Vicki Burns of New Mexico needed a total hip replacement in 2012, but could not afford the hospital’s non-negotiable cash estimate of $79,000. Within two days of placing a patient request on MediBid, she received two bids. She chose a surgeon in Glendale, CA who offered a price of $13,400 – including hospital stay, anesthesia, pre-op tests, and post-surgical visits. Joint replacement surgeries and common procedures, such as colonoscopies, are the most frequent requests on MediBid. Dr. Peter LePort, a surgeon in Fountain Valley, CA who participates with MediBid, has seen a rise in patients with high deductible health insurance plans looking to pay cash for lower prices. As expenses increase, patients are demanding prices that have historically been unavailable.
When shopping around for medical care, do not assume that more expensive is better, as price does not equal quality. Prices can vary widely from website to website. Negotiating a cash price not only saves money, it can save a patient’s savings account or retirement fund.
Zamosky, Lisa. “Shopping tools help patients find cash prices for medical procedures.” Business. Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr 2015. Web. 21 Apr 2015.