Summary: “Provider directories for some health plans sold through Covered California and in the private market are so inaccurate that they create an ‘awful’ situation for consumers trying to find doctors, according to the lead author of a new study published in the journal Health Affairs,” Emily Bazar writes at California Healthline. “In the study, ‘secret shoppers’ posing as patients were able to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician less than 30 percent of the time. The callers contacted 743 doctors in five different regions of California who were listed as primary care physicians in their health plans’ online directories. They focused on Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross plans sold to individuals and families through the state health insurance exchange and in the open market. ‘We were a little bit surprised at how bad the numbers were,’ said the study’s lead author, Simon Haeder, an assistant professor of political science at West Virginia University.” Emily Bazar, “Inaccurate Provider Lists A Major Barrier To Care, Study Finds,” California Healthline.
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.