High Quality, Low Cost HealthCare Video Interview Series: Jeanne Pinder and ClearHealthCosts

October 9, 2012
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Last week in this series, we listened to David Arterburn explain Decision Aids and how they can reduce health costs while raising patient satisfaction and quality of care.  This week, we visit with Jeanne Pinder, the creator of ClearHealthCosts, a website dedicated to cost transparency in healthcare. 

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Last week in this series, we listened to David Arterburn explain Decision Aids and how they can reduce health costs while raising patient satisfaction and quality of care.  This week, we visit with Jeanne Pinder, the creator of ClearHealthCosts, a website dedicated to cost transparency in healthcare. 

For more information on ClearHealthCosts, please read our post about Jeanne and her mission.

And now, watch the video below to see how ClearHealthCosts can reduce costs while maintaining high quality of care and patient satisfaction:

To see other videos in this series, please go to this page.  And if you have a story to tell that can reduce healthcare costs and raise quality of care, please comment below or email me at joan@socialmediatoday.com  Thanks!

Video Transcript (by TranscriptionStar)

Joan:  Hello.  I’m Joan Justice with HealthWorks Collective and I’m here with Jeanne Pinder of Clear Health Costs.  Jeanne and her team at Clear Health Costs have developed an interactive website with cost data on about 30 medical procedures from different providers, so that patients can see how the costs vary from provider to provider, and make choices accordingly.

 

Jeanne, why do you think that there’s so little cost transparency in healthcare?

 

Jeanne:  Well, we think a couple of reasons.  A lot of people are used to the $20 copay.  So if your insurance companies then you might not actually know what the provider charges.  You might know that a mammogram could cost $50 or $607.  We also think that its partly because people believe that there’s a lot of regulation or the crises there simply more regular in healthcare.  It just stands to reason what other marketplace would you see crises varying by a factor of 10, 15, 20, and then thirdly we think that there’s an emotional component to healthcare cost and purchases.

 

Most people don’t feel comfortable negotiating, never thought about negotiating over healthcare price in the way they might over rug in the Moroccan suit, and also this people turned not to be at their best when they’re at the doctor’s office.  You might be ill.  You might be anxious.  You might be unconscious so the notion of negotiating or even apprehending comprehending price variations is simply foreign to most of us.

 

Joan:  Right, great, thanks for that.  And now please tell us a little bit about your mission, about how you got started, and about how you hope to reduce healthcare costs while raising quality of care and patient satisfaction also?

 

Jeanne:  Thanks.  So I came here for journalism.  I actually, I was at the New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor, and HR [Indiscernible] [0:02:14].  I volunteered for by in 2009 because I wanted to do something else, so I come from a long tradition of finding stuff out, and telling people about.  We think transparency is a great thing in journalism so one of the things that happened to be me before I started this business was that I received a hospital bill including a charge for $1419 for a drug that I found out I could buy online for $2.49.

 

Joan:  Wow that’s a big difference.

 

Jeanne:  It’s a big difference.  I argued about the bill.  I thought I was being charged too much.  I complained about it, and ultimately decided that there was probably a reason to think that if that bill was that strange what about all of these bills and maybe they were that way too so started asking the naïve question like what is stuff cost healthcare why can’t we know, why are these prices so obscure?  So what we’ve done is to build a website, collect prices, mostly in New York and San Francisco right now. 

 

We were comparing those prices also to the prices at the government phase we have Medicare because that’s the closest thing in this marketplace to benchmark price.  We get information on prescription drugs, buying insurance, ways to save money.

 

Joan:  Yeah I saw that, yeah.

 

Jeanne:  And also blogging to just tell people that there’s stuff really on in this marketplace that you ought to know about.

 

Joan:  Great.  I saw your website.  It’s great Jeanne.  Thanks so much for your time here.  I think you’ve done a great thing, and you and your team at Clear Health Cost have certainly contributed to cost transparency and healthcare, and I hope this is the start, the start of a big trend.  Thank you so much.

 

Jeanne:  Thank you so much.  So do we.

 

Joan:  Bye.

 

Jeanne:  Bye.