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Cut Health Care Costs: Pay Now, Pay Cash

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This is part of a series taking a look at CNN Money’s Fifty Ways To Cut Your Health-Care Costs and this is the third tip in the series. Again, related to the first tip of negotiating your health care bill, this tip recommends paying up front, in case in order to get them to slash the bill some more. Pam Deloney of the American Private Physicians Association believes that by paying in advance and in cash, you can usually negotiate your bill 10% lower because they won’t have to spend the time and the money on the collection side. They estimate that doctors lose thousands on unpaid bills and credit card processing fees – so cash can usually save you some money.

Source: CNN Money

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One Response to “Cut Health Care Costs: Pay Now, Pay Cash”

  1. Wizard Prang says:

    It’s a nice idea on paper, but it does not solve the biggest problem – why medical treatment is so damned expensive in the first place. 10% off damned expensive is still bloody expensive…

    Part of the problem is supply and demand. The medical profession is NOT a free market, since the supply of Doctors is controlled. Anyone had to wait for months to see a specialist? There are obviously not enough of those folks out there, and I suspect that the AMA prefers it that way.

    Of course there is another side to this particular coin; training doctors is horribly expensive – it costs more to train a Doc than a Fighter Pilot; even though the pilots are trained with “gubmint munniez”, none of us have ever tried to get a free flight in an F-16. So why do so many people think that it is OK to demand free healthcare (from a self-trained doc) with a straight face?

    Oh, and the average doctor pays out more in malpractice insurance premiums than most of us earn; so they have to charge us an arm and a leg just to keep up wth those payments.

    Here’s an idea; why not introduce a lesser level of medical practitioner (who can be trained more cheaply) who can provide basic care at a reduced price? They could reduce the price still further by charging set fees and not having to deal with insurance companies.

    They would have to have government-backed immunity from malpractice prosecution – so they don’t have to spend $10k/month on insurance and can pass those savings on to you. They could look after the cuts, scrapes, fevers, rashes and pimples while the “real” Docs do the hard stuff.

    It is not a perfect idea, I know… but can you come up with a better one?


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