Angie’s List Helps Consumers Manage Health Care Costs
Posted Nov 04 2010 2:39pm
The following guest article was contributed by Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's
When I first founded Angie’s List 15 years ago, I tried
to help consumers find the best local home and property experts. Before I knew it,
Angie’s List was offering consumer
reviews in about 350 service categories in every major American city. A few years
ago, responding to member demand, we began accepting reports on 150 health and wellness
categories, as well.
Most health care consumers are more aware of their actual medical costs these days,
thanks to health insurance changes. Angie’s List members, already conditioned to research
what others are saying about local contractors before they hire, are applying those
same investigative skills to health care providers. And they’re coming around to negotiating
health care costs, as well.
Many consumers – including Angie’s List members – don’t know they can negotiate health
care costs. More than half of respondents to a recent Angie's List member poll said
they’d never tried to negotiate medical bills, but 74 percent of those who did were
successful; some ended up paying less than half of the original charge.
This isn't a matter of trying to avoid paying a fair
cost for health care . It's making sure you're paying the correct amount and accessing
options that are available. Most of our members said they would happily shop around
if they knew what to look for. So we partnered with Healthcare
Blue Book to make that process easy for them. Knowing what the insurers
will pay the doctor is key information to have before starting a negotiation.
Obviously,patients shouldn’t choose a doctor based on price alone. We’re working hard
to offer reliable information on local doctors, based on real-life consumer experiences,
so that part of the story can be seen as well.