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Should we demand that doctor's fees be upfront?

Healthcare is full of hidden costs, and considering the amount we spend on it, shouldn't doctor's have an upfront listing of all their costs so that you can shop around better? 

I've even asked doctors' offices for pricing before a procedure and the answer usually is, "I don't know for sure, but I'm sure that your insurance will cover it." Then, I find out that the insurance doesn't cover it.  This happend to my husband, too, and the doctor's office even wrote it down for him and said they were in-network with the plan and that the procedure was covered.... when they weren't! They refused to give us courtesy pricing even though they admitted it was their mistake.  If we had been informed accurately, we would've not used that doctor's office.

Who else wants upfront Pre-Visit/Procedure Costs for:

-Patients without insurance

-Patients with insurance (discounted pricing shown within your insurance carrier's web portal)


Asked by hellokittykat at 9:17 AM on Feb. 25, 2013 in Health

Level 23 (16,483 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Yes. I posted about this before and everyone acted like I was proposing treason. Healthcare is a system where we enter into a contractural agreement for services but have no idea what the chare will be.

    Answer by booklover545 at 2:27 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • You can ask they will tell you lol. I knew up front how much my surgery would cost.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:18 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • Perhaps it's just my area, but every doc I've been to has been shady about their prices. What state are you in funlovinlady? I may have to move there.

    Comment by hellokittykat (original poster) at 9:22 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • Pennsylvania. I also get itemized medical bills, which you can request from the hospital - dr office. They can't deny you an itemized bill.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:24 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • I have never been caught off guard by fees, my drs have always been upfront this includes all my specialists

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 9:55 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • The only time I get that at the Dr's office is with labs. They send out their draws, so they usually just have the lab do the billing.

    Answer by m-avi at 10:10 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • For every procedure I've had done, I was always given a cost estimate based on my insurance. Each time, the out of pocket cost was very close to, if not the same as, the estimate.

    Answer by missanc at 12:04 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • For the most part, doctors can be up front. But often with a surgery, it isn't known exactly how things will go. The way the surgeon who took my gallbladder explained it, he could give me an estimate, but if I needed more anesthesia than usual, or if there was a glitch and the way he had to do the surgery changed mid-stream, it wasn't like he could wake me up and get my approval. So what I was given was just that, an estimate. Same thing when I had a C-section, and when I got my appendix out. That surgery did get a little complicated, and so the bill was about two grand more than I expected.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:53 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • Should say "charge will be"

    Answer by booklover545 at 2:28 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • I don't see why they can't. Some discount medical providers (not the same as insurance) have pricing sheets upfront for each provider who agrees to participate. See

    If we had more transparency in healthcare, there would be less billing hassle all around and more people might actually seek care and not put things off. We need to demand this from our congressmen. We pay their salaries so why not put them to work. I would love to see a new headline one day that reads "Cafemom members inspire more affordable healthcare."


    Comment by hellokittykat (original poster) at 2:36 AM on Feb. 28, 2013