Three healthcare writers have posted on WordPress through the Association of Healthcare Journalists their challenges with covering health care costs – how “wildly” variable they are in the U.S., including block to block in the same city. The link to their comments is at the end of the last sentence.
Health care costs lack transparency and are wildly variable, not just from region to region but sometimes from block to block within the same city. It is a complex topic, with chargemaster prices, what insurers paid and what consumers pay (if anything). Then there are the administrative rules set by Medicare and Medicaid and the negotiated rates between insurers and providers. It’s daunting, but Lisa Aliferis of KQED, Rebecca Plevin of SCPR and Jeanne Pinderof clearhealthcosts.com have teamed up to offer guidance for reporting on health care costs in this new AHCJ tip sheet.