The community member did not leave a name, but she/he was outraged.
The procedure: A cardiovascular stress test, CPT code 93107. The charge? $864.80. Cigna insurance paid nothing at the St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in Texas.
“This was a simple 10 EKG on a treadmill. No Dr. Present, no interpretation. Trace only sent to my cardiologist. S. David’s charged $1840 fro the test and Cigna had a negotiated rate of $864.80. This is simply outrageous ! This test was done by a technician likely being paid under $20/hr. At $1840 for a 10 minute test that requires a simple EKG machine and a $5000 treadmill to do, they essentially charged an hourly rate of $9200/hour.”
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.