May 29, 2013 12:00 AM

Shopping for health care coming to hospitals near you

The next time you visit your doctor or other health-care professional, try this experiment: Ask how much that day’s visit cost. If you are about to have a procedure, ask the same question about the procedure’s cost. The most likely answer is, “We don’t know,” or “It depends.” Due to the plethora of insurance plans and Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, the office probably doesn’t know the cost and won’t find out until the bill is issued and sent on for payment. The reimbursement amount may differ greatly from the billed amount.

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