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Five Steps to Improve Care and Lower the Cost of Your Surgery
Date:2/26/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Most people accustomed to working within a managed care or preferred provider (PPO) network don't question the quality of their care or the cost of that care. Often they don't know what providers charge until after a surgery when they get the bill.

But as healthcare costs skyrocket and layoffs continue, consumer directed health plans (CDHP) and high deductible plans (HDHP) with health savings accounts (HSA) are growing in popularity. You pay less on your premiums, but more when you receive care. More than half of U.S. companies now offer them and that number will grow by eight percent this year, according to Watson Wyatt.

Like it or not, at least part of the payment for surgery will be out of your pocket. So you must research cost and care options before they are provided, says Dr. Jeffrey Rice of www.healthcarebluebook.com, a free service that helps people determine fair prices for healthcare in their area.

Dr. Rice suggests you follow these five steps to obtain high quality care at a price you can afford.

1. Discuss the cost of care with your doctor. Discuss what you can afford with your doctor. Make sure you tell your doctor if cost is an important consideration for you. This will allow the doctor to help you make good choices that aren't too expensive. Doctors know that treatments won't work if patients can't afford them.

Before you agree to have any surgery or procedure you should understand the reasons for it, what will be done, its risks and benefits. Research-based web sites such as the Mayo Clinic, Web MD and Health A to Z offer detailed information on healthcare services explaining the problem, procedure, symptoms, diagnosis, tests, treatments and support resources. Learn as much as you can about your condition so that you can have an informed d
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SOURCE HealthcareBlueBook.com
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