Real Health Costs Concealed From Public

Sep 15, 2014

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.

But he learned that non-disclosure agreements between the hospital and the region’s insurance companies, kept him from legally sharing that information after all.

It turns out these secrecy agreements are standard practice between South Florida insurers and hospitals, WLRN and the Miami Herald reveal in its comprehensive series the “Power of Price.”

WLRN today looks at how consumers can understand the true cost of their health care, including several online chats where Floridians can pose questions, including: What does it mean for employers and employees who face rising costs for coverage every year? 

Reporter Sammy Mack also breaks down the convoluted language behind health care costs

The Herald dug into problems facing a Miami-Dade County Employee group, charged with streamlining health care costs. Requests from union leaders and even elected officials to see what the county pays local hospitals were denied repeatedly, the Herald reports (paywall alert).

Herald reporter Daniel Chang reports that pricing is just as complicated within the Medicare system, which does reveal some of its costs. He breaks down how charges and prices aren’t necessarily the same thing (paywall alert).

The "Power of Price" series continues all week on WLRN. Health News Florida will be sharing stories throughout the week.