Sammy Mack

Health News Florida Reporter

Sammy Mack loves public radio and public health.

Mack is a multiplatform producer for WLRN-Miami Herald News, where she covers the public health and health policy beat. For two years, her health reporting with WLRN was supported by the grant-funded project. She was selected as a 2012 fellow with the Kaiser Health News and NPR Health Care Reporting in the States project.

Her stories have appeared on NPR, Monocle 24, the Miami Herald, Global Health,, Gambit Weekly, MAP Magazine, Gulfshore Life, Philadelphia Weekly, the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) and other outlets.

Mack’s work has been honored with Florida AP Broadcaster and SPJ Sunshine State awards. She’s collaborated on projects that have won an Emmy, regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a Wilbur Award and a Dart Award. Mack was a writing fellow during the 2008 Poynter Summer Fellowship for Young Journalists.

HNF Stories
8:43 am
Wed September 17, 2014

The Secret Prices Of Health Care: How What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

Health care pricing is shrouded in secrecy.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:36 am

When Uwe Reinhardt tries to explains the Gordian Knot of hospital pricing to his health care economics students at Princeton University, he has a go-to metaphor:

“It's almost like blindfolding people, shoving them into Macy's and saying, ‘buy — efficiently — for a shirt.’ Well you come out with a pair of shorts,” says Reinhardt.

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NPR Story
7:26 am
Tue September 16, 2014

When Transparency Isn't Always Enough: A Conversation On Health Care Pricing

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:57 am

In our Power of Price series, we’ve been exploring how the secrecy shrouding health care pricing can raise costs — the cost of the care itself and the cost to employees who get their insurance through work.

There’s a movement to make those prices more transparent. More than a dozen other states have started something called an “all-payer claims database.”

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HNF Stories
7:44 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Health Care Pricing Is Complicated. Here's A Beginner's Guide.

If only health care financing was this straightforward.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:58 am

Figuring out the real price of health care is complicated — even if you've already paid your bills. You can hear just how complicated it is here:

And if health care pricing wasn’t convoluted enough, it’s hard to talk about it without running into some conversation-stopping jargon. Words that mean one thing to the rest of the English-speaking world can mean something completely different in health care — like a “charge” that isn’t the same as the price.

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HNF Stories
4:43 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Power Of Price: A Special Hour On Health Care's Complexity, Secrecy And Cost In South Florida

Patients can know what health care costs them, but can they really know what it costs?

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:02 pm

  Almost a year and a half ago, Mt. Sinai Medical Center CEO Steve Sonenreich pledged on WLRN to make public what insurance companies pay his hospital.

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HNF Stories
8:26 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Some Push Medicare Coding to the Max

 A group of Florida doctors has been charging Medicare at a surprisingly high rate. 

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Around the Nation
5:19 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Miami Children's Hospital Sheds Light On Upfront Costs

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:04 am

Every hospital has a price list but it is hard for the average consumer to figure out what a hospital really charges for care. Traditionally, the price on that list is nowhere near what it actually expects you or an insurance company to pay.

HNF Stories
12:07 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Miami School Health Clinics Are Re-Imagining The Role Of The School Nurse

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 6:25 pm

It’s a Wednesday morning and the waiting room is already starting to fill up at the North Miami Beach Senior High School clinic.

“Go ahead and have a seat.”

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