What is a Victory Story?
It's an opportunity to champion the little guy. A chance to show others that it is worth the effort to stand up and fight back.
Others would benefit from hearing how you have applied the tactics covered in Never Pay The First Bill and come out on top!
Encouraging one another is the best way to stay in the fight. Let's share in the joys and victories of those who have prevailed.
Perhaps you found a way to get a test or treatment for a better price or saved big money by spotting an error on your medical bill. Maybe you are an employer who reduced what you spend while providing better coverage for your workers.
Or, maybe you're a patient advocate, vendor or other insider who can tell us what we need to know.
Your personal triumph and how-to tips could help someone in a similar situation. Please share!
How one patient saved more than $8,000 for two MRIs
Kevin Vincent knew he’d have to pay cash for two MRIs of his back. The 51-year-old from Amarillo, Texas had a high deductible health insurance plan that required him to pay $10,000 before his coverage kicked in.
Kevin’s nurse practitioner referred him to a nearby hospital-affiliated imaging center for the two MRIs. How much is this going to cost? Kevin asked when he called the imaging center.
The customer service representative told him they would charge his insurance plan $11,000 for the two tests. Or, if he paid cash it would be $9,000.
The sticker shock caused Vincent to gasp. The helpful rep told him not to worry, and offered to put him on a payment plan.
Going into debt for his MRIs didn’t sound like a good idea. Fortunately Vincent, who sells property and casualty insurance, knew Josh Butler, a health benefits consultant in Amarillo.
Butler confirmed that the price was outrageous and referred him to Green Imaging. Green Imaging contracts with imaging centers around the country to offer cash prices for CT scans, mammograms, MRIs, X-rays and other imaging tests.
The new price: $950. For both MRIs. At an imaging center about half a mile from the one that quoted him the $9,000 price.
Vincent would not be able to apply the cash-payment to his deductible, but it saved him a lot of money. He got the MRIs at the less expensive facility and even got them read by a radiologist, and will receive copies of his images. He shakes his head in astonishment that he got the same tests for more than $8,000 less by shopping around. That’s about what I paid for my last car - a huge savings!
It’s a great example of a victory for Vincent. But it upset him to think of people who didn’t know they could get a better deal. “The fact that so many people are financing this debt, and they could save so much money - I didn’t like it, frankly.”
So what are the key takeaways from Kevin’s Victory Story?
Health care pricing varies greatly. One study found that the price of an MRI can vary from $300 to $3,000 in the same geographic area, with no demonstrated difference in quality. And it’s true for other things, too.
Clinics and imaging centers associated with hospitals are known to cost more. Check the prices at a center that’s not affiliated with a hospital.
Kevin saved more than $8,000 by going through GreenImaging.net. Check them out if you need an imaging study.
Gabby — Hoboken, NJ
"I had almost given up hope after receiving a horrendous emergency room bill when Marshall Allen came to the rescue! Marshall has been wonderful and supportive in guiding me through the process while uncovering layers of shocking and exploitative practices of the private health care system. I believe Never Pay The First Bill will bring hope to many others in fighting this corrupt system."