How much is a facility fee? Facility Fees 101, or what you need to know

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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How much is a facility fee? Facility Fees 101, or what you need to know

We have heard a lot of questions and a lot of anguish lately about facility fees, which are charged by hospitals and other institutions for the use of their, well, facilities. Here’s a roundup of what we know about this topic. What is a facility fee? Hospitals often charge a facility fee on top of […]

How ClearHealthCosts Helped New Orleans Newsrooms Save Money for Readers

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How ClearHealthCosts Helped New Orleans Newsrooms Save Money for Readers

“During a 2013 Morning Edition broadcast, Brian Lehrer and Soterios Johnson asked female listeners to complete a survey on the WNYC website on the cost of routine mammograms,” Bianca Fortis writes about us over at MediaShift, the destination site for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology.  “The appeal was part of a collaboration with […]

Top secret no longer: What insurers pay, and what it means for you

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Top secret no longer: What insurers pay, and what it means for you

One of the biggest secrets in health care is the rates that insurance companies pay providers. One insurer might pay one provider $2,400 for an MRI and a different provider $400 — in the same locale and for the same MRI. But we rarely see documentation of that, because the rates are kept secret. So […]

What we learned: ‘Cracking the Code,’ a TV special by FOX 8 Live

Filed Under: Costs

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What we learned: ‘Cracking the Code,’ a TV special by FOX 8 Live

Weekend watching: Here’s a special TV wrapup of our work so farwith our award-winning journalist partners, investigative reporter and anchor Lee Zurik at WVUE FOX 8 Live and  Jed Lipinski and Manuel Torres at NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune,  and their teams. We launched our New Orleans PriceCheck partnership in April 2017, using shoe-leather journalism, data journalism and crowdsourcing […]

Providers are newly willing to post cash medical prices: Some things we learned in our New Orleans launch

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Providers are newly willing to post cash medical prices: Some things we learned in our New Orleans launch

We’ve learned some interesting things about providers publicizing cash or self-pay prices in our New Orleans partnership, “Cracking the Code.” Perhaps not surprisingly, when the people we’re talking with understand how this can benefit them, they give up the prices — information that for years has been a closely kept secret. We start out, as […]

She saved $3,786 on an MRI: How people use our data

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

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She saved $3,786 on an MRI: How people use our data

We received this email in connection with our Cracking the Code partnership in New Orleans: My doctor at Tulane University Medical Center had suggested an abdominal MRI as part of a portfolio of check-ups to better understand the possible trajectory of a hereditary condition that might affect me. I’m 27 years old, and wanted to […]

In network and billed for $1,400: “Cracking the Code” looks at balance billing

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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In network and billed for $1,400: “Cracking the Code” looks at balance billing

“Steve Fair woke up at 2 a.m. in his room at the Sheraton New Orleans to find that his uvula – the tissue that hangs from the back of one’s palate – had swollen to the size of a Hershey’s Kiss. Worried it might block his airway, he and his wife rushed down to the […]

For some Louisiana health insurers, explanations of benefits are anything but: NOLA.com

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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“When people go to the supermarket, they expect prices to be clearly posted in the store and then listed in an itemized receipt at checkout. If shoppers notice they’ve been overcharged for a carton of milk, they assume the cashier will issue them a refund on the spot.” our partner Jed Lipinski writes over at […]

An off-the-charts launch: Our New Orleans partnership

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

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An off-the-charts launch: Our New Orleans partnership

Summary: Our New Orleans partnership has brought a response that is off the charts in every way. We are a little more than two weeks from our launch, and we are hearing from 10-60 people a day with data and questions on health care pricing. We’re also the topic of conversation in the community. In […]