PriceCheck Florida: What’s It All About?

Apr 20, 2016

Trying to get a handle on what makes PriceCheck different from other looks at health care costs? Here are some frequently asked questions before you start searching our database.

What is this project?

Health News Florida, WLRN and WUSF are teaming up with ClearHealthCosts.com, a health cost transparency company, to report on and collect prices of common health-care procedures with you, the members of our communities.

How does it work?

We are building a searchable online database to make it easier to share prices and find prices for common procedures.

Why are you doing this?

The rising cost of health care is one of the biggest problems we face as a nation. It’s often impossible for consumers to easily find out the cost of health care tests, treatments and services. It makes for a complex, confusing and costly health care system.

What about quality?

Most people don’t want the cheapest appendectomy or the cheapest MRI. Patients want high quality health care at a fair price. But just as there is little transparency in health costs, there are also few good measures in quality. We’re taking this step toward price transparency in the belief that price transparency will lead to a good discussion about quality measurements.

What about my privacy?

The health care information you provide to us in this form will be used only anonymously, and will never be paired publicly with your email address. ClearHealthCosts.com and our PriceCheck partners will preserve your privacy as part of our bond with you, our communities.

The pricing, procedure and location information you provide to us will be shared publicly in the “Find Prices” table on this site and on our PriceCheck partners’ sites to help you and others compare costs. Your comments may also be posted wherever the table is posted.

Except for your email address, the information we collect, including your comments, may also serve as the basis for articles and reports about health costs.

Email our reporters at pricecheck@wlrnnews.org (South Florida) or pricecheck@wusf.org (Tampa Bay) or call 877-496-6999 if you wish to provide information or share comments that you do not want made public on this forum.

Our PriceCheck project partners may use your email address to contact you directly to request more information about the data you have submitted; they will not share your email address with any other third parties.

Has anybody ever done anything like this before?

ClearHealthCosts has done similar partnerships with KQED public radio in San Francisco, KPCC public radio in Los Angeles, WHYY public radio in Philadelphia, and MedPage Today, a supplier of information for 670,000 providers nationwide. Thousands of people have shared and searched prices via these partnerships.

ClearHealthCosts also did a similar, smaller, pilot project in 2013 with WNYC public radio in New York City. The partners asked people for the prices of mammograms, and almost 400 people responded over the course of just two weeks. Here’s a project launch page and here’s one of the blog posts on ClearHealthCosts about the experience, with links to other posts. The information was wildly interesting – take a look.

So this is crowdsourced information -- why should I believe any of it?

We're adding your information to our reported information in our database. We trust our communities and believe in you, and we believe your information and ours together will form a fascinating picture of health care prices.

About us:

Health News Florida is the only news publication dedicated to covering health issues in the nation’s third-largest state. We hold health care policy makers, powerbrokers and practitioners accountable. And our independent reporting, online and on public radio, emphasizes how issues of cost, quality and health care access affect all Floridians. Founded in 2006, Health News Florida joined WUSF Public Media in Tampa in September 2012. In October 2014, Health News Florida expanded its coverage by adding reporters at public radio stations WLRN in Miami, and WMFE in Orlando. For more information, visit health.wusf.usf.edu.

WLRN Public Media is committed to being the most trusted source of information and entertainment in South Florida's diverse community. Licensed to the school board of Miami-Dade County, WLRN is best known for its award winning public radio and television programs, but its services go well beyond the airwaves. It's a complex media enterprise consisting of radio and television stations, www.WLRN.org and educational channels offering you a variety of high quality programming and advanced learning services making WLRN a valuable public media source.

WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multimedia production services. Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.wusf.org.

ClearHealthCosts.com is a New York City company of journalists bringing transparency to the health-care marketplace by telling people what stuff costs. Using a combination of shoe-leather journalism, database sourcing and curation, crowdsourcing and partnering, ClearHealthCosts is revealing the secrets of an opaque marketplace, and seeking to help solve one of the biggest problems we face as a nation. For more, visit clearhealthcosts.com.