Clearhealthcosts in the press

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Coverage Highlights

“Now health care is getting its Kayaks and Trulias.” Tina Rosenberg, “Revealing a Health Care Secret: The Price,” The New York Times.

“People are demanding control over health expenses and treatments, trying to manage out-of-pocket costs and confusing bills, and seeking the care they need at prices they can afford.” Jeanne Pinder, “It’s Absurd That Health Care Costs Are So Confusing,” Harvard Business Review/New England Journal of Medicine.

“Pinder in her testimony told lawmakers that more California residents are ‘actually shopping for health care.’ ” California Healthline, California State Senate hearings on health care prices.

Lowering health care costs: Some benevolent geniuses are on it,” Ester Bloom, The Billfold.

“The cash price for a lower-back MRI without dye ranges from $475 at the Castro Valley Open MRI to a whopping $6,221 at the University of California, San Francisco at Mt. Zion.” Jayne O’Donnell, “Huge health care price differences,” USAToday.

“When people see this data, [Pinder] says, ‘they don’t behave the same way in the marketplace again.’” Melinda Beck, “How to Cut Your Health Care Bill: Pay Cash,” The Wall Street Journal.

Our Philadelphia partner, Elana Gordon at WHYY public radio, won the Public Service gold medal for work done via our PriceCheck partnership at the Pennsylvania AP Broadcasters Association awards banquet.

“It is time to take off the blindfold and embrace transparency in pricing for medical care and services.” Lisa Aliferis, our PriceCheck partner, “Variation in Prices for Common Medical Tests and Procedures,” JAMA Internal Medicine.

“I hope to continue to see these programs expand as part of an effort to provide essential information for patients and clinicians to make wise and informed choices in health care.” Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, “A New Program for Sharing Medical Cost Information,” Editor’s Note, JAMA Internal Medicine.

 

recent Coverage with our New orleans partners

May 28: Tim Williamson, NOLA.com: “Last summer, I made a pledge to you that we would build a progressive, dynamic and forward-thinking media company that would serve the New Orleans community for generations to come,” writes Tim Williamson, president at NOLA Media Group, featuring the recent achievements of his staff, including our “Cracking the Code” partnership, as well as their partnership with The New York Times.

May 25: Jed Lipinski: “She saved $3,786 by shopping her MRI; here’s how you can save, too.”

Lee Zurik: “Tulane Health chief slams ‘Cracking the Code.’”

How “Cracking the Code” works: Our work, spotlighted in the Advance Notice newsletter for Advance Digital publications (Q-and-A excerpted from in-house newsletter, reposted with permission).

May 22: Lee Zurik, “Routine blood work leads to shocking bills for many consumers.”

Jed Lipinski, “‘Can’t bring myself to give them that money’: Finding out your $284 blood test costs $34 nearby.”

May 20: Jeanne Pinder,ClearHealthCosts, “She saved $3,786 on an MRI: How people use our data.”

May 14: Jeanne Pinder, ClearHealthCosts: “Cracking the Code: Voices from our New Orleans partnership.”

May 17: Lee Zurik, “One consumer’s lesson, from shoulder pain to facility fee.”

Jed Lipinski, “Surprise ‘facility fees’ in many New Orleans area hospital bills often exceed doctor’s fees.”

May 15: Jed Lipinski, “This man went to an in-network ER in New Orleans. Why did he get a $1,360 doctor’s bill?”

Jeanne Pinder, NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune, “You’re at an in-network hospital, but is the ER doctor in-network?” 

Lee Zurik, “Third-party medical bills a shocker? Welcome to ‘balance billing.'”
May 12: Jed Lipinski: “‘Routine’ colonoscopies cost some New Orleans patients thousands of dollars.”

May 10: Jed Lipinski: “Her doctor’s visit co-pay jumped from $40 to $114. The hospital could not explain why.”

Lee Zurik: “With colonoscopies, the worst pain comes with the bill.”

May 9: “Crowdsourcing may bring transparency to medical charges.” Trudy Lieberman, The Journal-Advocate in Sterling, Colo.; The Shelbyville Daily Union; The Kearney Hub and others.

May 8:  Lee Zurik: “10 Questions to ask in advance about prices.”

Jeanne Pinder on NOLA.com: “10 questions to ask about prices.”

May 5: Here’s Lee Zurik of WVUE Fox 8 Live in a new installment of our Cracking the Code partnership in New Orleans. The topic: What happens when people don’t know prices in advance, and wind up with burdensome — or ruinous — bills.

Jed Lipinski, NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune: “If patients don’t ask, hospitals won’t tell what things cost — and the price can be steep.”

May 4: Lee Zurik. “There’s nothing clear about health costs at some local hospitals.”

The same piece on TelemundoAmarillo.com.

May 4: Jed Lipinski and Manuel Torres, Facebook Live, “How does an army vet get charged $8,000 for an MRI?”

May 3: Lee Zurik: “‘Absolutely ridiculous’ medical bills show critical need for transparency.”.

May 3: Jed Lipinski, “Why was Army vet charged $4,033 for $450 MRI? It’s ‘complicated,’ hospital says.”

Jed Lipinski, “For some Louisiana health insurers, explanations of benefits are anything but.”

April 26: Jeanne Pinder on Pat Salber’s podcast at The Doctor Weighs In.

April 21: Jeanne Pinder, ClearHealthCosts:  “An off-the-charts launch.”

April 19: Lee Zurik. “Cracking the Code gets big response, but we still need you.”

April 12: Lee Zurik: “Transparency is key: How you can help.”

April 9: ePatient Dave deBronkart: “Cracking the Code.”

April 6: Jeanne Pinder, ClearHealthCosts, “Welcome to New Orleans: PriceCheck expands.”

April 5: Here’s Lee’s leadoff piece from the 10 o’clock news, and here’s his Facebook Live, certainly the best Facebook Live I have ever seen.

Here’s Jed’s leadoff piece: “A blood test: $522 or $19?”

Jed’s how-to: Find and share prices with our PriceCheck tool.

Stories by year

2017

“Why this patient refuses to pay a $323 hospital bill,” Beckers Hospital Review/Hospital CFO Report,

“Patients should know prices beforehand,”  Letter to the editor, Coloradoan.

“First, ask your doctor for the specific medical code, called a CPT code, for the procedure or test that you need, says Jeanne Pinder, CEO of ClearHealthCosts, which aims to make medical prices more transparent,” Emily Bazar, ” How to Ease the Financial Pain of High-deductible Health Plans,” Kaiser Health News.

“Readers become reporters, and great journalism happens,” Mark Lorando, NOLA.com.

2016

“How to find and support trustworthy journalism,” Josh Stearns, Democracy Fund, on Medium.

““There’s no easy way to know prices, or to make smart decisions with your money and your health. We’re working to change that.” GotAGirlCrush.com, interview with Jeanne Pinder.

PriceCheck: The Cost of Care in the Sunshine Economy, Tom Hudson, WLRN.com. 

“If you want your audience to talk with you, you have to give them a good reason,” Ariana Tobin, M.J. Bear fellows blog, Online News Association.

“PriceCheck Florida: What’s It All About?” Health News Florida.

Department of Health Challenges Provider to Improve Billing,Health News Florida.

“Forum Explores Rising Prescription Drug Costs,” Julio Ocho, WUSF.com.

“5 Places Consumers Are Looking for Health Care Prices,Becker’s Hospital Review.

“People should know what things cost in health care,” said Jeanne Pinder. Price Check Resource to Help Floridians, WLRN.org.

2015

“There’s a really deep need for this information,” [Pinder] says. Anne Field, “Technology Whiz Kids Over 50,” AARP Bulletin.

“In California, ClearHealthCosts has partnered with NPR radio stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco to create PriceCheck sites…” Emily Bazar, “How to price shop for medical treatment,” Fresno Bee (and others).

“Now healthcare companies are publishing the prices of various procedures and tests. Online tools…like ClearHealthCosts.com, are searchable by zip code.” Leslie Goldman, “How (and When) to Get a Better Deal on Medical Care,” Oprah.com.

“Efforts to inject greater price transparency into healthcare continue to gain momentum.” David Schleifer, AJMC.

“Shopping around makes sense. Check out Clearhealthcosts.com.” Mandi Woodruff, “Money Minute: Can I really negotiate my doctor’s bills?,” Yahoo Finance.

“Knowledge is power. Consumers are learning that they have options when it comes to health care.” Lola Butcher, “Six Things Consumers Will Know About You,” Hospitals and Health Networks.

“Clearhealthcosts.com has built a searchable database of thirty tests, procedures, and treatments and the
prices charged by specific providers,” Susan Gilbert, “How Much for That Stress Test?The Hastings Center Report.

“‘I don’t understand how we made a marketplace where everything defaults to secrecy,’ said Pinder.” TheStreet.com.

“According to [the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation], its support is also intended to ‘help underwrite partnerships with other regional and national media efforts, such as NJ Spotlight and ClearHealthCosts.com.'” Paul M.J. Suchecki, “How RWJF Is Using Radio to Advance a ‘Culture of Health,’Inside Philanthropy magazine.

“‘There is something for everybody here. Even if we don’t happen to be in your metro area, we will give you some useful information,’ Pinder says.” Lisa Zamosky, “Shopping tools help patients find cash prices for medical procedures,” The Los Angeles Times.

“‘We are journalists,’ Pinder said. ‘Our view is that if we make price transparent, then people will be able to make rational choices as they can in any other realm.'” Robert I. Field, “How much will my health care really cost? Now, you can find out,The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“’How did we get to this place where you ask what something costs and no one can tell you and we accept that as normal?’ asks Jeanne Pinder.” Dan Gorenstein, “A push for transparency in healthcare pricing,” NPR Marketplace.

“It started when Jeanne Pinder spent a year dickering with her provider over a $1,419 hospital bill for an anti-nausea drug she found online for $2.49,” Judith Messina, “13 Lessons from Entrepreneurs,” Crain’s New York Business.

“What many hospitals won’t tell you, Pinder says, is that a growing number of routine hospital procedures, including MRIs, mammograms, knee replacement surgery and hysterectomies, are ‘shop-able,’ giving consumers a chance to look for the best deal.” Daniel Goldstein, “10 Things Hospitals Won’t Tell You,” Marketwatch.

“This new day of insurance with high deductibles, high copays and coinsurance might be nudging patients to look at price more carefully or at least ask about it.” Trudy Lieberman, “Thinking About Health,” Rural Health News Service.

“We’d like to see all the prices public,” [Pinder] said. “The idea we have consumer-directed health care is a big fat joke if you don’t have a road map for costs.” Laura Ungar and Jayne O’Donnell, “Health care costs vary wildly, report shows,” The Courier-Journal and USA Today.

 

2014

“Sites such as Clear Health Costs and Castlight Health prove what we long knew anecdotally: charges in the US vary vertiginously among different institutions,” Andy Oram, “Consumers Are Still Held Back From Making Rational Health Decisions,” EHR and EMR.

“It’s an endless, frustrating system … But help is appearing in the form of an online crowdsourcing database for public reference.” Brad Broker, “Maybe the crowd can finally tell us the cost of a mammogram,” Physicians News.

We shared the gold medal at the Patient Shark Tank at the New York eHealth Collaborative conference, Stephanie Baum, MedCity News

“…the PriceCheck project of KQED, KPCC, and the excellent ClearHealthCosts.com effort run by Jeanne Pinder,” Gary Schwitzer, Health News Review.

Price transparency picks up speed,” Emily Newhook, Healthcare Finance News.

ClearHealthCosts is featured along with 13 other “exciting, effective and innovative” health cost transparency organizations, “Illuminating Health Care Prices: Organizations to Watch,” on the executive masters of health administration site at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University.

ClearHealthCosts recommended as one of four health-cost comparison tools for consumers by Nerdwallet Health’s Christina LaMontagne, NextAvenue, Forbes

PriceCheck cited  in a Stanford Health-Anthem Blue Cross contract dispute. Lisa Aliferis, “Stanford Terminates Anthem’s Contract,” KQED public radio.

Downward price pressures mount for MRI,” Highlights in Radiology.

“Thanks to your organization and what I learned on NPR, I will shop around next year and maybe just pay cash.”  “Project crowdsourcing health costs finds partners in pubmedia,” Current.org.

What does price transparency mean, and why are we doing this? #PriceCheck on Forum at KQED Public radioForum, KQED

“Consumers are in flames” about health care costs, said Jeanne Pinder at a Politico Pro health care breakfast briefing. “Waste, errors in health care remain huge issues,” Politico Pro (Full video is here.)

“Your source for health-care prices,” YourStory, Joel Gurin, 20 companies to watch in the world of data-driven healthcare.

“Clearhealthcosts.com, provides easy to glean information on the costs that self-pay patients will need to fork over to receive common healthcare services,” Peter Ubel, “If Costs Are Unknown, Can Doctors Still Talk About Them?” Forbes.com

“Since the cost of a simple procedure like a pelvic ultrasound can vary from less than $100 to more than $600, do a price comparison at clearhealthcosts.com and insist on a fair amount,” Frank Lalli, “5 Ways to Net Medical Savings,” Parade magazine.

“17 projects receive funding through the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund.” The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation blog.

“Sites like clearhealthcosts.com let you compare prices for various medical procedures in your area.” Tim O’Reilly, “When health care institutions are charging outrageous prices, we need to stand up and say, ‘That’s insane.'”

“Jeanne Pinder calls herself a warrior for health care transparency,” A battle against ‘secretive’ U.S. health care marketplace, BizWomen/The Business Journals.

TedMed Great Challenges video: Our CEO, Jeanne Pinder, and others discuss cost and quality.

 

2013

ClearHealthCosts warns that some experts suggest that 60% of hospital bills have an error in them, while others suggest that percentage to be much, much higher.”  “California man posts hospital bill showing he was overcharged $45,000 for an appendectomy,New York Daily News.

“Here is some important advice from ClearHealthCosts,” “This $55,000 Bill Is The Perfect Example Of Our Broken Hospital System,Business Insider.

“Timely, accessible, affordable health care is a human right. We have failed to deliver that in this country, and it’s time to fix that.” – Jeanne Pinder, named one of 14 Disruptive Women to Watch in Healthcare.

“‘This marketplace is broken,’ Pinder said.  “Leading the fight against the $500 Tylenol,WHYY news.

“A New York consumer, for instance, might save a bundle … A cardio stress test costs $100 at one location in the Bronx, and $2,504 at another in Elmhurst, Queens.” “ClearHealthCosts Helps Customers …“, Fast Company.

Jeanne Pinder in TedMed Great Challenges: Technology and Health Cost TransparencyTedMed,  (53-min. video).

“Websites like Health Care Bluebook, Fair Health and ClearHealthCosts use insurance databases and patient crowdsourcing to find the going rates in local areas.”  “Good Deals on Pills? It’s Anyone’s Guess,” The New York Times.

“For the best results, learn what doctors near you are charging for your procedure or service and ask your physician to match the lowest price. Start at ClearHealthCosts.com.”  “RX for Savings: 8 Ways to Cut Health Costs,” Parade magazine.

“This startup uses crowdsourcing along with old-fashioned research to compile actual data on how much certain healthcare procedures cost, and when available, how much insurers are paying.”  “7 Sites to help you save big on your medical bills,” FoxBusiness.com.

“The Brian Lehrer Show and ClearHealthCosts are partnering to gather information — and increase transparency — about the cost of some common items and procedures.” Our collaboration with the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC radio, “Mapping the Cost of Birth-Control Pills and Mammograms,” May 3, 2013 and the results, May 22, 2013. (Longer results, our blog here and here.)

“But a new website — clearhealthcosts.com — is doing the work by collecting reported and crowdsourced self-pay prices on everything from dental fillings to vasectomies.”  “Some NYers skimp, go abroad to save on health costs,” AM New York.

“Some price information is already available … through websites such as Healthcarebluebook.com and Clearhealthcosts.com, which allow users to compare local rates….”  “U.S. makes data available on wide disparity in hospital charges,” Reuters.

“Why do birth-control costs vary so widely?”  “Map Your Birth-Control Costs,” Jezebel.com.

“Some change in transparency is happening anyway, thanks to innovative websites such as Fairhealth.org and Clearhealthcosts.com, which have begun to uncover comparative prices.” Editorial Board, USAToday, “Health care pricing transparency for all: Our view.”

Jeanne Pinder on TedMed “Great Challenges” segment, “Addressing Healthcare Costs and Payment Systems.”

Jeanne Pinder on Huffington Post Live, segment “Groupon Healthcare.”

“In fact, one widely touted approach to controlling costs is to encourage patients to comparison shop. Several website now offer price data for some services. (See ClearHealthCosts and Healthcare Blue Book.)” “You Probably Have No Idea What Your Health Care Costs,” The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“A ten-fold difference in price for any given test or procedure isn’t unusual, even within a single geographic area,”  said Jeanne Pinder, ClearHealthCosts founder.” Reuters, “Costs of hip replacement hard to find, vary widely.”

“Comparison shopping in health care is still in its earliest days, but sites like  …  Clear Health Costs … are trying to give consumers more clarity into health care pricing.” — “In Health Care, Price Transparency Alone is Not Enough,” GigaOm.

ClearHealthCosts “presents … sticker prices of various medical procedures, from blood tests to mammograms, and leaves the rest up to the consumer.” “Consumers May Draw Wrong Conclusions From Medical Prices,” Kaiser Health News.

 

2012

“If you’re paying out of pocket, that’s a whopping $1,445 savings to you. …If you’re paying most or all of your health costs out of pocket, ClearHealthCosts is a solid resource.” “ClearHealthCosts Sorts Out Bewildering Health Prices,” KQED Public Radio.

“Internet entrepreneurs have moved to fill the need for comparative price information. … in what could be the start of a significant trend. Among them are Clear Health Costs …” “Health Care’s Top 10 for 2012,  The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“The ClearHealthCosts blog published a two-part piece on the variable costs of MRI tests. … This is helpful, albeit maddeningly frustrating. … What an important project ClearHealthCosts is.” Gary Schwitzer, “How much does an MRI cost?” Health News Review.

“The budget wise can now comparison shop, something that used to be near-impossible to do with healthcare,” “How to alleviate health-care costs,” PCMag.

“Medicine’s Kayak.com? ClearHealthCosts checks healthcare costs for medical procedures,” MedCity News.

“The ClearHealthCosts concept of ‘democratizing’ health information …  offers an exciting glimpse of a less ‘opaque’ future of health care.”  “Getting to the Bottom of Your Bills: Jeanne Pinder of ClearHealthCosts,” The Daily Muse.

New Crowdsourcing Platform Can Save You Money on Medical Bills,” IdeaConnection.

ClearHealthCosts is “a noble and important undertaking.” “New York Revs Its Startup Engine,”  Forbes.com.

“ClearHealthCosts Wants to Save you from Medical Sticker Shock,” The New York Observer.

Our New York Tech Meetup demo, in MLB video, Sept. 11, 2012. We start about min. 13:40-18:00, then Q/A 23:00-30:00. Wahoo!

Our Favorite Startups From Women’s Demo Night, Hosted by New York Tech Meetup and Change the Ratio,” EBetaBeat, The New York Observer.

TV interview on BrianLehrer.TV, Brian Lehrer, June 26, 2012 (we come on about 35 minutes in, for about 10 minutes).

Leaving the Newsroom to Launch Online StartupsAmerican Journalism Review.

$56,000 Awarded to Four Women-Led News Projects,” McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs award announcement, via J-Lab at American University.

 

2011

Our favorite things: The Rachel Maddow Blog:  Mapping the Cost of Birth Control, Aug. 2, 2011, Rachel Maddow show.

ClearHealthCosts.com: Guiding consumers through the health-care marketplace,” CJR’s Guide to Online News Startups, Columbia Journalism Review.

Meet IWMF’s Global Digital News Frontier Grant Winners, announcement of Global Digital News Frontier Grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation via the Ford Foundation, March 2011.

2010

Judges Hand Out $40,000 in Seed Money to Launch Journalistic Ventures, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism blog, Dec. 14, 2010.