NPR stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles crowdsourced healthcare cost data from listeners to reveal arbitrary pricing of medical services
Over the past two years, Dark Daily has published a number of stories dealing with price transparency, or lack of it, most of which involved government agencies or nonprofits concerned about the high cost of healthcare services. This latest effort to shine a light on healthcare pricing, however, comes from National Public Radio (NPR).
San Francisco’s NPR station, KQED, initiated PriceCheck, an innovative project designed to reveal just how arbitrary medical pricing is in California, in June 2014. KQED partnered with Los Angeles’ NPR station, KPCC, and ClearHealthCosts.com, a New York City start-up that publishes a national list of low to high charges for common healthcare services, to crowdsource healthcare cost data.
The two NPR stations appealed to listeners to share the charges they paid for four medical services: mammograms, lower-back MRIs, IUDs, and diabetes testing. Hundreds of people responded to share prices they paid for these services, and thousands of people looked up prices on ClearHealthCosts.com. (more…)