HSAs force health providers to compete


by John C. Goodman

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Megan Johnson, a self-employed single mother in Dallas, had severe pains in her side and back, just below the ribs. Her doctor said it was possibly kidney stones, but a CT scan would be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Megan's doctor gave her the name of an outpatient radiology department near her home. A call to the hospital revealed her share of the cost would be more than $2,800. Because Megan's health insurance had a $5,000 deductible, she decided to ask some questions: Do I really need this? Is it less expensive anywhere else?

A quick search of HealthcareBlueBook.com confirmed a reasonable price for an abdominal CT scan was about $800 - not $2,800. More online research identified dozens of medical imaging centers - including one next to the doctor's office. The insurance company negotiated price was $407 - a fraction of the initial price the hospital quoted. Megan was able to save nearly $2,400 by simply doing a little research online.

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