Find fair prices for health care procedures
by Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List
I recently told you about ways patients, in some instances, could negotiate health care costs with their provider. Now, to help you better understand your health care costs, we’re providing Angie's List members with a tool to identify just how much you should be paying for various medical services.
Angie's List and Healthcare Blue Book have collaborated to launch a new tool on AngiesList.com designed to help members shop around for the best prices from health care providers in their area.
If you pay for health care on your own, have a high deductible plan or need a service not fully covered by insurance, you can access local pricing information on everything from standard pediatrician visits to complicated surgeries. Healthcare Blue Book also will walk consumers through the negotiation process.
As health care consumers, we've been programmed to assume we have no control over the price, so we don't ask about it. As a result, each year, Americans overspend on health care by millions. Yet, with a little bit of effort, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and still get high quality care.
We're offering this service because our members asked for it. When polled, 85 percent said health care providers should publish their prices, and more than half would happily shop around if only they knew the prices area providers charged.
"This takes the mystery out of pricing," says Dr. Jeffrey Rice, founder of the Healthcare Blue Book. "To get fair prices, patients must look up the accepted, average local prices and then make sure their provider agrees to that price before they get care."
While comparing prices is consumer savvy, finding qualified, licensed health care providers who can meet your specific needs is paramount. With our partnership, all that information is now easily available in one location.
Have you used our new tool to find quality care at a reduced rate? Have you successfully negotiated your health care costs? If so, please share your experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.