When is a mammogram not a mammogram? Different tests, different names

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

SUMMARY: What are the different kinds of mammogram? The most common imaging test for breast cancer detection is the mammogram, but it’s not the only one. A mammogram is an X-ray photo of the breasts. Just as you can see the shadow of your hand on a sunny day, breast tissue creates a shadow on the […]

Your doctor ordered a second mammogram? Sorry, it’s not covered

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

A friend writes: I need to get a second mammogram and my $743.55 per month Blue Cross insurance will not pay for it. I have a (single parent/child) Blue Cross/Blue Shield independent Horizon EPO Plus health insurance policy.  I’ve been told that I’ve already reached my maximum for the calendar year of $600 in testing. […]

Our WNYC collaboration

How much do birth-control pills and mammograms cost? How much do birth-control pills cost? How much does a simple procedure like a mammogram cost? Prices vary widely in health care. Many people don’t know that, because it’s an opaque marketplace. We are working to bring transparency by telling people what things cost. Transparent markets benefit […]

The people speak on the cost of care: Comments on the news

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

There are fascinating comments on the stream at the Well blog on nytimes.com for the Libby Rosenthal piece about the study seeking the price of a hip replacement, which was the topic of an article by Reuters also (where I was quoted), and an article by Chad Terhune in The Los Angeles Times. Our friend Robert […]

Finding consumer prices from hospitals is hard, study finds

  It’s hard for patients to find prices for medical procedures in advance, even for common things, a new study finds. Our readers won’t be surprised, but this was a  thorough investigation by a trio of respected scholars, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study catalogs the  scholars’ attempts to find […]

ClearHealthCosts press coverage: Health News Review and The Observer

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

We were flattered to be featured on Health News Review not long ago. The review featured our blog post on health-care pricing, specifically MRI’s. The two posts they focused on, on “How much does an MRI Cost?” related what we had found  about pricing — in Part 1 and Part 2. “This is helpful, albeit […]

The 5 most important things you can do to cut health-care costs

People ask us a lot: what can I do to cut health-care costs? There are different answers, depending on your perspective: patient/consumer, provider (hospital, doctor), payer (insurance company or government or whoever) or someone else. The most important thing: ask what it costs. This is not an easy question to ask: many of us are […]

Aetna, paying 45 percent less than Medicare, is schooled on Twitter

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Aetna pays 45 percent less than what Medicare pays, at least for one treatment in California. Aetna also pays half of what other insurers pay. This is startling because a lot of the noise in the health-care marketplace is about low government reimbursement rates, via Medicare  (the federal program for the elderly and disabled) and […]