Saturday, May 21, 2011

You Can Help Cut Health Care Costs, Yourself!

Often, patients do not realize that doctors have no idea what their medical orders and prescriptions actually cost. Helping your doctor understand what his orders cost you will help cut health care costs.

In the May issue of Archives of Surgery, a study was published from Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. The authors simply informed the staff doctors of the cost of “routine” lab tests, which the doctors were ordering.

At the beginning of the 11 week study, the daily cost per non-intensive care patient was $147.73. At the end, the daily cost had dipped to $108.11.

Staff doctors were not coerced into ordering fewer tests. They were only informed of the cost of the lab tests. This simple procedure decreased hospital costs dramatically.

You can do essentially the same thing with your doctor. Just let him/her know how much his prescriptions are costing. Tell him how much out-of-pocket money it cost you, and tell him what the actual, total, cost of the medicine was, which was paid by your insurance.

You might be surprised how this simple action will decrease your health care costs.

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