Shopping for health care: A few thoughts on how to do it

Summary: Yes, people are shopping for health care. Some are better at it than others, and some providers and payers (read: doctors/hospitals and insurers) are better than others about revealing information. We’re always interested to hear when people who haven’t encountered these truths come up against the real world. So when Sarah Kliff, the well-respected […]

Hello, Philadelphia! We’re here to inventory your health care prices.

Summary: We’re excited to be rolling out WHYY’s PriceCheck project in Philadelphia, with our great partners at WHYY The Pulse in Philadelphia. We’re kicking off a six-month project to build a community-created guide to health care prices in the Delaware Valley with the WHYY The Pulse journalists, on the model of our California PriceCheck project. […]

Is it cheaper to pay cash than to use your insurance? Maybe.

Is it cheaper to pay cash than to use your insurance? Maybe.

(Updated, 2019) Are you paying more for health care because you have health insurance than a cash customer pays? It’s definitely happening for some people. Many of us are accustomed to thinking that we pay insurance premiums to get access to a lower cost for health care procedures — that being the “negotiated rate” or […]

Harvard Business Review-New England Journal of Medicine features us

Summary: The Harvard Business Review/New England Journal of Medicine featured my article describing and our work on PriceCheck on Nov. 26. In a piece titled “It’s Absurd That Health Care Costs Are So Confusing,” I explained how health cost transparency is helping empower people in the marketplace. CLICK HERE FOR PRICES    

Health News Review calls our work ‘a great piece of journalism’

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: Gary Schwitzer, founder of Health News Review, has a mission: to analyze health reporting. His site regularly holds  feet to the fire about bad medicine and bad journalism, and the site also praises people whose work he finds exemplary. So we were thrilled to see him praising our PriceCheck project on his Health News Review.. CLICK HERE FOR PRICES    

ClearHealthCosts and PriceCheck featured in JAMA Internal Medicine

Summary: Our work on PriceCheck was featured in JAMA Internal Medicine on Nov. 17, in an article by one of our California partners,  Lisa Aliferis of KQED, along with an editor’s note by the JAMA editor. The editor’s note called us “bold” and a supplier of “essential information,” and called for more of the same […]

Cost of a colonoscopy in California: Payments from $1,200 to $7,126.80

Summary: How much does a colonoscopy cost? From $0 to $7,240 in California, we learned from our PriceCheck community. Though preventive care is supposed to be covered under the Affordable Care Act, people are paying a lot for their colonoscopies, we learned — and the range of payments by insurers is surprisingly wide. CLICK HERE […]

Our PriceCheck project in California: Links to our work

Filed Under: Costs

Summary: Our #PriceCheck project crowdsourcing health care prices in California, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is live at this link. The reporting from the three partners — us at clearhealthcosts, KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC/Southern California Public Radio in Los Angeles — has been collected on this Tumblr. […]

Who’s paying the chargemaster rate? Not just uninsured people, but also the insured

Summary: It’s long been thought that uninsured people were paying the highest prices for their medical care — that an uninsured or out-of-network patient paying cash has to pay the most. But that’s no longer true. We are learning that insured people are paying the chargemaster or sticker price, and they’re upset. Why? There’s a […]

Diabetes test strips: $87.99 — or $12.99, or $9 — for 50. Cheaper without insurance? Quite possibly.

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Summary: We have turned our attention to crowdsourcing the prices of diabetes test strips. Early results are in, and  we are seeing as much as $87.99 or $25 for a box of 50. Best price so far: $9 for 50 at Wal-Mart, or $12.99 for 50, with the iPhone (thanks, @T1Runner !) Also, it looks like what […]