This guest post was authored by Reed Brandon.
Like most men/women/employees/Americans today, Douglas White was absolutely swear-on-the-bible, certain of what was supposed to happen when he needed medical care.
According to yesterday’s story from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s editorial program, Kaiser Health News, Douglas White had done his homework on how to effectively manage his healthcare options, a promising sign of awareness, yet still a rarity in today’s near-daily evolving whirlwind of information and federal processes:
“He called around for price quotes on the CT scan his doctor ordered. After all, his plan’s $2,000 deductible meant paying the full cost out of pocket. Using information from his insurer, he found a good deal —$473.53 at Coolidge Corner Imaging in Boston, a half hour from his house.”
Again, most patients do not consider shopping and comparing provider pricing for their medical care – not yet. Instead, they remain convinced that because they simply, “have insurance,” that healthcare procedure costs are fixed, predetermined, universally accepted figures, focused on helping of them as customers (as is the standard focus for businesses in almost every other industry).
But these people are not stupid. In fact, they are quite the opposite according to a recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, cited in the same work referred to above, as published by Healthcare Finance News:
“Members of high-deductible plans have higher incomes and are more educated on average than the typical American. A post-grad degree from MIT might not be enough to figure out some bills. But the bill [Mr. White] got later was for $1,273.02 — more than twice as much — from a hospital he had no idea was connected to the imaging center.
“I was shocked,” said White, a doctor of physical therapy who thought he knew his way around the medical system. “If I get tripped up, the average consumer doesn’t have the slightest chance of effectively managing their health expenses.”
Nearly one American in three with private health insurance surveyed by the research group got a surprise medical bill in the past two years — defined as when a plan paid less than expected and doctors and hospitals tried to recover the balance from the patient. Of those with surprise bills, nearly a fourth got bills from doctors they had no idea were involved in their care and nearly two-thirds were charged more than they expected.
“When we talk about transparent health care and the need for consumers to shop around, it’s just not possible in many situations,” said Blake Hutson, a senior associate for Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports.
That is as plainly as that fact can be stated, and he is absolutely right – it won’t be possible in many situations, but never will it ever be impossible with MDsave.
“There is nothing transparent about most health care billing,” said White.
The good news is that MDsave is not most health care companies.
As the world’s first online health marketplace, MDsave delivers the lowest possible prices on thousands of medical procedures, which are agreed upon within partnerships developed with hundreds of hospitals and providers nationwide. These partnerships cultivate and promote more efficient, affordable medical care for the modern cost-conservative, health-conscious consumer.
There is also lasting value in the service guarantee, which promises patients that any and all vouchers purchased through MDsave and it’s nationwide network of providers is forever valid and 100% refundable, if you should find yourself not needing the procedure after all.
But the true differentiator is our completely unique, patent protected bundled pricing algorithm, which removes insurance fees completely and decreases the hospital’s share, allowing you to pay a one-time, up front, non-negotiable, fully guaranteed and perfectly anti-climactic out-of-pocket payment, at approximately 60% less than the average patient.
*Original story on Healthcare Finance News