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Gov. Ron DeSantis in a Palm Harbor Walmart
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

The State of Florida is now providing consumers with more information about health care costs.

Governor Ron DeSantis visited a Walmart in Palm Harbor on Monday to announce the launch of a website where people can go to find prices for common services.

A newly released report by Johns Hopkins University, Hospital Prices in the United States: An Analysis of U.S. Cities and States, shows that seven out of ten of the states with the highest health care mark up ratios are in the south - including Florida.

Insurers Shun State Health-Care Website

Oct 1, 2018

The pushback against Gov. Rick Scott’s effort to create a health-care transparency website appears to be more widespread than state officials previously acknowledged.

For the past year, WUSF has invited you to share the cost of your health care -- not your insurance premiums, but the cost of the care itself. Our PriceCheck project is a database made up of charges shared by health care facilities and costs contributed by you.

Hospitals keep a list of what they charge for health care. But if you have insurance, that charge may have nothing to do with what your insurance company has negotiated and what your out-of-pocket expenses would be.

Florida and 42 other states fail to give the public easy access to health care pricing, according to a new report.

Prescription drug costs are not only a problem for consumers. Health care providers are worried about it too.

Health-care prices are complex and in many ways secret—which can affect how much you end up paying for your health care.

But not everyone agrees on what transparency in health-care pricing should look like.

You can listen to a story about what we mean when we talk about transparency here:

Real prices for health care are complicated and oftentimes secret. Health News Florida, WUSF and WLRN have launched an online guide to bring clarity to health care costs. PriceCheck Florida is a database of prices of common health care procedures and supplies.

You can search the database, and you can contribute information about the prices you paid.  

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 7:30 a.m.), we sit down with project founder Jeanne Pinder and Health News Florida reporter Sammy Mack to talk about how the database works and why it’s needed. We also feature a discussion on the impact of health care costs on employer-based insurance.

Beginning in July, if you have health insurance and go to an in-network hospital but a doctor who is not in your insurance plan’s network helps you, you aren’t supposed to get a surprise bill.

Health Bills, Tax Cuts, 'Legacy Florida' Go To Scott

Mar 31, 2016

Scott received a handful of health-care bills, including a measure (HB 221) that addresses a controversial health-insurance issue known as "balance billing."

Series Of Health Care Bills Poised To Pass House

Mar 2, 2016

After the issues sailed through committees, the House is poised to pass a series of bills dealing with health-care regulations.

Consumers skeptical about the real cost of health care will soon have a resource where they can ask and share with their neighbors the price of common medical procedures.

Telehealth, Transparency Move Forward In House

Feb 9, 2016

A House panel Monday approved a pair of bills aimed at increasing the use of "telehealth" to remotely provide medical services and at offering greater transparency in health-care costs.

Transparency, 'Telehealth' Bills Moving In House

Jan 21, 2016

Continuing to look for different approaches to health care, a House committee Wednesday approved bills that would require more transparency about medical costs and seek to expand the use of "telehealth."

A final report from Gov. Rick Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding is recommending that Floridians should be able to find out ahead of time what it will actually cost before going into the hospital for non-emergency treatment.

The latest numbers from federal health officials show Florida is continuing to lead in enrollment on HealthCare.gov, with nearly 600,000 who have signed up so far.

Kate and Scott Savett were trying to be responsible when they needed some medical care. They live about an hour north of Philadelphia with their dog, Frankie. Scott, 43, is a chemist and designs software for labs; Kate, 37, works in life insurance.

They buy their health insurance through Scott's job, and to keep their premiums affordable, they chose a high-deductible plan. They understood from the beginning that this would mean shopping carefully when they needed care, because costs can vary a lot among doctors and hospitals.

Editor's note: This story has been updated and contains a correction.

Florida lawmakers should enact more protections for health-insurance consumers and families of workers in small businesses, a state advisory board says.

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

  President Barack Obama says he’s worried about rising prescription drug prices, but consumers need to take into account the United States’ role in the development of new medications, he told WUSF in a one-on-one interview.

Health care has been a hot-button policy issue for years in the Florida Legislature, and it’s starting to look like the session scheduled to start on Jan. 12 will be no different.

Pharmacy Panel Addresses Patient Problems

Oct 6, 2015

Acknowledging that it isn't a "magic button," a Florida Board of Pharmacy committee on Monday gave preliminary approval to an attempt at curbing the "pharmacy crawl" forced on patients who can't get their pain medications filled.

A day after proposing that hospitals post prices online, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday linked "transparency" to state funding for hospitals.

FL Docs Among Top Tranquilizer Prescribers

Jun 11, 2015

In 2012, Medicare’s massive prescription drug program didn’t spend a penny on popular tranquilizers such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan.

The following year, it doled out more than $377 million for the drugs.

While it might appear that an epidemic of anxiety swept the nation’s Medicare enrollees, the spike actually reflects a failed policy initiative by Congress.

Twenty of the 50 U.S. hospitals that charge the most for their services are located in Florida — and all but one of them are for-profit, according to a study released Monday.