Price Shopping: "Question: My wife recently went to the doctor. She recommended blood work that was going to cost $300 at a local hospital laboratory. She asked if there was something cheaper or an alternative since we had to pay for this out of pocket. The nurse told her about a company that would come to the house, draw the blood, and charge us $80 and send the results to the doctor. We set up an appointment, had the work done and everything worked out well. I am surprised that there was an alternative that was so much less expensive. Is this common?
Answer: Charges for out of pocket services in the healthcare system often have large differences. Many of the providers only market by word of mouth through nurses, technicians and physician office employees. Your experience points out how important it is to ask questions. You never know when one of these provider services might exist and at much lower prices than standard institutions. Remember to get your blood work done well in advance of a doctor’s appointment so the results are in the doctor’s hands when you arrive. Without that report you may need to schedule a second and basically unnecessary and costly doctor’s appointment. Thanks for sharing your experience."