What We're Reading: Cost of Healthcare Bills; Albertsons Buying Rite Aid; Pediatric Cancer Therapies

Research analyzes the cost of processing healthcare bills; supermarket operator Albertsons will buy drugstore chain Rite Aid; a review of phase 1 clinical trials finds just 1 in 10 children with cancer see improvements.

Price of the Healthcare Billing Process

Not only are healthcare services expensive in the United States, but managing those bills is costly, too, according to a new study that estimated the administrative costs associated with healthcare billing and insurance. The researchers mapped out the bill process along with salary information to identify the cost of carrying out each step, reported the Los Angeles Times. It could cost as much as $215.10 just to get paid for a hospitalization that required surgery, and it cost $124.26 to get paid for a typical hospital stay. In addition to the cost, these processes took a lot of time, ranging from 32 minutes to 100 minutes.

Supermarket Operator to Buy Rite Aid

With the specter of Amazon looming over retail and the future of the pharmacy business, more companies are looking to reinvigorate their businesses. According to The New York Times, the supermarket operator Albertsons will purchase the Rite Aid drugstore chain. The grocer plans to rebrand its in-house pharmacies under the Rite Aid name, and some stand-alone Rite Aid stores will continue to operate.

Questioning Early-Stage Cancer Therapies in Children

A systematic review of phase 1 clinical trials involving children with cancer found that 1 in 50 dies from complications, and just 1 in 10 sees improvements in their condition. STAT reported that these therapies are usually tested in adults first, and the researchers were surprised that the outcomes weren’t any better in children. While the researchers did not take a stance on whether or not their results should have an impact on regulations, they hope the findings will spark a discuss about risks.