Philly Health Costs: Helping Out Other Consumers

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new tool launched by 6abc and the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this month is already gaining users.

It's called Philly Health Costs. It's an online consumer guide with all kinds of helpful information and a tool that allows you to look up the real cost of medical treatments, tests, and services by zip code.

See the PriceCheck tool here

But we need your participation to help expand the database.

We showed the tool to the Langes of West Philadelphia. They are struggling to navigate their healthcare.

"I feel frustrated and scared because I don't work in the industry, so I don't even know what the right questions to ask are," said David Lange.

Philly Health Costs is something Lange wishes he had been able to access before he got his transthoracic echocardiogram.


"You know I followed the doctor's orders, I went and got testing where he said I should get it done, and like two weeks later I got the bill and it was shocking," he said.

The hospital claims its cash price for the echocardiogram is more than $11,000. The insurance company's "member rate" or negotiated rate is $1,176. Lange is responsible for paying that amount out-of-pocket because he hasn't yet reached his high deductible. And here's what you need to know: Lange could have paid less if he'd shopped around for prices at other facilities on Philly Health Costs.

"There were probably 50 other entries in that database for that same exact procedure that ranged in price from $150 to $2,000," he said.

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Action News Consumer Reporter Nydia Han shows you how to use Philly Health Costs and the PriceCheck tool.

The good news is, moving forward, Lange will check Philly Health Costs before any medical procedure.

He and his wife also plan on adding their information to the database for other consumers.

And that is the key. Please take a moment to find your old bills or explanation of benefit letters and put in your information.
Your personal inform like your email and name will be kept anonymous. It will not be shared publicly. But we do need it in case we have follow-up questions.

And the more information you can provide for each entry, the better.

See the PriceCheck tool here
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