Dr. George M. Hochman is the founder and CEO of a nonprofit health care consulting firm called M&C Saatchi & Saatchy.
The firm offers advice on how to pay for health care, but not much else.
He said his company, which he started in 2004, is focused on helping consumers get more from their health care plans.
For a doctor, Hochmann said, the best way to pay is to look at what you’re paying for, including deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance and coinsurance benefits.
For example, Huchman said you’d be better off paying for an elective procedure that’s done in a hospital with a high deductible and co-pay than a procedure that may cost $10,000 in a private practice and cost $3,000 or less in a community health center.
He also said that a $10 million, 12-month procedure for a heart bypass may not be worth the $1 million or more you’d pay for an outpatient procedure.
Huchmans goal is to help consumers pay for a variety of health care services, including drugs, devices, supplies and procedures.
Hochman said that if consumers can figure out what they’re paying, they’ll be more likely to find a doctor willing to work with them.
If a patient isn’t happy with the cost of the procedure or the quality of the care, he said, that may be a sign that you should consider a different doctor or maybe move your business somewhere else.
When it comes to the deductibles and co -pays that are included in a health plan, Hachman said, you should pay what you think you’re going to pay and the doctors’ office can make adjustments to help you with that.
He advised people to pay the minimum and to pay their deductible first, but that there may be times when you need to pay more and not worry too much about the amount.
As for coinsurance, he recommended that you don’t go overboard and go over your limit of what you can spend.
He suggests a total of $10 per visit, or about $150 a year, and said he believes a 10% discount is fair, even for the most expensive doctors.
Hachmans biggest worry about being too overcharged is that the cost to pay will continue to climb as costs continue to rise.
“The more we get, the more we are going to see more and more people with chronic diseases who can’t afford to pay a deductible,” Hachmann said.
“That’s a huge concern for me.”