Health Reporter Sets Up Crowdsourcing Site For Medical Care
KQED's Lisa Aliferis finds price differences within the same state, based on facility and insurance status. In other consumer news, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says that Vitamin D tests may not be necessary, even though they are growing in popularity.
The Washington Post:
One Reporter Is Crowdsourcing The Price Of Health Care
Trying to shop around for the best deal on health care services can be maddening. So Lisa Aliferis, a health care reporter for KQED News in San Francisco, came up with a simple idea: ask people what charges they're actually seeing on their bills and try to make sense of the madness. ... insurers and patients rarely pay the listed price. Aliferis — in a partnership with KPCC, a public radio station in Los Angeles, and Clearhealthcosts.com, a health transparency startup — tried to capture information of actual prices that people, who reported the information anonymously, were seeing on their medical bills — breaking down what the insurers were charged and what people actually paid. She found big price differences within the same state, based on facility and insurance status. (Millman, 11/24)
Vitamin D Tests Aren't Needed For Everyone, Federal Panel Says
Should you get a blood test to see if you're deficient in vitamin D? It sounds like such a good idea, seeing as how most people don't get enough sunshine to make vitamin D themselves. And the tests are becoming increasingly popular. But there are problems with making vitamin D tests a standard part of preventive medicine, a federal panel said. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said Monday there's not enough evidence of benefits or harms to recommend vitamin D testing for all. (Shute, 11/24)