than 300 Michigan municipalities have in excess of $13 billion in unfunded liabilities for health care costs of retired public employees.</p><p>Michigan State University researchers found only half of the municipalities are prefunding retiree health care. The rest are setting aside no money despite longer lifespans and rapidly rising health costs.</p><p>While the collective bill of funding those benefits is $12.7 billion, the bulk of it, almost $11 billion, is attributable to local governments in a 10-county region of Southeast Michigan including Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. The city of Detroit alone will owe $5 billion in retiree health care costs.</p><p>But MSU professor Eric Scorsone says cities like Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing and Saginaw also face difficult choices.</p><p>“That’s already happening today….these cities…are paying millions of dollars in retiree premiums so it’s already having an effect and it will have an even bigger effect in the future,” says Scorsone.</p><p>Scorsone says the new national health care law may help some.&nbsp;&nbsp; But tax increases, budget cuts or broken promises to retirees are inevitable, unless the state takes action. Thu, 14 Mar 2013 15:11:50 +0000 Steve Carmody 11691 at http://michiganradio.org 'It's not just Detroit,' hundreds of Michigan cities face huge unfunded liabilities Holland wins $1.6 million in Blue Cross Blue Shield lawsuit http://michiganradio.org/post/holland-wins-16-million-blue-cross-blue-shield-lawsuit <p>An Ottawa County Circuit Court judge is ordering Blue Cross Blue Shield to pay the City of Holland $1.6 million. Holland is one of dozens of communities that sued Blue Cross over variable fees charged on insurance claims filed by employees.&nbsp; The city claims the insurer didn&rsquo;t tell them about the fees for 17 years.</p> Thu, 23 Feb 2012 21:48:46 +0000 Lindsey Smith 6342 at http://michiganradio.org Doctors, hospitals and schools promote low-cost health care plans http://michiganradio.org/post/doctors-hospitals-and-schools-promote-low-cost-health-care-plans <p>An alliance of medical and educational associations is working to get more children signed up for free or low-cost health insurance programs.</p> Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:14:51 +0000 Lindsey Smith 3885 at http://michiganradio.org Doctors, hospitals and schools promote low-cost health care plans Kalamazoo balances city budget with ease, for now… http://michiganradio.org/post/kalamazoo-balances-city-budget-ease-now%E2%80%A6 <p>Kalamazoo has a new balanced budget in place…with no layoffs, tax increases or cuts to city services. City commissioners unanimously approved the 2011 budget plan Monday night. Tue, 04 Jan 2011 18:40:58 +0000 Lindsey Smith 742 at http://michiganradio.org Kalamazoo balances city budget with ease, for now… Kalamazoo County saves millions in health care costs http://michiganradio.org/post/kalamazoo-county-saves-millions-health-care-costs <p>A wellness program is paying huge dividends for <a href="http://www.kalcounty.com/">Kalamazoo County</a>. This year, the county spent $7.7 million on health care for its employees. That’s a little more than $2 million less than it spent 6 years ago.</p><p>Anne Conn is Kalamazoo County’s assistant director of Human Resources. She says they enticed employees to participate in the wellness program by offering freebies and even an extra day off.</p><blockquote><p>"People are in the wellness program now because they want to be, not because we’re giving them a t-shirt to do it."</p> Tue, 21 Dec 2010 00:18:51 +0000 Lindsey Smith 658 at http://michiganradio.org Kalamazoo County saves millions in health care costs Holland to file lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield http://michiganradio.org/post/holland-file-lawsuit-against-blue-cross-blue-shield <p><a href="http://cityofholland.com">Holland </a>is the latest city in Michigan planning to file a lawsuit against <a href="http://www.bcbsm.com/">Blue Cross Blue Shield</a> over variable fees. The fee is a 13.5% administrative access fee Blue Cross charged the city on any insurance claims filed by employees.&nbsp; The city claims the insurer didn’t tell them about the fees for 17 years.</p><p>Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra says,</p> Fri, 03 Dec 2010 21:44:37 +0000 Lindsey Smith 459 at http://michiganradio.org