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Shopping tools help patients find cash prices for medical procedures
Shopping tools help patients find cash prices for medical procedures

When Vicki Burns was told she needed total hip replacement surgery in 2012 she asked her local hospital for a cash price. She got a $79,000 estimate for the surgery. A doctor advised her to research the fee that the hospital accepts from Medicare and use that as a starting point. Her husband gathered the data and tried to negotiate. "They wouldn't even talk to him about it," she recalls. Desperate for an alternative, the New Mexico couple took to the Internet and found a Tennessee website they liked called MediBid. For $4.95 a month or $25 for a year of unlimited requests, patients can post the medical services they need, and doctors bid for their business. "I...

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