I’ve noticed that doctors have been doing more negotiating on the cost of services. My daughter went to a local doctor that offered to knock 40% off the cost of the visit if she paid in advance for the office visit. The other day I noticed that the local urgent care place now offers up to 30% off for bills of $300 or more.
Now, more than ever, it is important to be proactive in talking about the cost of medical care with your doctor or their business office. In the case of my daughter she never would have known about their discount policy unless she had asked.
There is a great article in the New York Times titled Bargaining Down the Medical Bills that you should read for even more tips.
My favorite paragraph of the article is:
BE RESPECTFUL You’re negotiating for your health, not haggling over a used car. So Dr. Moritz cautions you not to call your physician and say: “Dr. So-and-So will do the procedure for $300 less. Can you match that?”
“When someone does that,” Dr. Moritz says, “that’s the end of the relationship.”
But the article does contain other advice that can save you a ton of money on medical bills. It’s worth a read.