1) Dispense with Andameds or another wholesaler when possible. This resource should let you look up the manufacturer cost of any medication.
2) Avoid using "plans" which inflate & hide prices through PBMs. If you do use a PBM, rely on this white listed transparent group of PBMs highlighted by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
3) GoodRx and Blink Health are good free coupon options for using local pharmacies and looking for generic discounts. Medicare patients may want to use this calculator to decide whether part D coverage is worth purchasing.
4) Sometimes small mail order pharmacies are the best option, examples include GenScripts (OK) & Marley Drug (NC)
5) In the rare scenario where generics are NOT an option using NeedyMeds as a source of aggregated ways to obtain discounted medications (often from the manufacturer) for your patients can be helpful. If the patient does not qualify then medical tourism might be an economical option, even the CDC realizes this industry is growing.
6) Vaccinations are often available at low cost from health departments. Some pharmacies (such as Costco) are starting to display pricing.
7) Some patients decide that it makes sense to risk going international. Planet Drugs Direct is one well known example.
Labs, Path & Radiology
Surgery / Specialty
There are lots of transparent pricing resources to choose among. Their accuracy and helpfulness often varies by geographic region:
The Source (on Healthcare Price and Competition)
The Wedge of Health Freedom (may be a good way to locate like minded specialist physicians for referral purposes)
Banner Health contains links to internal and external prices
Emergency Rooms often force patients to litigate to achieve fair prices. Patients will almost always win, but they must be willing to take the time and effort to fight the hospital. These law review manuscripts are an excellent resource:
Nation, George A. III (2005) "Obscene Contracts: The Doctrine of Unconscionability and Hospital Billing of the Uninsured," Kentucky Law Journal: Vol. 94 : Iss. 1 , Article 5
Mark A. Hall & Carl E. Schneider, Patients as Consumers: Courts, Contracts, and the New Medical Marketplace, 106 Mich. L. Rev. 643 (2008).
Medicare prices by region can be a reference point as well.
HITECH (full explanation here) requires physicians to offer cash pricing to patients that want to keep the information private from their "health plan." This includes Medicare, though the Medicare limiting rates still apply when the patient pays the bill, and the physician is free to offer a rate less than the Medicare amount to any patient. A detailed explanation is included in the Federal Register from pages 5,623 to 5,634. Here is another helpful resource from MGMA.
Kittridge Dermatology (Pittsburgh, PA)
St Lukes Hospital “Price Checker” (Bethlehem, PA)
Surgery Center of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK)
Affordable Hernia Surgery (Rockville, MD)
Good Shepherd Health System (Longview, TX)
Monticello Community Surgery Center (Charlottesville, VA)
Ocean Surgery Center (Torrance, CA)
Prairie SurgiCare (Peoria, IL)
Regency Health (New York NY)
Southwest Orthopedic Associates (Fort Worth, TX)
Texas Free Market Surgery (Austin, TX)
Pacific Surgical Center (Longview, WA)
Many listed as Kempton Premier Providers