Skip all navigation and go to page content

SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Consumer Resources: Health Care Costs

Written by: Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A). You can contact Terri at:

Health care is expensive. Even those of us lucky enough to have health insurance, can be challenged when it comes to managing our healthcare expenses. Health consumers have long had issues trying to figure out how much doctor visits or hospital stays will cost them, but increasingly that is changing. There are several consumer resources that allow individuals to compare charges for common procedures and potentially save -money.

Healthcare Bluebook is an organization where the founders purport the idea of “creating fairness in the healthcare marketplace” citing the secrecy of health costs which “puts everyone from consumers to corporations at an unfair disadvantage, leading to gaps in quality of care and much higher costs.” On the organization’s “Why Transparency” page, it notes that prices for the same in-network procedure can vary by over 500%, so chances are; you’re paying more than you have to for a medical service. The fair price is the “reasonable amount you should pay for a medical service. It’s calculated from a nationwide database of medical payment data and customized to your geographic area.” The example on this page is for an MRI, which ranged from the low of $330 to a high of $2470.”

Another site, Consumer Cost Lookup, is dedicated to sharing information about healthcare prices and health insurance. In the organization’s mission, they strive to “bring transparency and clarity to healthcare costs and health insurance information through consumer tools and resources, data products and research support.” They use a “database of billions of billed medical and dental services to populate their free website, which allows consumers to estimate and plan medical and dental expenses and to better understand and navigate the healthcare system.” The tools are also available in Spanish and through an app available for download through the Apple App store and Google Play. They also have a helpful section on making smarter healthcare choices with a series of guides and videos that use “plain speak” to explain health insurance, including insurance terms and how to deal with denied claims and how to use your flexible spending plan.

Becoming a smarter healthcare consumer and researching the potential expenses ahead of time, allows consumers to be prepared and ensures participation in medical-decision-making. It can also help when comparing facilities, thereby potentially saving thousands of dollars. Getting the best quality and best price helps keep healthcare consumers and their wallets healthy.

July NIH News in Health Now Available

NIH News in Health: A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services





Check out the July issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research: To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark



Pregnancy Problems?
Boost the Chance of Having a Baby

For those who dream of being parents, pregnancy problems can be tremendously frustrating. A wide range of approaches can help struggling couples have healthy babies.








Minding Your Metabolism
Can You Avoid Middle-Age Spread?

As you age, you may notice you have less muscle and energy and more fat. You can take steps to help fight the flab that can come with age.


Click here to download a PDF version for printing.Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.


National Library of Medicine and National Network of Libraries of Medicine, SE/A Region Office Closed for Independence Day Weekend

The National Library of Medicine and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2015 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.   The NN/LM SE/A offices will reopen on Monday, July 6, 2015.

Call for Applications: NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, 2015-2016

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) is pleased to announce the 2015-2016 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and AAHSL. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, which focuses on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries, is accepting applications through July 20, 2015.

Fellows will have the opportunity to experience another library environment and to work closely with a mentor and collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. The multi-faceted program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community. Candidates with a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries and with leadership experience in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings are encouraged to apply.

Sixty-seven fellows and fifty-seven different mentors have participated in the program since its beginning. To date, twenty-seven of sixty-one graduate fellows have received director appointments. Overall, 75% of fellow graduates have been promoted to director or other positions of higher responsibility.

Download the program brochure, which includes information on program design, schedule, and application process. For more information about the program, please contact Carol Jenkins, Program Director, AAHSL Future Leadership Committee,

Beyond the SEA Webinar – July 16 – Creating Partnerships with Community Colleges: an NN/LM SE/A Funded Project – Recording Available

The recording for this webinar is:

Date/Time: Thursday, July 16, 2015, Noon to 1:00pm (EST)

Presenter: Brenda Linares, MLIS, AHIP, Outreach Liaison Librarian and Coordinator of the Graduate Assistants, Rachel Hinrichs, MS, Research Assistant, Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill.

Contact: For additional information or questions about this webinar, please contact Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator at

Summary: Brenda Linares and Rachel Hinrichs of UNC, Chapel Hill will discuss their NN/LM SE/A funded project to collaborate with librarians, students, faculty, and staff at Community Colleges due to the role they play in training and development of allied health professionals. Based on survey results indicating that 86% of students reported that they learn better with hands-on activities and tutorials, UNC developed interactive training modules on health resources. They will share their methodology and lessons learned from this successful partnership.

Presenter Bio: Brenda Linares, MLIS, AHIP; Outreach Librarian and Coordinator of User Services Graduate Assistants at the Health Sciences Library at UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to that she was the Head of Library Outreach and Community Engagement, at the Louis Calder Memorial Library at the University of Miami, and former NLM Associate Fellow. She received her Master’s in Library Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Bachelors in Finance from California State University, Northridge ( CSUN).

Presenter Bio: Rachel Hinrichs, MS; Research Assistant at the Health Sciences Library at UNC Chapel Hill. She received a Master’s of Science in nutrition from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, and is currently working on her Master’s in Library Science from UNC Chapel Hill.

Upon completion of the Beyond the SEA Webinar, each participant will receive 1 hour of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association. Certificates will be available electronically following completion of the online survey supplied at the end of the webinar.

What do you need to join this conference?

  • A computer (with Flash installed)
  • A telephone

How do I connect?

Go to this URL:

  • Enter as a Guest
  • Sign in with your first and last name.
  • Follow the instructions in the meeting room to have Adobe Connect call your phone (this is the preferred way; however, if you have an extension or for some reason cannot let Adobe connect call you, instructions will be available when you sign in to Adobe Connect.)

Test your connection:

Get a quick overview:

Last updated on Friday, 22 November, 2013

Funded by the National Library of Medicine under contract HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the Health Sciences and Human Services Library of the University of Maryland