Video: Negotiate with Your Doctor and Cut Medical Costs

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Michele

Subject:

I wanted to know where my doc went to med school. His office staff said they did not know. I told her to walk into his office, and read the diplomas above his chair. Then I had answers. It's ridulous for the office to say they don't know where the doc went to school, or when he graduated. ASK!

Michele

Subject:

Know where s/he went to med school, where s/her did residency, and call the school to find out if s/he squeaked past or excelled.

Joe Walls

Subject:

If you have insurance, and the physician is on the insurance panel, then the physician's charge is meaningless. The allowed amount for the service per the contract is what the patient may owe. Example: doctor charges $100. The insurance contract allows $70. The actual amount owed is $70 to be paid by the insurance company or the patient, or they split that obligation (80%-20%). The $30 above the allowed amount is never paid to the doctor, and he cannot write that amount off his taxes. Because of the third party involved (insurance company), comparing the amount charged may be meaningless. If you have no insurance, and you offer prompt payment, many doctors will work with you, because they don't have the insurance hassle or trying to get paid correctly by the insurance company

David Noseworthy

Subject:

I have to wonder how one is supposed to decide who is a good health care provider. Referals are generally based on association or agreement. (They went to med school together? Golf together?) Do we have any idea how they did in med school? What their experience really is? How many times they have been sued? Not really. For most people, if they like the doctor, then they consider that person a good doctor - and refer on that basis.

As to the discounts offered to volume customers (insurance companies), this happens all the time. Particularly with lab work, etc. The poor sucker with no insurance or high deductible has to pay full boat if unsuccessful at negotiating.

A dentist pays plus or minus $100 to a dental lab for a crown, but charges $1200 average for the one hour service. Could he do the work at a 50% discount? I think so.

Deborah Cole

Subject:

I generally LOVE Angies List, but I think that there is a big difference between finding a good plumber (which I did thru Angies List) an finding a good health care provider. I agree with being clear about the finances and was myself stuck once with a bill for seeing a specialist ($2100 out of my pocket for NO results or clarity). I do hope you know about insurance "phantom panels" --that is, insurance panels list a multitude of providers who are no longer on their panels. And one must wonder what the quality of some of the providers are when they are accepting fees from insurance companies that are 50 percent lower than their stated fees. Some who accept these fees (such as my own general practitioner) are just plain altruistic, but many get off panels (as I did) because of not wanting to be managed by insurance or have that intrusion, and also because of the hidden expenses of having to hire extra office help.

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Bear in mind the "up to 75%" can mean anything from zero to 75% - so if ANYONE saves any money they are being "honest".

 

This outfit, from web reports, apparently sends out many of these type cards to millions of people. It is not clear where they make their money, but one thing to bear in mind - going through them likely gives them all your personal ID and medical info - which might then be sold who knows where.

 

Basic rule - if you did not contact them first or ask a vendor/contractor for advice or a visit, assume they are up to no good - sad but safe.

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