Patients and Clinicians Across the United States Share the Challenges They Face with Healthcare Costs

On the heels of a tumultuous election season that promised the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, many Americans continue to face uncertainty about how they will access affordable care. Costs of Care, a leading non-profit focused on high-value healthcare, has collected dozens of real stories from both patients and clinicians that illustrate the challenges and opportunities to providing affordable care. As part of their annual Story Contest, sponsored this year by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Consumer Reports, this year’s stories again reveal the many struggles we all encounter with a too often fragmented and high cost healthcare system.

“Both clinicians and patients continue to struggle with how to deliver and receive the best possible care at a lower cost. These stories poignantly highlight the opportunities to improve care and the work yet to be done,” says Jordan Harmon, Director of Advocacy at Costs of Care. Neel Shah, MD, Founder and Executive Director of Costs of Care adds that, “Although more Americans are insured than ever before, these stories highlight a persistent and growing epidemic of financial harm in the system.”

The finalists’ stories were judged by healthcare luminaries:

  • Andy Slavitt (Former Administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
  • Bill Frist (Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader)
  • Sarah Kliff (Senior Editor at Vox)
  • Glenn Steele (Chairman, xG Solutions & former CEO, Geisinger Health System)
  • Pat Mastors (Co-Founder and Executive Director, Patients’ View Institute)

“People on the front lines of health care are often best positioned to identify areas for improvement in the way care is delivered,” said HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA. “HFMA salutes Costs of Care for listening to patients and clinicians, and bringing their stories to a national audience.”

The winners of this year’s Costs of Care Story Contest:

  • Rebecca Thorsness from Rhode Island, describes the challenge of navigating wide variation in medication prices
  • Dr. John Loughnane from Massachusetts, describes an innovative way to care for a high needs patient
  • Dr. Sumit Agarwal from Virginia, discusses his “most costly order” as a primary care physician

All qualifying submissions to the Story Contest will be published biweekly at during 2017 and be made available to the media.

About Costs of Care
Costs of Care is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that helps patients and clinicians deflate medical bills and provide high value care. To date, Costs of Care has collected more than 500 stories from around the world. Costs of Care sources, curates, and disseminates clinical insights from the frontlines of healthcare delivery that drive better care at lower cost.

About the Healthcare Financial Management Association
With more than 40,000 members, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is the nation’s premier membership organization for healthcare finance leaders. HFMA builds and supports coalitions with other healthcare associations and industry groups to achieve consensus on solutions for the challenges the U.S. healthcare system faces today. Working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, HFMA identifies gaps throughout the healthcare delivery system and bridges them through the establishment and sharing of knowledge and best practices.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. We do it by fighting to put consumers’ needs first in the marketplace and by empowering them with the trusted knowledge they depend on to make better, more informed choices.

Full contest details are available at

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