Daily Do: Contribute to Crowd-Sourced Database on Hospital Charges

****Daily Do for Monday, October 16th, courtesy of Ezra Klein****

I feel pretty confident that we all agree our free and independent press has been instrumental in checking the abuses of the current administration. Crowd sourcing data and research is an important way that all of us can contribute to that effort. Vox is asking readers to submit hospital bills through their secure system to provide a nationwide picture of one particular hospital fee, called an emergency facility fee. Nearly all hospitals charge one for seeking emergency room care, but the price varies enormously and is typically kept secret. When you’re paying the highest prices in the world for basic services, for scans and drugs, it will undoubtedly be a struggle to provide all citizens with health care.

Action:  Help Vox Collect Data on the Hospital’s Emergency Facility Fee

Visit https://erbills.vox.com/… to read more about the project and submit any examples you have. Vox assures that their system is secure, but they are happy to accept redacted (blacked out) documentation, if you have concerns about sharing personnally-identifiable information.

Hospitals keep ER fees secret. Share your bill to help change that.

Opaque and sky high bills are breaking Americans — and our health care system.

Each year, Americans make 141 million trips to the emergency room. In nearly all of those visits, hospitals charge patients something called a facility fee: the price for walking in the door and seeking medical service.

Facility fees can be big: As a reporter, I’ve seen charges that range from $533 up to more than $3,000. But because these fees are kept secret until you receive your bill, we can’t know how high they get — or how much they vary.


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