In June, KQED, KPCC and launched PriceCheck, a crowd-sourced tool that brings to light the disparate costs of medical procedures. PriceCheck began by looking at mammogram prices, and now has turned its focus to the costs of back MRIs, which, it reveals, range in price from $575 to $6,221 in San Francisco alone. We discuss the latest findings.

Lisa Aliferis, editor of KQED's State of Health blog
Jeanne Pinder, founder and CEO of, which joined KQED and Southern California Public Radio to create PriceCheck

  • Whamadoodle

    This really can’t be defended. Five hundred dollars or maybe six thousand dollars? And what clarity there is is hidden under the murkiness of the insurance companies’ shell game?
    We HAVE to get the insurance companies out of health care decisions. Eliminating the middlemen will cut that much cost out of the equation, and save that taxpayer and consumer money to go directly to health care.

    And it would be nice to at least have SOME transparency about what potentially bankrupting amoung we’re likely to be charged (note that only 2/3 of Americans can afford to keep more than $25,000 in savings, given the race of wages and permanent employment to the bottom–and by the way, getting rid of this insurance company gamesmanship would also help more people get permanent jobs, since that’s the reason many employers balk at hiring people). If you charge me for something, you should have to tell me WHAT I’m agreeing to pay.

    There is no defense for allowing one half of the signatories to a contract to be completely vague about how darned much they’re charging. Come on.

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