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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 pricecheck@wusf.org (Tampa Bay) or pricecheck@wlrnnews.org (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: Hospitals Provide Upfront Pricing To Reduce Unpaid Bills

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In a move that might actually help health care costs become more transparent, some hospitals are starting to give patients detailed information about what their upcoming visits will cost in an attempt to get them to pay ahead of time, according to the website Modern Healthcare. 

As more patients move to high deductible plans, providers are seeing a larger number of people who can’t pay their deductibles, the website reported.

Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia, has four financial advocates who call all non-emergency patients to share with them the approximate out-of-pocket costs for their visits, according to the website.

The focus is on collecting money before the patient leaves the hospital, with advocates sometimes trying to get patients to pay their deductibles with credit cards over the phone.

Though the policy’s focus is to reduce unpaid bills, it will also provide more transparency in health care costs.

Transparency is at the heart of a Health News Florida reporting project about health care costs. PriceCheck lets you to search and contribute to a database of common medical procedures.

Julio Ochoa reports for WUSF in Tampa. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.