An excellent chart: How much does an emergency-room visit cost?
The cost differences were startling. A urinary-tract infection could result in a bill of $50 or a bill of $73,002. A sprain or strain: $4, or $24,110. A kidney stone: $128 or $39408.
This is an illustration from a study called “ ‘How Much Will I Get Charged for This?’: Patient Charges for Top Ten Diagnoses in the Emergency Department,” from the journal PLOS-One, published Feb. 27, 2013, by Nolan Caldwell, Tanja Srebotnjak, Tiffany Wang and Renee Hsia.
The authors concluded: “Emergency department charges for common conditions are expensive with high charge variability. Greater acute care charge transparency will at least allow patients and providers to be aware of the emergency department charges patients may face in the current health care system.”
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.