Summary: Gary Schwitzer, founder of Health News Review, has a mission: to analyze health reporting. His site regularly holds feet to the fire about bad medicine and bad journalism, and the site also praises people whose work he finds exemplary. So we were thrilled to see him praising our PriceCheck project on his Health News Review..
“It was great to see a JAMA Internal Medicine article about a great piece of journalism on this same topic. The article, by Lisa Aliferis of KQED radio in San Francisco, was entitled, “Variation in Prices for Common Medical Tests and Procedures.” It gives details about the PriceCheck project of KQED, KPPC, and the excellent ClearHealthCosts.com effort run by Jeanne Pinder. Aliferis concludes the article:
“’The window is cracked open on health cost transparency. We have been here before—with car sales, with airline tickets. Now, technology in combination with transparency can do the same for health care.
“‘And yes, we have been asked whether people should ‘shop’ for medical treatment in the same way they shop for a new car. If there were a correlation between cost and quality, this might be a reasonable question. Instead, in American health care, money is spent on unnecessary or unproven treatments much too often, and there’s widespread variation in price. People are waking up to these facts.
“‘The money conversation makes the practice of medicine very complicated: the ‘gotcha’ bill and the medication that is not covered challenge the physician-patient relationship. It is time to take off the blindfold and embrace transparency in pricing for medical care and services.’”
Here’s how Schwitzer describes the Health News Review goal: “The mission of HealthNewsReview.org is to improve the public dialogue about health care by helping consumers critically analyze claims about health care interventions and by promoting the principles of shared decision-making reinforced by accurate, balanced and complete information about the tradeoffs involved in health care decisions.”
More press from our partner’s JAMA Internal Medicine piece
We got more press from our JAMA Internal Medicine article about PriceCheck. “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.