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PriceCheck

Compassion for a hungry stray kitten led to a nip on the finger — and also took a bite out of Jeannette Parker's wallet.

In a rural area just outside Florida's Everglades National Park, Parker spotted the cat wandering along the road. It looked skinny and sick, and when Parker, a wildlife biologist, offered up some tuna she had in her car, the cat bit her finger.

"It broke my skin with his teeth," she recalls.

Sarah Witter couldn't catch a break even though her leg had gotten several.

As she lay on a ski trail in Vermont last February, Witter, now 63, knew she hadn't suffered a regular fall because she couldn't get up. An X-ray showed she had fractured two bones in her lower left leg.

A surgeon at Rutland Regional Medical Center screwed two gleaming metal plates onto the bones to stabilize them. "I was very pleased with how things came together," the doctor wrote in his operation notes.

House Bill Takes Aim At Prescription Costs

Jan 18, 2018

Pharmacists would be required to advise people about the costs of prescriptions and whether the retail prices of drugs are lower than cost-sharing requirements imposed by insurers or HMOs, under a bill approved unanimously Wednesday by a House health-care panel.

Jane Morse needed to fill a prescription that was going to cost her about $300. She's on Medicare but doesn't have a prescription drug plan so she's learned to shop around.

It’s common knowledge in medicine: Doctors routinely order tests on hospital patients that are unnecessary and wasteful. Sutter Health, a giant hospital chain in Northern California, thought it had found a simple solution.

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.

Sometime before the end of this year, the state of Florida will have a new website with health care prices for patients. It's the result of a 2016 law and a five-year, $6.1 million  state contract that was finalized earlier this month.

Health News Florida's database of costs for common health care procedures is growing. PriceCheck now contains thousands of entries for health care providers. We're also getting a lot of feedback from listeners who have stories of their own about navigating the billing process.

In 1930, a mother in Kansas spent ten days in the hospital to deliver her baby. Total bill? $66. Well the cost of health care has gone up quite a bit since then -- how can you know how much many medical procedures cost these days?

Health News Florida has PriceCheck, an online tool to help you compare costs of common health procedures. This week on Florida Matters we're featuring people who shared their own frustrations and sticker shock!


Health care costs are a pain. That's why Health News Florida has PriceCheck, an online tool to help you compare costs of common health procedures. This week on Florida Matters we're featuring people who shared their own frustrations and sticker shock!

Florida is making a database of medical procedures and the average price patients should expect to pay for them.

Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee got a preview of what it may look like Tuesday.


Look closely at a bill from your health care provider, and there's likely a sigh of relief your insurance company negotiated a better rate than the initial charge.

But those negotiations are often secret, and it's hard to compare one insurance company to another.

So how do you know whether they are negotiating the best price?

It has been four months since WLRN launched Pricecheckan online guide to bring clarity to health care costs in Florida.

When Brenda Sokolowski turned 50, she followed national recommendations and made an appointment for her first screening colonoscopy.

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.

  Transparency is the new buzzword in health care with consumer demand fueling changes to state laws and giving birth to websites that publish prices for medical procedures.

WUSF partnered with WLRN in Miami to launch their own database called PriceCheck. But we're not the only game in town.

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

Sammy Mack/WLRN

 Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. Having health insurance is no guarantee against being swamped by bills after an emergency or a big procedure.

But one Palm Beach County man has found there’s room to negotiate.

Having a baby is expensive, even with insurance. A new report says the average cost varies greatly across Florida and nationally.

The report by Castlight, a company that looks at millions of patient claims a year, ranked by price the 30 most populated U.S. cities, including Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

When it comes to health care in Florida, it pays to shop around.

The cost of a common MRI can vary by thousands of dollars depending on where you go to get it.

Medical bills can be incredibly confusing and difficult to read.

But do you have a better idea?

No, seriously, do you?

Health News Florida has been reporting that Florida’s health insurance companies are asking for double-digit rate increases.

A database set up by ProPublica detailing the prescribing habits of doctors around the country may be luring the wrong audience, the publication recently reported.

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

During a conversation about health care recently with WMFE, the chief executives of two major hospitals in Central Florida said making prices more transparent to patients is important, but the task itself is hard to accomplish.

Patients looking for more transparency in health care costs won’t usually find it on the bill from their medical provider.

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.

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