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Health care costs are at the heart of a Health News Florida reporting project called PriceCheck. It lets you search and contribute to a database of common medical procedures. We want to hear from you, but submitting information on our database. You also can email our reporters at (Tampa Bay) or (South Florida).You can also call 877-496-6999 if you wish to provide information or share comments that you do not want made public on this forum.

PriceCheck: Transparency ‘Has To Happen Soon,’ Florida Hospital’s CEO says

During a conversation about health care recently withWMFE, the chief executives of two major hospitals in Central Florida said making prices more transparent to patients is important, but the task itself is hard to accomplish.

Both Daryl Tol, the CEO of Florida Hospital, and David Strong, CEO of Orlando Health, cited several reasons why health care prices may never be as transparent as prices for other services.

“Part of it is the emergent nature of health care. If your child is injured or you’re injured, you don’t immediately search for price,” Strong said. “You want to receive care. The other is human beings are not widgets. It’s not like buying a car when someone has cancer or another disease process, you don’t know how that individual will respond to treatments or different therapies being used. Trying to set a price in advanced for certain things is impossible. Having said that, in health care, we definitely need to be more transparent.”

Tol said there are many entities operating within a hospital and each has their own billing service. Those entities have to work together to provide more transparency in billing, he said.

“And we’ve got to do it because transparency and understanding is critical, and bring together one pricing model across different entities providing care,” Tol said.

When asked if it is likely to happen soon, Tol said “It has to happen soon.”

To listen to the full interview, click here

Health News Florida is also working to improve health care transparency. Last month, WLRN, WUSF and Health News Florida launched PriceCheck, a reporting project aimed at bringing clarity to the cost of health care in Florida.

You can help us untangle health care prices by checking out the PriceCheck tool, which will let you upload your prices and see what other people paid.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.