Members find fair prices through Healthcare Bluebook
By Samaritan Ministries members · Jun 22, 2021
Samaritan Ministries members have been taking advantage of Healthcare Bluebook to compile some pretty impressive savings on provider bills. Healthcare Bluebook provides members of our Classic and Basic programs with information for fair pricing at health care providers. They are able to connect to Healthcare Bluebook through the Samaritan Dashboard and search for various services and procedures to find not only what a fair price would be, but also which providers near them bill at a fair price.
Here are some Samaritan members who have used Healthcare Bluebook to save both themselves and their fellow members money.
Some of them have even benefitted by taking part in our Fair-Price Reward program, receiving a $250 check from Samaritan for finding services at or below a Healthcare Bluebook fair price. You can find out more about how to take part in the reward at SamaritanMinistries.org/ fair-price-reward.
I recently had some serious gallbladder attacks and part of the diagnostics needed was an ultrasound. Not knowing where to go locally for it, we looked for an ultrasound lab through Healthcare Bluebook and found one nearby. The great thing about it was the substantially reduced cost, as it was half the cost of what an ultrasound normally costs. And because we got a fair price, we got a reward that basically made the ultrasound free!
As part of my recovery from a heart attack, my doctor wanted me to have a defibrillator implant. This required me to approach the hospital with no insurance as a cash-pay patient and, because it was major surgery, I knew it would be very expensive. Using Healthcare Bluebook, I had two providers in my area to approach for quotes. I learned from the Healthcare Bluebook team that the cost of the device, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist were about the same in each location, but the facility cost can be wildly different. At one hospital I was able to get the facility price of $119,500 reduced to $25,000. The other came in at a cash-pay price of $79,000. I would be using my same doctor to do the surgery at the lower-cost facility.
The hospital agreed to the price but needed me to pay 35 percent upfront. I called Samaritan and explained that in order to save the members $94,000 I would need to pay $8,750 right away before the surgery. I explained that I had a little-used credit card I could use to pay the fee. They told me to go ahead, take whatever steps I needed in order to get the health care I needed and to submit the prepayment on the Need. Samaritan even helped me with the interest so I didn’t have any additional costs to pay myself.
In March of 2020 I was supposed to have a cardiac ablation for atrial fibrillation. I received a quote of $140,000 for the procedure from the provider I was working with at the time. Samaritan Ministries asked that I work with Healthcare Bluebook to see if the pricing was fair.
It turns out that this procedure typically costs less than $40,000. Healthcare Bluebook went on a search for some alternate providers and we decided to change to a different physician at a different facility.
The doctor was a higher-rated doctor and the facility is known for being the best when it comes to heart procedures. I had an excellent experience with the doctor and provider, and it was all done for $32,000, a savings of nearly $110,000. The timeline was drawn out a bit due to COVID-19, but the staff at Healthcare Bluebook stayed in touch with me the entire time and worked with the billing department at the hospital.