Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Monday, September 2, 2013

On Medical Cost Middlemen

     Great article in recent WSJ regarding how a doctor worked with a patient to reduce his surgery cost from $20,000 down to $3,000. The hospital quoted a charge of $20,000 (his share, after insurance) based on the patient's insurance-negotiated pricing. He rebelled and told the doctor he was cancelling. The doctor worked with the anesthesiologist, and another hospital's outpatient department, and got it done for $3,000 (all out-of-pocket; no use of insurance).
     The lesson: Eliminating middlemen wherever possible will greatly reduce our costs ... probably in many "industries." When the provider works directly with the patient/consumer, with ability of the patient/consumer to pay, great pricing can be worked out. Middlemen de-personalizes the process, and hikes costs.
     Here's the link:

1 comment:

  1. Phil, Point well taken... We use a local pharmacy rather than one of the big chains. Lower overhead and no stockholders = lower prices. He told us that he'd make a little more money if we used our 'insurance' but that it would be less expensive for us if we didn't. Saved over $1,000 a year! Working with our eye surgeon re: upcoming cataract surgery. When he learned that our insurance was $5,000 deductible, he changed the surgery site from a hospital to a surgery center (eliminating middlemen) and significantly reducing our cost. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave