Cracking the Code: Voices from our New Orleans partnership

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How do people use our data? We’re often asked. Here are some snippets from real life: Selected emails, comments on stories and Facebook posts from our Cracking the Code partnership with partners WVUE FOX 8 Live and NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

“Less than 18 hours before her scheduled abdominal MRI at Tulane Medical Center, a rep called her to say it would cost more than $4,500 out of pocket. After she .. looked at some cash prices collected by CHC, she canceled the appointment and wound up paying $672 at Doctor’s Imaging in Metairie.”

“Thank you Fox 8 for doing the research on this. It’s very helpful to me and many others. We have started asking the right questions now and have saved hundreds already! <3″

“Thanks to this Times Picayune series on healthcare costs I actually found a mistake on my bill. I was coded for an expensive procedure I did not get that I owed $250 out of pocket for. The only reason I found the error was because I was trying to enter the information into the online tool. So thanks for that!”

Greetings,

“Some friends asked me to send you these attached EHBs, as they don’t have internet access and they’re not able to enter the info on the online forms.

“I hope this info helps your investigation. On behalf of everyone, we greatly appreciate your research and attention to this matter. We hope your coverage will result in policy changes that will make health care costs more transparent, uniform and accessible for all.”

“I saw the comments on cracking the code last night….I recently retired from one of the major health insurance companies in New Orleans…. I programmed/configured all the physician & hospital contracts with the insurance company. …

“I was amazed at how many bills had the incorrect CPT procedure codes and would affect a member’s responsibility.

“This is a great documentary being supplied to the public….thanks so much for caring!”

I’d like to commend Lee Zurik on his investigative reports that corroborates what health services researchers have hypothesized and are increasingly able to demonstrate; that price of procedure and quality of outcome are not related. In our leading journal, HEALTH AFFAIRS, there is an article this month by Roberts, Mehrotra, and Mc Williams entitled “High Price and Low Price physician practices do not differ significantly on care quality or efficiency”. (Health Affairs, May 2017, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 855-864….

“Best regards and thanks for your contribution to this timely issue.”

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL REPORTING AND ANY HELP WITH THIS. I am retired and on a fixed income!”

And, finally, on a sadder note:

“When I had the procedure done on 1/3/2017. I paid in full upfront $778.31. (See top receipt.) However on 1/19/17 I received a balance due of $87.00. (See bottom statement) I called North Oaks about the balance due and no one was able to help me and sent my bill to collections. So I paid it. What else can you do?”

 

For more from our series, go to this page describing the partnership and cataloging the news coverage. For more on our national partnerships, go to this page.

DID YOU SAVE money with information from ClearHealthCosts or “Cracking the Code?  Tell us by email at info@clearhealthcosts.com or health@fox8live.com.

DO YOU HAVE PRICES to share to help build our community-created guide to health care? Or are you looking for price information?

Click over to our New Orleans PriceCheck interactive software at WVUE Fox 8 Live and at NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune. Search our prices in our New Orleans-focused partnership. For non-New Orleans shares and searches, here’s the search and share page on our national ClearHealthCosts site.

ARE YOU A PROVIDER wishing to share prices?

This page has a sample spreadsheet showing the data that will let us include your prices. Download, fill it out and return to us at info@clearhealthcosts.com or health@fox8live.com.