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The Story Exchange, Jeanne Pinder, ClearHealthCosts.comYour Name: Jeanne Pinder

Business Name: ClearHealthCosts.com, a service that provides costs and pricing for health care procedures and items

Type of Business: Consumer Web Health Care Pricing

Business Location: Pelham, New York, United States

Website http://clearhealthcosts.com/
Twitter @chcosts
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ClearHealthCosts

Reason for starting
We’re clearhealthcosts.com. Our mission is telling people what things cost in health care, a traditional mystery. Shouldn’t you know that your MRI could cost as little as $450 or as much as $1,900? Shouldn’t you be able to know other health costs, too? We’re here to help.

How do you define success?
Empowering people to ask and understand about health-care costs. We love finding stuff out and telling people about it. We’re journalists, and we think health-care costs in this country are scandalously opaque. We think sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we’re here to prove it.

Biggest Success
People are calling us the kayak.com of health care…. so exciting. We have recently won $54,000 in grant money to launch clearhealthcosts.com, from the Tow-Knight Foundation at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism (Jeff Jarvis of “What Would Google Do?” and “Public Parts,” was my lead professor for the first grant); International Women’s Media Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs Program via J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism. We’re using tools like shoe-leather reporting, crowdsourcing, curation and sourcing of pricing databases and cool data visualization and interactivity. We’ve just relaunched the site, and we’re moving forward on partnerships and sponsorships. I’m the founder/CEO, and I won these grants after volunteering for a buyout from The New York Times two years ago, after almost 25 years there is an editor, reporter and HR exec.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
People said we couldn’t bring transparency to health care. We went ahead and did it. Here’s some of our press: http://clearhealthcosts.com/in-the-press/

Who is your most important role model?
My mother and my twin daughters: My mom because she gave all of her six kids a sense of limitless horizons, and the independence and intellectual underpinnings to make that a reality, my 19-year-old daughters because they live that dream.

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