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Sticker Shock at the Mailbox

“You have GOT to be kidding me!” I muttered, as I juggled my cell phone, grocery bag, purse, and bike helmet to open the medical bill that just arrived in my mailbox: More than $1,000 for a minor exam I was sure had been covered by my insurance provider. After a phone call to the doctor’s office and a longer, more frustrating call with the insurance company, I realized the procedure had been covered – the portion I was paying was less than a quarter of the “cost” of the exam. How on earth could something so minor have cost so much? And, more disconcertingly, why was I just finding out about it now?

Dr. Atul Gawande  has spent much of his career writing about the fragmented U.S. health care “system” and its muddled bureaucracy. In a recent conversation with FSG’s Mark Kramer, Dr. Gawande describes the new and innovative collaborations between hospitals, funders, and insurance providers that are reducing health care costs and improving health outcomes in local communities. While each group individually plays an important part in the process, together they get more bang for their buck.

Too bad I'm still out more than a few of my own!

Watch “Better Outcomes, Lower Costs: How Community-Based Funders Can Transform U.S. Health Care”