NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 9, 2007

With a little research it is possible to cut health bills by half or more, says ABC Action News.

One way to save is to shop for tests:

  • To compare prices, you need to know the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code, a universally accepted number that corresponds to an MRI, a specific lab analysis or any other billable service.
  • Once you have the code, you can get price quotes from several providers.
  • Savings can be substantial; for a CT scan, for example, the price could range between $500 and $1,500 at two different facilities, says Devon Herrick, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Another way to save is to arrange for independent lab work:

  • Blood and urine analyses can be done easily using online resources such as
  • Once your doctor gives you a prescription for a test, have blood drawn at one of 3,000 collection sites nationwide; the vials are then mailed to independent labs.

You can get more than 30 blood readings and analyses starting at about $95 -- around 75 percent less than getting the same tests at a hospital, says Herrick.

Source: Julian Kesner, "Saving on Health Care," ABC Action News, November 8, 2007.


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