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Posted inHealth

The health care that happens outside the doctor’s office

A few years ago, Nadia Lugo went door-to-door in Hartford’s North End with a list of names and a mission: Find people who were going to the emergency room frequently. Figure out what was keeping them from staying healthy or getting the right kind of care. And try to help. It was the kind of work many in health policy now view as key toward improving the outcomes of high-need patients. But incorporating it into the health care system remains a challenge.

Posted inHealth

How well will new rules on health care cost transparency work?

Lisa Freeman recently tried an experiment: Before having a medical diagnostic test, she tried to figure out what it would cost. “It took no less than five phone calls, and I still never got to the end of the thing,” she said. A major transparency law intended to change that is taking effect this year. How will it work in practice? Health care providers say it might be bumpy at first.