PriceCheck: Across the nation, community-built health cost guides

Summary: Our work with PriceCheck, our health cost transparency partnerships with media and other organizations, has stretched across the nation, bringing thousands of people to our partner web sites to share and search prices — from databases, from our reporting, and from our communities. Our interactive software is placed on our partners’ sites, using pricing information […]

How much will that cost/did that cost? Part 1 of a series on billing

SUMMARY: How much will that cost? Why did that cost so much? People are getting used to asking this in the health care marketplace. Many of us grew up with the $10 co-pay, but that’s rapidly becoming a thing of the past. With rising deductibles, more out-of-network providers, more uninsured people and more out-of-pocket spending, it’s increasingly […]

Women, men, health care costs: Speaking different languages

Filed Under: Costs, Editor Picks, Patients

Summary: Men and women in the United States think very differently about health care costs. When I talk about the topic, it’s common for me to see half of my listeners zoning out — the male half. Why? Well, because women make or influence 90 percent of the health care decisions in this country, according to […]

Is it cheaper to pay cash than to use your insurance? Maybe.

Summary: Are you paying more because you have health insurance than a cash customer pays? It’s definitely happening for some people. Many of us are accustomed to thinking that we pay insurance premiums to get access to a lower cost for health care procedures — that being the “negotiated rate” or “contracted rate” that the insurance […]

How much does a colonoscopy cost? From $600 to over $5,400

Summary: How much does a colonoscopy cost? It can vary: from $600 to over $5,400 depending on, among other factors, where it’s done (doctor’s office or surgical center?), what the lab fees are (as in, what they find to test), how long the procedure lasts, what your anesthesia is, and so on. So how much does a colonoscopy […]

People are shopping for health care. This is what it sounds like.

Summary: Culture change is here. People are upset about their health costs, and they’re acting like consumers in the marketplace. They’re looking for value, and for providers who will cure their ills and treat them like thinking beings. We know this because they’re telling us on our PriceCheck project, crowdsourcing health-care prices with our partners KQED public […]

How much does childbirth cost? Or an MRI? Our hospital data

Summary:  How much does childbirth  cost? How much does an MRI cost? Gall bladder surgery, arthroscopy? Today we’re rolling out our database of cash or self-pay hospital prices. While we’ve been collecting pricing for modest “shoppable” procedures since our founding in early 2011, we are now launching a separate database of cash or self-pay prices for more […]

How do people use our information? A few examples

Filed Under: Costs, Editor Picks, Patients

Summary: We’re often asked: “How do people use your information?” Here are some examples. The phone rang on the business line the other day. F.K., a California retiree, wanted to know how much a cardiovascular stress test costs in the Los Angeles area. He’s covered both by Medicare and by a civil service retiree medical […]

Q: How much do birth-control pills cost? A: $9 to $63, or $68 to $112.

Summary: Birth control pills can come at very different prices. Sometimes they’re actually more expensive if you have insurance! Covered by insurance or not, there are a few things you need to know about how pricing works, and where you’ll pay a lot or a little. It’s different depending on your insurance, on your pill […]