Negotiating with Your MD

As you (the patient) bear more and more responsibility for your healthcare dollars, how will this play out in your relationship with your physician.  Will they negotiate with you?

I keep seeing articles in Money magazine and others encouraging you to do this.  Certainly, it can’t hurt.  Offering to pay them cash versus credit should have some immediate value to them.  A key question would be whether they truly understand the costs of their care.  I doubt they have some true cost accounting approach to help them understand.

And, do we have an established benchmark for negotiations?  I know that 10% off the MSRP for a car is a pretty good negotiation.  I know that 50% of list for furniture or jewelry is pretty good.  What is reasonable for healthcare services?  And, where do we go for quality information and the tradeoffs there?

It is an interesting question.  Without data for both sides, it is a complicated discussion.

CFO magazine had a good article about this a few years ago.  It posed the question differently.  “If all your employees have to research and negotiate their own care, what is the impact on productivity?”  Good question.

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