Acting on the suggestion of her top data crunchers at the department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released an enormous data file on May 8 that reveals the list—or “chargemaster”—prices of all hospitals across the country for the 100 most common inpatient treatment services in 2011. It then compares those prices with what Medicare actually paid hospitals for the same treatments—which was typically a fraction of the chargemaster prices.
As a result, Americans are a big step closer to being able to compare what hospitals charge them for goods and services with what they actually cost. CMS public-affairs director Brian Cook told me that Sebelius’ action today comes in part as a response to “Bitter Pill,” TIME’s special report on health care pricing practices in the March 4 issue.
This is some of the best reporting Time has ever done. Congrats to Steve Brill on for journalism that will make a real difference.
Hieu Nguyen - “Buffet Etiquette”
“My childhood is a foreign film. All of my favorite memories have been dubbed in English.”
Hieu is a rising star in the twin cities slam scene. He has competed at the National Poetry Slam with both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul teams, placing 5th and 12th respectively. In 2012, he was a Write Bloody finalist and performed with The Good News Poetry Tour. Also, his poems are really, really good.
Too fucking real