Streams

Cost of Mammograms: Our Findings

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Brian Lehrer Show and Clear Health Costs partnered to bring transparency to health costs by asking you to report on the price of your last routine mammogram. Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of Clear Health Costs, discusses the data we've collected and what it tells us.

 

Below: Initial results from our data set. WNYC and Clear Health Costs will continue to report more in-depth findings over the next few weeks.

Guests:

Jeanne Pinder

Comments [7]

HRS

I've been told by several doctors that they don't participate since the insurance companies often pay more to out of network physicians than they pay to their in-network physicians. I've found that these out of network physicians will rarely but sometimes take what the insurance pays and not balance bill the patient. It pays to ask.

May. 22 2013 12:56 PM
Scott from Bayonne

On a recent visit to an Orthopedist I was met with a sign posted in the waiting room and each exam room that said:
"Please do not discuss your bill with the doctor. He is here to render medical care only. All billing protocol has been set up by the accountants of this practice...Again, do not put the doctor in an awkward position. They do not set the fees. This is done by an outside agency that determines what is charged in our geographic area and specialty."

So much for that transparency. My insurance company says that I should ask what things cost and the doctor can't or won't talk about it. Something is very wrong with this system. I wonder how the doctor would feel if his restaurant check or car repairs had the same level of mystery until after the service was completed and the bill was sent!

May. 22 2013 12:10 PM
Miki Marcu from NYC

So it took 7 days and 7 nights to make the heavens and the earth, but it takes you 10 days to beg, yet again, for funds. Enough! You do it too often and too many days each time. It makes a hater out of a lover of your programs.
And now we understand that the winter will bring your 10 mooching days back. What a horror. May have to go elsewhere.And take my money with me.
There is no reason to so make yourselves hated.Over and over and over the same words. It's crazy making.

May. 22 2013 11:55 AM
jf from the future

This story is the tip of the tip of the ICEBERG TREE.

May. 22 2013 11:20 AM
RJ from prospect hts

PS: On occasion, I have asked providers up front if they will accept what the insurance company will pay, if the provider is out of network. As someone with a chronic illness, I see many providers, and the several I have asked have agreed. So there's quite a difference between dealing with individual providers one on one than with the megasize, impersonal, purely profit-driven insurance companies.

May. 22 2013 11:20 AM
RJ from prospect hts

There are also the providers who will "accept what the insurance company pays." Insurance companies are more often than not inflexible--with both patients *and* providers, and so providers simply accept what they pay and waive the patient's portion.

May. 22 2013 11:15 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Is the $500 figure the mean or the median?

May. 22 2013 11:13 AM

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