Our initial pilot project with WNYC public radio in 2013 brought nearly 400 women to the WNYC pages to tell us what they were charged and what they paid for their mammograms.
The interactive tools are no longer active (WNYC overhauled its website) but we got a ton of traffic and great news coverage. We were also able to make interesting charts like this one, which shows the difference between charged price and payments for mammograms at hospitals and imaging centers. The price differences are dramatic. The blog post in which this is embedded is one of several we wrote during the project; there’s a list with links at the bottom of the piece.
Our New York pricing data, which you can find by using the search tools at the top of each page of our site, incorporates information from providers in New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut. In New Jersey, we have prices in northern New Jersey (the New York City metro area) and in southern New Jersey (the Philadelphia metro area).
The information in our database comes from several sources. First, our journalists conduct a direct survey of local providers to collect cash or self-pay prices for a range of 30-35 common, “shoppable” procedures. Through our interactive software tool, we encourage community members to add to the site by sharing their pricing information from bills or “explanation of benefits” statements. We also include data on the Medicare reimbursement rate, what the government pays for a procedure in a given area under the Medicare program for older Americans, since that’s the closest thing to a fixed or benchmark price in the marketplace. That figure is computed via a formula used to price 8,400 procedures in 90 separate geographical areas in the system used by the federal government.
More information about our nationwide partnerships is collected here.
Articles highlighting our data and our media partnerships have appeared in the Harvard Business Review and in JAMA Internal Medicine. We’ve also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, USA Today and elsewhere. To read more about our work and partnerships, visit our media page.
While we do not have every price for every procedure at every provider across the nation — that data does not exist anywhere — we do have a “community-created guide to health costs” where people can share and search health cost data, as well as explanation and interpretation of the data from our news partners.
To search or share your costs and experiences, click here.
To discuss a potential partnership, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.