99% of Americans don’t make this easy money-saving choice on health care | MarketWatch

You likely shop around to find the best prices for groceries, clothing, and electronics. But what about for medical procedures? If not, you should start today.

Most Americans assume medical procedures are set at a relatively fixed cost, but they could be losing out on thousands of dollars a year by not shopping around, a new study from researchers at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Universities found.

Fewer than 1% of individuals used price transparency tools — websites or apps where patients can look up the cheapest price on a given procedure — to find the best price for services in advance of medical procedures, the report showed, despite the fact that the cost of up to 40% of medical services can be reduced by comparison-shopping.

Instead, the vast majority of patients go to a doctor based on a referral from their primary care doctor or from colleagues or family members. Many patients don’t think about saving money at the times when they need care, said Leor Catalan, chief executive of Robin, an AI-powered medical insurance provider that helps patients compare costs.

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99% of Americans don’t make this easy money-saving choice on health care – MarketWatch.