From the Wall Street Journal, a Phoenix, Ariz., doctor posts about a patient who chose to have routine outpatient hernia surgery without using his insurance — after being quoted about $20,000 as an insured patient for the procedure.
“Most people are unaware that if they don’t use insurance, they can negotiate upfront cash prices with hospitals and providers substantially below the ‘list’ price. Doctors are happy to do this. We get paid promptly, without paying office staff to wade through the insurance-payment morass.
“So we canceled the surgery and started the scheduling process all over again, this time classifying my patient as a ‘self-pay’ (or uninsured) patient. I quoted him a reasonable upfront cash price, as did the anesthesiologist. We contacted a different hospital and they quoted him a reasonable upfront cash price for the outpatient surgical/nursing services. He underwent his operation the very next day, with a total bill of just a little over $3,000, including doctor and hospital fees. He ended up saving $17,000 by not using insurance.” Jeffrey Singer: The Man Who Was Treated for $17,000 Less – WSJ.com.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.