We launched our Florida PriceCheck partnership in April 2016, crowdsourcing health prices with new partners WLRN public radio in Miami and WUSF public radio in Tampa Bay, and their Health News Florida collaboration.
In the first two days after launch, our web analytics show that we had visits from the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Insurance, the Florida Department of Health, Humana, UnitedHealthCare, Cigna, Aetna, the Blues, and about a dozen Florida hospitals. Also visiting: Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, the Washington State Attorney General, the Broward County Commission and scores of others.
Florida’s an interesting place. The legislature recently enacted one of the strongest state laws protecting consumers against surprise out-of-network medical bills. It also passed a law that seeks to give Florida a robust healthcare price and quality transparency system. While the bill has lofty aims, many other such transparency bills in other states have resulted in only partial achievement of price and quality transparency.
The information in our database comes from several sources. First, our journalists conduct a direct survey of local providers to collect cash or self-pay prices for a range of 30-35 common, “shoppable” procedures. Through our interactive software tool, we encourage community members to add to the site by sharing their pricing information from bills or “explanation of benefits” statements. We also include data on the Medicare reimbursement rate, what the government pays for a procedure in a given area under the Medicare program for older Americans, since that’s the closest thing to a fixed or benchmark price in the marketplace. That figure is computed via a formula used to price 8,400 procedures in 90 separate geographical areas in the system used by the federal government.
More information about our nationwide partnerships is collected here.
Articles highlighting our data and our media partnerships have appeared in the Harvard Business Review and in JAMA Internal Medicine. We’ve also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, USA Today and elsewhere. To read more about our work and partnerships, visit our media page.
While we do not have every price for every procedure at every provider across the nation — that data does not exist anywhere — we do have a “community-created guide to health costs” where people can share and search health cost data, as well as explanation and interpretation of the data from our news partners.
To search or share your costs and experiences, click here.
To discuss a potential partnership, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.