Good Deals on High Quality Medical Services

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Now Is the Time to Go Medical Bargain-Hunting…

Here are the best ways to find good deals on high-quality services in your community…
Ask the right question. Many times, getting a discount is as easy as asking for it. Don’t be afraid to ask a surgeon (if you are contemplating surgery) or any type of health provider if he can “do better” after discussing the cost of a medical procedure or service. This is especially helpful if a big out-of-pocket cash outlay is involved because you have no insurance or your insurance does not cover a particular service, such as dental care or cosmetic surgery.

Insider secret: Don’t worry about getting lower-quality care if you pay a discounted price. Research shows that price does not affect quality when it comes to medical care.

Get the ammunition you need to negotiate. When my wife recently needed a dental implant, our dentist and the surgeon he recommended quoted her a price of more than $3,000. But we shopped around and found two other highly recommended surgeons and dentists who were offering the same procedure at a price of $2,000. When we told that to our dentist, he and the surgeon matched the price.

Insider secret: When negotiating for a discount, you’ll have the best luck if you comparison shop and are able to quote a lower price from a competitor.

Don’t forget about discounts on equipment. You’ve probably seen those TV commercials for motorized scooters and wheelchairs. If you’re insured, the deal may look good. But if you are not covered, you may be able to match the price or do even better at a local medical equipment shop that’s looking for customers. And even if you are insured, many local stores will throw in a maintenance contract at no additional charge just to get your business. Hearing aids also are being sold at the steepest discounts in years. With a few phone calls, you often can find deals at 20% to 50% off retail price.

Remember: Hard times mean good deals for those who look for them. So don’t put off what you thought you couldn’t afford. Like all other businesses these days, medical and health providers badly need your patronage and very often will reduce their prices to get it.

Source:  Charles B. Inlander, a consumer advocate and health-care consultant based in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. He was the founding president of the nonprofit People’s Medical Society, a consumer advocacy organization credited with key improvements in the quality of US health care in the 1980s and 1990s, and is the author of 20 books, including Take This Book to the Hospital with You: A Consumer Guide to Surviving Your Hospital Stay.


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