Yes, of course, people ARE shopping for health care. And they are saving money.

Yes, of course, people ARE shopping for health care. And they are saving money.

Every time people try to tell us that no one is shopping for health care, we object. People are shopping for health care. It’s surprising that  so many people cannot see this. A pair of recent studies concluded that little or no active or effective shopping around is getting done. Both are described on the blog of the […]

How to read a bill or explanation of benefits: Know the tricks

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How to read a bill or explanation of benefits: Know the tricks

The insurance company’s “explanation of benefits” explains nothing. In fact it often confuses matters more. Also: People believe their insurance companies are paying more than they really are, because quite often the explanation of benefits leads to that conclusion. When I founded this company, a major impetus was the fact that people told us they […]

The myth of drug expiration dates: ProPublica

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The myth of drug expiration dates: ProPublica

“The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing,” Marshall Allen writes at ProPublica. “Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless. But to Lee Cantrell, who helps […]

Journalism, trust and our New Orleans partnership

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Journalism, trust and our New Orleans partnership

“Your investigations are extraordinary and a real benefit to the public​.” “Keep up this Awesome Investigative Journalism!!!” “On behalf of everyone, we greatly appreciate your research and attention to this matter.” There’s been a lot of talk lately in the news industry about restoring trust in journalism. Accusations of “fake news,” clickbait and irrelevancy are common […]

Cracking the Code: Voices from our New Orleans partnership

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Cracking the Code: Voices from our New Orleans partnership

How do people use our data? We’re often asked. Here are some snippets from real life: Selected emails, comments on stories and Facebook posts from our Cracking the Code partnership with partners WVUE FOX 8 Live and NOLA.com I The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. “Less than 18 hours before her scheduled abdominal MRI at Tulane Medical Center, […]

Cash prices stay level, while overall costs continue to rise

Cash prices stay level, while overall costs continue to rise

Summary: A curious thing has happened in health care pricing in this country. While insurance premiums and insured people’s prices for common procedures consistently go up and up and up, cash prices for many common, “shoppable” procedures vary little from year to year. We first started to notice this pattern when we were replicating our […]

10 steps for appealing a claim or bill: Part 2 of our series on billing

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

10 steps for appealing a claim or bill: Part 2 of our series on billing

So you got a huge bill, and you’re sure there’s been a mistake, either in the bill or the insurer’s processing of a claim. You want to appeal, because it’s a lot of money. Here’s a step-by-step course of action. We cannot guarantee that you will win, but at least you will have tried. Read first, […]

How much will that cost/did that cost? Part 1 of a series on billing

How much will that cost/did that cost? Part 1 of a series on billing

(Updated, 2019) How much will that cost? Why did that cost so much? People are getting used to asking this in the health care marketplace. Many of us grew up with the $10 co-pay, but that’s rapidly becoming a thing of the past. With rising deductibles, more out-of-network providers, more uninsured people and more out-of-pocket […]

Ultrasound cost: Saving $1,205, or how people use our data

How do people use our data? Listen: “We recently spent much time trying to find the cost of a fairly routine thyroid ultrasound as we now have a high deductible insurance plan,” said the note to us. “It was extremely frustrating. Even Aetna could not give us expected costs or alternate locations for the test. […]