The Wall Street Journal released sobering analysis of basic spending by the American middle class this week based on consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report puts into stark relief the rising role of consumerism in healthcare delivery: Healthcare spending was up 24% and income rose a mere half percentage point.

Modest projected growth in the U.S. economy will help propel increases in health spending beyond growth in the GDP over the coming decade, according to a report from CMS published in Health Affairs.

More than 20,000 insured Georgians have until this Friday to provide missing information to their health insurance exchange (HIX) plan or they will lose their coverage on September 30.

The formation of a new health information exchange was recently announced in California that would make the medical records of nine million patients, representing more than a quarter of the state’s population, available to network physicians and hospitals.

In an NPR story, some professional societies and associations expressed concern over a new report from the Insitute of Medicine that calls for more accountability in the distribution of funding for medical graduate education. 

The current physician piecemeal reimbursement model ultimately drives up the costs of healthcare according to Sandeep Jauhar, MD. In a New York Times editorial he explains that while overutilization is certainly a factor, cutting payments to physicians is a self-defeating strategy, forcing them to increase the number of patients they see, which reduces the amount of time spent with each one. Busy doctors call on others to help with the patient load, often times specialists who may order more tests, driving up costs. "There is no more wasteful entity in medicine than a rushed doctor," says Jauhar.  

A segment on National Public Radio's Morning Edition digs into the challenges physicians are experiencing as co-pays and deductibles continue to rise.