Vox provides access to ER billing database for reporters

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Micheal J via Flickr

Over the past year, Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) at Vox has been collecting emergency department bills from around the country and has reported a number of stories based on them.

Her stories included a patient who went to an in-network ER and was still billed nearly $8,000 and a major ER that – at the time – didn’t participate in the networks of any private health insurers, resulting in unexpected bills.

After Kliff’s reporting, some of the bills have been reduced and the city of San Francisco is looking into the billing practices of its top-tier trauma ER.

In the meantime, Vox has collected nearly 2,000 bills and is now ready to open up the database of bills to local health reporters. Kliff, a senior policy correspondent, says that Vox is hoping to connect reporters with patients who have interesting stories.

“We’ve collected over 2,000 bills and I’m obviously just one reporter. We’re excited to have more reporters dive into our database, and tell some great stories about what ER billing looks like across the United States,” Kliff said.

Reporters should fill out this form and then Vox will look to see if they have information for relevant patients.

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