Clear Health Costs

Sharing Health Prices Gets Traction

ClearHealthCosts Founder Jeanne Pinder reports that her Knight Foundation prototype project, partnering with KQED in San Francisco and KPCC public radio in Los Angeles has been “a smashing success.” The launch pages on both radio stations prompted hundreds of shares of prices for medical procedures and thousands of people searched the databases. A Journal of American Medicine editorial endorsed the idea of price transparency. The editorial called us “bold” and a supplier of “essential information,” and called for more of the same, Pinder said. NPR’s Shots blog also featured the project in a post. WWe also were cited as an unimpeachable source of neutral pricing information in a contract dispute between Stanford Health and Anthem Blue Cross,” Pinder said. CHC also got more great press in Politico, Nerdwallet, Yahoo Finance. Pinder said she hopes have some other “clone” partnerships to announce soon.   

Clear Health Costs

Jeanne Pinder: How Can Media Start Ups Bring in Revenue?

J-Lab, American University’s SOC and MAME programs, The National Press Club sponsored the New Media Women Entrepreneurs: Making New Ideas Happen summit. The summit featured 11 talks on how to make a start-up work. Watch the other talks on Vimeo.

Jeanne Pinder told us what she has learned from ClearHealthCosts and other experiences about how media start ups can make money.

Making Your Start Up Work: Bringing in Revenue – Jeanne Pinder from J-Lab on Vimeo.

Clear Health Costs

New Partnership with WNYC founder Jeanne Pinder is partnering with WNYC to map both the costs of birth-control pills and mammograms with crowdsourced information in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Check out the maps here:

clearhealthcosts-brian-lehrerShe talked about the new initiative on the May 3 Brian Lehrer Show. The cash or self-pay prices for birth control pills at various pharmacies in the New York region can vary widely, she says in her blog. Costs for one pill, Tri-Sprintec 28, ranged from $9 to $63; another, Yaz-28, ranged from $68 to $112, she reports.

Clear Health Costs

Lessons Learned: It’s the Design, Stupid.

Web site design is really complicated. This is both obvious and not so obvious.

When I launched ClearHealthCosts, I had no experience in building Web sites or hiring developers. It’s called on-the-job training.

Right out of the box, I got a bid of $20,000 to build the site. I didn’t take it — that would have eaten up the entire first grant that we won, and I would have been dead in the water.

I have a friend who did pay $20,000 for a web site, and he’s happy with it.  (He works at a completely grant-funded nonprofit.)ClearHealthCosts

What  did I do? Hemmed and hawed, researched, thought, thought some more, and did a bunch of reporting. I’m a journalist after all. Then I decided to design it myself. How hard can it be? I’ve used the Web, I should be able to design for it.

Building it was another story: should it be on Drupal, Joomla, WordPress?

Sometimes in this world it seems like every step is a mistake. How many times has someone looked at you, a startup entrepreneur, shaking his head and saying “But you have to build it on Drupal.” Or “Don’t use green. Green never works.” Or “Your business model won’t work.” All with the sense of complete certainty.