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"Hospitals are self-fueling, ever-expanding machines. There is an infinite amount of stuff to buy — amenities, machines, new wings, higher salaries, more nurses. If you pay hospitals more, they spend it. If you pay them less, they adjust. The only way to pay less for healthcare is to pay less for healthcare." ~ James Robinson, Professor and Economist

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Is it even possible to estimate the cost of a health procedure?

The best way to stay out of medical debt is to be able to anticipate your healthcare costs ahead of time. However, hospital prices are complicated, convoluted and inaccessible.

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Why don’t hospitals want you to pay cash?

Paying cash for hospital services allows you to take out the middleman, in this case, health insurers. By taking out the middleman, you generally pay less. Hospitals don’t like it when you pay cash because you realize how much less you can pay for the sa…

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What I learned after calling every hospital in California?

I spent weeks calling every hospital (about 400) in California looking to estimate cash prices for a for a few procedures that I needed or had in the past. Why you may ask? I had this inclination that I was massively overpaying for services that I needed…

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Why won’t crowdsourcing hospital pricing data work?

Journalists have pushed the idea of crowdsourcing medical prices as a way to creating hospital price transparency. While their goal is admirable, the reality is that crowdsourcing medical pricing is just not very fruitful. There are just too many prices.

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How do you know you got a good price for a medical procedure?

This is a common question that I get from family and friends. My insurance said that colonoscopy is going to cost $4000. Is this a good price? Probably not, but it’s extremely hard to know for sure.

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How to pay cash for hospital services?

You don’t have to be sick to get access to hospital or clinic procedures. You can pay cash for hospital services, it’s called self-pay or a self-pay patient. The rates you pay can be quite good if you call around and ask.

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