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Americans are Worried about Health Care Prices — What Can Congress Do?

The Trump administration’s hospital price transparency rule, upheld by a district court judge this week, will require hospitals to post publicly the rates they negotiate with insurers beginning in January. President Trump called it a “BIG VICTORY for patients — Federal court UPHOLDS hospital price transparency. Patients deserve to know the price of care BEFORE they enter the…

COVID-19 is unraveling the issue of surprise billing in America

Back in December, Congress failed to reach an agreement on “surprise billing” legislation. A surprise bill is when patients get an out-of-network bill from a provider at an in-network facility. Lawmakers couldn’t decide if an arbitration model — where billing disagreements would be sent to a third-party review board — or if a benchmark model — where…

Community Health Centers and COVID-19

Community Health Centers (CHCs) have an important role to play in SARS-CoV-2 response. CHCs are community-based and organizations that provide primary care, mental health care and even dental care to populations with limited access to health care. Both House and Senate members are pushing leadership (Senate, House) to include increased funding for CHCs in the next relief package.…

COVID-19’s Impact on Communities of Color Sheds Light on Health Care Disparities, Need for Action

This week has been a turning point in the United States. I want to make sure you see PPI President and Founder Will Marshall’s statement on the killing of George Floyd, and the commitment PPI is taking to come up with new ideas to fight systemic racism in the United States. The coronavirus pandemic has had a…

The Warehouse Safety Conundrum

This very unique crisis is creating very unique problems. One is how to get food and other essentials from warehouses all over the country into stores and delivered to people’s homes. This is not optional. The supply chain cannot shut down. Americans are confined to their homes, watching the rising tide of deaths. It's an…

The US medical equipment and supply industry: What happened?

America now depends on overseas suppliers for more than half of its medical equipment and supplies, up sharply from a few years ago. That's based on a PPI analysis of government trade and industry data, What happened? As we go through this terrible pandemic, U.S. healthcare providers are suffering from a surprising shortage of medical…

Vaccines, Risk, Disruptive Innovation, and Progress

Is the coronavirus about to force us into the Biotech Century? Here's a follow-up to my previous post. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, government and private researchers are taking the perhaps unprecedented step of testing the safety of a new coronavirus vaccine in volunteers before testing its safety and efficacy in animals. As one…

The Biotech Century Faces a Biological Menace: What We Need to Do Now

Can we expect the biopharma folks to quickly find a good treatment for COVID-19? Is it time to bust up regulatory barriers holding back innovation? In March 1997, BusinessWeek magazine, now part of Bloomberg,  ran a cover story entitled "The Biotech Century." The cover language, in part, said "Thanks to fundamental advances in genetics, biology…

A Rare Note of Good News–Or, Why the US Isn’t Italy

In recent years I have repeatedly demonstrated that the cost of labor is the main driving force behind rising health care costs in the U.S. ( for example, here). The US health care workforce has grown far faster than the population, even adjusting for aging.  Meanwhile cost control efforts have focused on areas like pharmaceuticals…

House Democrats Have The Right Coronavirus Response

The outbreak of COVID-19 (commonly known as coronavirus) has created a global market downturn and raised the prospect that the United States could enter its first recession since the 2008 financial crisis. Last night, President Donald Trump and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered two competing approaches for securing both the health and economic security…