On behalf of the Costs of Care team, Governor Michael Dukakis, Dr. Tim Johnson, Secretary Michael Leavitt, Dr. Atul Gawande, and Dean Jeffrey Flier, we are excited to announce the $1000 prize winners of the 2010 Costs of Care contest.
Tarcia Edmunds-Jehu, a nurse midwife from Boston, MA, beautifully captures how the current health system leaves some patients struggling desperately to pay bills - and providers feeling terrible that their well-meaning care is to blame.
Brad Wright, a graduate student from Durham, NC, articulately describes his experience as a savvy patient who did everything possible to avoid expensive and unnecessary care, but got saddled with a large bill anyway.
All of the finalist submissions have been published, including the stories of hardworking, responsible Americans falling through the cracks, getting a $11,000 bill for indigestion, a $10,000 bill for pre-approved surgery, a $1000 bill for birth control.
And the stories don't stop there. Starting January 1st, we will post a new incredible story here every week. Our hope is to shine a national spotlight on the lack of price transparency in our health care system, and illustrate importance of cost-awareness in medical decision-making.
Happy holidays and see you in the new year!