Finding better prices for medical care

For high deductible and uninsured patients, the price of medical visits, tests or procedures has a huge impact on their family finances and their care. However, finding these prices is a problem despite state and federal efforts to improve cost transparency.

One of these efforts, the Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO), publishes average costs at big Maine facilities.  Per MHDO, "Research shows that there is no correlation between cost and the quality of the services provided, yet costs can vary widely across the state."

In our experience, the MHDO website is mainly useful to get a ballpark estimate prior to shopping around for care.  It omits many smaller facilities that offer competitive pricing and cash discounts for same-day payment.  Furthermore, MHDO doesn't list actual prices, only the average cost paid in the recent past. We've found the "sticker price" at many facilities to be far above the past average cost. 

As a Direct Primary Care practice, we work hard to make your care affordable.  We publish our prices, which are well below those of insurance oriented practices.   More importantly, we help our patients find better prices and cash discounts on care outside of our office, especially big ticket tests and procedures.  This can make the difference between timely care and care postponed.

Posted on March 1, 2015 .