Members rewarded for finding fair prices through Healthcare Bluebook
by Jonathan Ben-Ezra · Jan 20, 2023
When a Samaritan Ministries member named Nicholas recently found out that he needed a complex medical procedure, his local hospital priced the procedure at about $150,000.
He knew he would be able to get a 60 percent cash-pay discount on the initial estimate from that hospital but wondered if even that was a fair price.
A visit to Healthcare Bluebook™ through his Samaritan Dashboard showed he was right: The discounted amount was not a fair price. Then, after more research, Nicholas discovered a specialized, high-quality facility a few hours away from where he lives that would do the procedure for only $3,400, a savings of $146,600!
Stories like this highlight how broken medical billing really is in America. They also show that getting a large discount does not always guarantee that you are paying a fair price. This is why Samaritan Ministries offers tools like Healthcare Bluebook to members and incentives like the fair-price reward program offering a $250 bonus.
To receive the reward, you only need to demonstrate that you chose one of Healthcare Bluebook’s green fair-price providers for a shareable Need or were able to achieve the displayed Healthcare Bluebook fair price from a provider that normally does not offer fair pricing. You then submit that proof with your bills. Samaritan staff will review it with your Need to make sure it qualifies for the reward.
Nicholas was not even thinking about the reward when he did extra research, though. He was hoping to reduce charges for his Need to help keep Shares as low as possible for all members. The fair-price reward was just the cherry on top.
Does the work that Nicholas did to procure a fair price seem daunting to you, though? That is where Bluebook CareConnect concierge service can help.
If you are scheduling a surgery of any kind, reach out to CareConnect at (855) 286-3663. The advocates there will help you find a high-quality, fair-priced provider in your area. Even better, Healthcare Bluebook will schedule that procedure for you and work out payment details with the provider.
Consider another example.
Recently, a member from Pennsylvania needed surgery. Her local provider quoted $100,000 for the procedure, but, thanks to Healthcare Bluebook’s help, this Samaritan member had it done at a high-quality surgery center for only $25,000, a $75,000 difference.
Each month on average, Healthcare Bluebook saves Samaritan members about $550,000. This linked chart shows that impact for each month of 2022.
From time to time, members can also find fair prices that aren’t listed by Healthcare Bluebook. This is not a problem. You are still eligible for the fair-price reward! Just upload the required information detailed on the fair-price reward link above.
So, the next time you go to your provider, don’t just look for a good discount. Make sure you check Healthcare Bluebook to see if you are paying a fair price for the service. For inpatient procedures, the tool also shows a facility’s quality rating so you will know how the provider compares to others.
Together, we can steward our resources wisely, and we can all make a difference.
Jonathan Ben-Ezra is Director of Program Management for Samaritan Ministries.
Health Care Stewardship appears monthly in the Samaritan Ministries newsletter.