In June, KQED launched PriceCheck, our crowdsourcing project on health costs. We're working in collaboration with KPCC, public media in Los Angeles, and ClearHealthCosts.com, a New York City startup looking at health costs.
We're asking you, the members of our community, to share what you've paid. We started with mammograms. We have both cash or "self-pay" prices in our database. We also have crowdsourced prices. The range we've found, even in close geographic areas, is startling.
Here's one example: ClearHealthCosts collected self-pay prices at various centers in the Bay Area and Southern California. If a woman walks into the NorCal Imaging Center in Walnut Creek, a screening mammogram will cost her $125, if she pays out of pocket.
Meanwhile, the same mammogram will cost you $173 at NorCal Imaging in Oakland, $48 more, a 38 percent increase.
Across the bay in San Francisco, UCSF charges $801 for a screening mammogram -- but offers a 40 percent discount if a woman is paying out of pocket and pays at the time of service. This brings the cost paid down to $480.60.