Shopping for Price in Medical Care

January 20, 2016

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Shopping for Price in Medical Care
Photo Courtesy of: hywards

How to Find the Lowest Cost Option for Medical Services

Your doctor says you need a medical service, like labs, or a procedure, like a colonoscopy.  He or she gives you a referral.  What do you do next?

Although patients should follow their doctor’s recommendations, they have options on where to continue care and can make decisions based on their financial circumstances. 

Online resources can be used to find estimates for a service or procedure in hospitals near you.  With this information, you can compare costs and pick the most affordable choice.  For example, the patient cost estimator shows that a hysteroscopy costs as much as $12,800.  On the other hand, the same procedure costs between $3,061 and $3,888 at another facility. You can save thousands by using your resources!

Other online sources include insurance companies, government agencies, and medical care providers.  Some states, including New Hampshire, even have estimates based on the databases of insurance claims.

Another way to budget your medical finances is to compare price estimates of a service or procedure to the “fair price” which can be found in the Healthcare Bluebook.  This website has recommended fair prices for services based on providers in your area.  You can call and ask in-network providers what the in-network rate is for the service and compare it to the fair price, or use the fair price to negotiate with your current provider.

Use your online resources to save money on medical services!

 

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