The Team

Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO

Pinder worked for The New York Times for 23 years before founding ClearHealthCosts. At The Times, she was an editor, reporter and human resources executive before volunteering for a buyout in late 2009. Before The Times, she worked at The Des Moines (Ia.) Register, The Grinnell (Ia.) Herald-Register and The Associated Press. She majored in Russian and did graduate work in Slavic studies, spending almost two years in the former Soviet Union, a place as opaque as the health-care marketplace.

She created ClearHealthCosts with funding from a group of angels, and with three grants: one from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism;  one from the Ford Foundation via the  International Women’s Media Foundation, in the Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital News Frontier program; and one from the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs Program via J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism.

In 2015, Pinder was chosen as a co-researcher on a study of crowdsourcing for journalists at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University in New York, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Alex Filatov, tech lead

An accomplished full-stack developer, Alex is the creator of CXRATE, the top-ranked currency exchange app in Ukraine. An experienced software engineer he excels in web development, high load architecture and user experience.

Other tech partners and colleagues at Revsquare and Allied Strategy: Jeff Mignon, Guillaume Pousseo, Elisa Riteau, Chris Lojniewski, Nancy Wang and Damian White from Revsquare, and also John Skinner, Cameron Colby Thomson, Jeff Runyan and Grant Horejsi from Allied Strategy.

Tina Kelley, business development

A broad-ranging and thoughtful writer, editor and intrapreneur, Kelley helped lead the NYT’s foray into hyperlocal journalism, and is the author of three books.

Rebecca Sesny, reporter

Rebecca Sesny is  a multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New York City.  She has international reporting experience working in East Africa and the Congo covering women’s rights, health care, and the environment. She recently completed work on a documentary for National Geographic about the global water crisis. Her independent short documentary about the presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was selected to screen at the CongoInHarlem.org film festival. She also freelances producing, shooting and editing for news organizations including The New York Times, The Guardian and Discovery Networks. She has an M.A. in international reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Indrani Datta, reporter

Indrani Datta is a health journalist with a software background. She has helped build news interactives and covered cancer drugs, hospital finance, and politics. She also founded a news startup that built a smart news reader.

Debbie Martin, reporter-RESEARCHER

Debbie Martin is an accomplished researcher focusing on medical and health care issues. She is the author of “An Annotated Guide to Adoption Research.” She created the first ever online database of adoption research.

News partners

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.

We build interactive software and place it on our partners’ sites, using pricing information from three sources. First, we pre-populate the database with our survey of cash or self-pay pricing collected from local providers on common, shoppable procedures — or, sometimes, prices of bigger-ticket items. Second, we encourage community members to come and share their pricing information, from their bills or “explanation of benefits” forms from an insurer. Third, we also display the Medicare reimbursement rate for a collection of 8,400 procedures catalogued in the Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System (HCPCS) used by the government in different geographic regions.

In this way, we display a 360-degree view of pricing. We don’t have every price for every procedure at every provider across the nation — that data does not exist anywhere — but we have a “community-created guide to health costs” that informs people and gives them a sense of agency in the bewildering world of health care pricing.  People can share and search the data, and we use the data to write and tell about the costs of health care. Here’s a post about the partnerships.

Our partnership with WVUE FOX 8 Live and NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune in New Orleans has brought thousands of people to share and search our database. The news coverage has changed the conversation about health costs in the city. Hundreds and hundreds of people have shared their prices and their stories, and people in the health care industry are reaching out to us by the dozens to contribute to the conversation. Here’s a look at the partnership.

Our partners at WLRN public radio in Miami, WUSF public radio in Tampa-St. Petersburg and Health News Florida, their collaboration, have shone a bright light on Florida health pricing.

Our PriceCheck prototype partnership, in 2013, placed our interactive widget on the web sites of KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC/Southern California public radio in Los Angeles, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. (When we won that grant with our partners, it was called “Uncovering Cost, Examining Impact.”)

Here’s some of the reporting by us and about us in the California prototype, on a group Tumblr. Don’t miss the pieces in the Harvard Business Review, the JAMA Internal Medicine piece and the positive editor’s note, and the other coverage by the three of us partners, and about us.

We also partnered with WHYY public radio in Philadelphia, joining hands with WHYY journalists to crowdsource and report on health care prices in the Delaware Valley. Here’s the project page for the WHYY partnership.

We are also partnering with MedPage Today, which provides news, information and continuing medical education to 670,000 medical professionals.

 

Special thanks

Our angel investors

Our advisory board members

Our grant organizations

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University

The International Women’s Media Foundation and the Ford Foundation — Liza Gross, Nadine Hoffman, Elisa Munoz and others

The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism — Jeff Jarvis, Jeremy Caplan and others

J-Lab, a journalism catalyst at the School of Communication at American University, and the McCormick Foundation — Jan Schaffer, Jill Clarke and others

All the jury and selection committee members who voted for us in these grant processes.

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Steve Shepard, Sarah Bartlett, Jeff Jarvis, Jeremy Caplan, Judy Watson, Amy Dunkin et al.

The CUNY J-School Entrepreneurials of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and the incubator crew — especially Jenni Avins, Drani Datta and Alan Grow.

Legal

Hunter Farrell, Farrell Counsel
Bill Richter, Richter Law Offices
Joe Richotte, Jennifer Dukarski et al, Butzel Long
Neil Jacobs, Neil Jacobs Law
The Online Media Legal Network at Harvard’s Berkman Center — Jeff Hermes, Andy Sellars et al

Organizations

  • Investigative Reporters and Editors
  • The Association of Health Care Journalists
  • The Online News Association
  • Hacks/Hackers
  • The Society for Participatory Medicine
  • Health Rosetta
  • Health 2.0
  • The Li.st (XX in Tech)
  • The Techlady Mafia
  • HealthFoo (Friends of O’Reilly)
  • TedMed Great Challenges