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    How to help parents cut healthcare costs

    The cost of healthcare can be overwhelming for many patients’ families. Here are suggestions that can significantly reduce parents’ out-of-pocket medical expenses and even help your bottom line.

     

    We need to realize that prices for services vary significantly from one facility to another. Many states have websites where average charges for medical services are posted, based on the procedure, the insurance plan, and the facility performing the service. I practice in New Hampshire, and according to the nhhealthcost.nh.gov website established by the New Hampshire State Insurance Department (Figure), one hospital in the state charges noninsured patients $800 for a computed tomography (CT) scan while another charges $3200 for this service. If you have Harvard Pilgrim insurance in New Hampshire, a brain MRI will cost as little as $454 or as much as $4400. Similarly, a CBC in New Hampshire for an uninsured patient will cost from a low of $15 to a high of $105 dollars, while for an insured patient the out-of-pocket cost would be $11 to $89. It would be worth your while to do some research and investigate the most cost-effective services for your patients, taking quality, reliability, and location of the service into account as well.

    NEXT: Reducing pharmacy costs

    Andrew J Schuman, MD, FAAP
    Dr Schuman, section editor for Peds v2.0, is clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, ...

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