Summary: “Clearhealthcosts.com has built a searchable database of thirty tests, procedures, and treatments and the prices charged by specific providers,” Susan Gilbert writes about us in “How Much for That Stress Test,” in The Hastings Center Report, a publication of the Hastings Center, a research institution working on bioethics and the public interest.
“As a former journalist, I have been interested to see journalists leading the charge to bring sunshine to health care prices. Doing so is in line with their role, stated by the Society of Professional Journalists: to help people ‘be well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national communities.’ This is what Jeanne Pinder, a former New York Times reporter, aims to do with clearhealthcosts.com, a website she launched in 2010 with funding from media philanthropies. Pinder calls it a ‘journalism startup,’ writes Gilbert, the public affairs and communications manager at The Hastings Center.
“With a combination of old-fashioned reporting—a small staff cold-calling health providers—and crowdsourcing, in which patients report what they (or their insurance companies) were billed, clearhealthcosts.com has built a searchable database of thirty tests, procedures, and treatments and the prices charged by specific providers. The data show significant price variations, as in this sampling of cash prices in the New York area: walk-in clinic visit ($20 to $351), teeth cleaning ($70 to $350), cardiac stress test ($100 to $2,504), lower-back magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without dye ($400 to $1,200).”
The full Perspective article is behind a paywall. The abstract is here.