nurse swabbing patient

“Vince Amalfitano isn’t one to rush to the doctor’s office every time his kid sniffles,” Sarah Gantz writes over at our partner “But when 12-year-old Christopher’s fever climbed past 102 and with nightly news horror stories of flu deaths swirling in his mind, the Montgomery County father decided it was time for a trip to the family pediatrician. It turned out that Christopher did have the flu — the diagnosis was confirmed by a flu test ordered by the doctor. But the pharmacy was out of Tamiflu, the antiviral medication the doctor prescribed, so Christopher rode out the bug with lots of fluids and bed rest. Christopher was back to school and running around outside when the virus hit the family again — this time, in the wallet. Quest Diagnostics had billed the family’s insurance plan $887 for the flu test and the insurer had written down the charge to $400.” Sarah Gantz, “For this family, the flu’s final gut punch was an $887 testing charge,”

Jeanne Pinder

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...