There are better prices for health care—know where to look

If Monty Hall was offering to make you a deal on health care, your best option might be to avoid the door marked “hospital.”


Two new studies show how patients, employers and the federal government can save big bucks on health costs if people choose to get surgeries and other medical treatment at independent outpatient locations, as opposed to hospitals or hospital-operated centers.

The savings can be hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket costs directly paid by the patients, and thousands of dollars per patient in costs incurred by their health insurance plan or the federal government’s Medicare program.

At the same time, a third new study is revealing how difficult it can be for patients to get hospitals to reveal their prices for treatment in advance of scheduling a procedure.