It's tough to price comparison shop for your healthcare. There is increasing transparency, however. The Oklahoma Surgery Center, for instance, publishes their out-of-pocket cash price for common procedures. In some cases your cash price can be lower than your insurance co-pay!
Who offers lab work, ultrasounds and x-rays at the lowest cash cost near you? Would you believe you may check your complete blood count for $15, get an ankle x-ray for $35 or get a bone density scan for $75? Compare at SnapHealth.
Even if price transparency and comparison isn't in your community yet, knowing what those prices are for nearby communities may help you negotiate your bill.
Want to compare quality of care in your community? Try hospitalcompare*.
By Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD, CPE
*There are some limitations to hospital compare. Try to compare likes - e.g. it's not helpful to compare a doctor who practices in the suburbs to one who practices in the inner city. Or to compare a community hospital physician to an academic center physician. Try to compare within your community of interest and within like practice types.