One of the good and tangible things to come out of healthcare reform and help contain rising health costs now is the new Heathcare Blue Book website. The site is a comprehensive site and is free to find fair healthcare pricing. You go to the website and select one of the category tabs whether Hospital, Physician, Lab, Dental or other areas and then it takes you to more detailed links about your specific problem. You then click on one of those links and it will show the pricing. For example, clicking the link on a Physician office visit, established patient, Level 2 (Minor problem requiring a limited exam and treatment- approximately 10 minutes with the doctor), the fee is $71. Now, these fees of course will vary by location and practice but at least it gives the consumer a ballpark figure. Obviously, if you choose to go to a doctor for the same procedure and for 10 minutes of time they charge you $300, it is too much and it allows you to negotiate but the best rule is to ask for pricing from the doctor’s office before you have your appointment or as you shop around for finding doctors. Need an MRI or other test? Well, just check the site and find out what the average price is for that. Think of it as healthcare’s version of the famous used car “Blue Book”.
The site and more information is available here: http://healthcarebluebook.com/