We’re ‘Wow-worthy changemakers,’ honored by ‘O, the Oprah magazine’

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Our CEO, Jeanne Pinder, has been named a “Wow-Worthy Changemaker” and a “Health Hero” at “O, the Oprah Magazine” for her work at ClearHealthCosts. The piece is in the January 2018 issue of the Oprah Winfrey publication, where 14 people with health missions are featured —  an oncologist, a tween activist, a doctor who cares for refugees, a Chicago South Side trauma response team doctor and others.

The piece about her, written by journalist Rachael Ellison, reads, in part:

“Ten years ago, New York Times journalist Jeanne Pinder was reviewing her family’s medical bills
when something jumped out at her: One bill included hefty costs that made it balloon to
$6,000—triple the size of the other bills. Suspicious, Pinder began to research each line item
and found that an anti-nausea medication for which she was being charged $1,419 could be
purchased for just $2.49 through a local drug company. …

“Commiserating with friends, Pinder learned that most of them, too, had been overcharged at
some point. So she decided to use the tools of her trade to fight back. After taking an early
buyout from the Times, where she’d worked for 25 years, she founded ClearHealthCosts. The
fact-finding startup partners with news organizations to gather information about medical costs
(from providers, patients, and anonymous tipsters), organizes this data and makes it available
to the public, and publishes guides that help patients comparison shop for fair prices on
mammograms, MRIs, dental fillings, and other procedures—as well as push back against
unfairly high charges. ‘We aim to protect people against outrageous bills while helping them
understand how the system works,’ Pinder says.

“CHC is free to individual users (it’s the news organizations that pay some of the fees). To date,
CHC has saved thousands of dollars for consumers in partner cities like Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg (and more) ​on
bills  …  Pinder hopes the information will help change the pricing structure system, one bill at a time. ‘Patients
should know what this stuff costs,’ Pinder says. ‘And insurance executives, hospital
administrators, and policymakers should know that patients are tired of gotcha medical bills. A system where people choose to go without necessary care because they’re afraid of what it will cost is a system that badly needs to be fixed.”

It’s not online yet, but on newsstands. We’ll post a link here as soon as we find it. Meanwhile, here are screen shots.