‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

“I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions before hand the price variations are wild, I then choose the lowest’” — she commented on a Facebook post on my TED talk. I queried her: “Thanks for this! This is my TED talk. I’d like to write about your experience for my blog. Can […]

How much do lab tests cost: $9 or $275 with insurance? Or, how to shop for health care

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do lab tests cost: $9 or $275 with insurance? Or, how to shop for health care

When my TED talk was posted again recently on Facebook, with prominent mention of disparities in lab test costs, there were a lot of comments. This one stood out, so I’m putting it here as part of our “A friend writes” series. She’s in the Knoxville, Tenn., area. “Yup!!! “I had a panel of tests […]

How much do blood tests cost? Or, how to argue a bill for a $3,000-plus trip to the doctor.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do blood tests cost? Or, how to argue a bill for a $3,000-plus trip to the doctor.

It was one of those shares that seemed hard to believe. The charge for the blood tests at University of North Carolina Hospitals was $2,378, and the person who shared was asked to pay $1,474.92. Cigna, the insurer, paid nothing. The comment: “The UNC facility in question notably distinguished by Cigna as meeting certain quality […]

Blood test costs — $284 or $34 a few blocks away? Cracking the Code

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Blood test costs — $284 or $34 a few blocks away? Cracking the Code

“When UnitedHealthcare exited the Affordable Care Act exchange in Louisiana last year, Kim Spencer was one of around 29,000 people forced to find a new insurance plan under the federal health care law. She chose Humana, then found a new primary care physician at Tulane University Medical Center, based on recommendations from friends,” our partner […]

Ordering Unnecessary Tests: « Science-Based Medicine

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

From around the web: “Last week I wrote about doctors who order unnecessary tests, and the excuses they give. Then I ran across an example that positively flabbered my gaster. A friend’s 21-year-old son went to a board-certified family physician for a routine physical. This young man is healthy, has no complaints, has no past […]

Shop around for lab tests: Your insurance company says it’s your job

Shop around for lab tests: Your insurance company says it’s your job

Summary: Insurance companies are starting to urge people to shop around  for the best price for treatment. This is an interesting development, not least because many of us long thought that we bought insurance in order to make sure we were getting a good price for treatment, one ferreted out for us by our insurance […]

A groundbreaking lab test startup: A Drop of Blood. An Instant Diagnosis

There’s a new lab testing service that is quick, painless, inexpensive and  more accurate than the current systems, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. It’s called Theranos, and it was founded by a Stanford dropout named Elizabeth Holmes. It is announcing a partnership on Monday with Walgreen’s to do quick blood testing […]

How much does a blood test cost? It could be $6, or $167

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

SUMMARY: Blood tests can cost a little or a lot–we’ve heard as low as $6 and as high as $167 for a simple complete blood count (CBC) test. The sticker price may be shockingly high — and the cash price can be surprisingly low. Hospitals tend to be more expensive than other providers. No matter […]

Patients are terrible consumers: Jon Cohen at TedMed

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Patients are terrible consumers, according to Jon Cohen, chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics. In a video of his appearance at the June TedMed conference, he made these points: People with high-deductible plans and health savings accounts are saving money and not spending it on basic health care. Mammography rates, cervical cancer screening rates, colonoscopy […]