Dr. Robert Hendrick offers solutions to lower medical costs. He advocates adopting a consumer mentality with health care.
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Robert Hendrick: Well first of all, they don't need to get intimidated by their healthcare cost. There is a lot of things that they can do but the big thing is that we are getting to a point where we have to become consumers. When we go out to buy a car, we go with information, we know what car we want, we know what the price is, and we are going to pay for it. Healthcare is a little bit different at this point. Everybody goes out and they are surprised, and it's that fear of the unknown that lends them to that point where these folks have gotten. They are scared because they don't know what to expect, and so what they have got to do is they have got to get the information. There is information out there now about price, there is information about quality, there is information about patient satisfaction that they can get access to and they can arm themselves, so they can actually become consumers, just like they would if they were going to buy a car. Host: Heidi and Dwayne are a very typical couple with the same concerns as almost all couples in this country. So, what advice can you give them in their particular situation? Robert Hendrick: Well, Heidi and Dwayne, we talked a little bit backstage, but there is a lot of things that you can do to save money and you don't realize it, but the things that are out there in terms of healthcare, are negotiable to some extent. You can negotiate with hospitals if you have a large bill and they will give you a discount on that. You can even set up payment terms with them to get a better rate. And then when it comes to prescriptions, I saw all the prescriptions that you had in the video and that's a lot of them, that's a huge cost. And if you have parents maybe who are on Medicare and hit the doughnut hole for example, that can be a really big cost. You can call around. You can check the prices. Prices between pharmacies can vary as much as 20%-40%. Host: And sometimes people don't know that non-generics and generics are pretty much the same thing. Robert Hendrick: Exactly. They are pretty much the same thing, that's another cost savings. A lot of them will match prices, so it's really as simple as calling up and saying, Gosh! I found it cheaper here, will you match that price? And then going for the generics can make it even less. Host: So, Robert show us your new budget for Heidi and Dwayne. Robert Hendrick: Alright. So, Heidi and Dwayne what we have got is, we looked at your prescription drugs and here is some of the things that you are taking and we looked at the local price versus the preferred price. So, we found by calling around, what were some of the better prices that you could get and than if you went to generic and those are some of the cost savings that you could actually realize and then on the far right there, what you will see is, your entire savings for the year. So, you are looking at about $2500 savings for the year alone. And then we can go to next slide, here is some episodic cost. These are some of the other prescriptions that you are using, the Z Pack Antibiotic and the Amoxicillin, same thing, you see what the price is, what it could be, potentially if you went to generics and what your total annual savings might be. And then, we looked at the last slide, or the last slide with the hospital cost on it. We looked at your Appendectomy and we looked at your Broken Leg. Wayne had a broken leg and Heidi had an appendectomy. They both went to a hospital that had, what we have as a good rating. We rate hospitals on a good, better, best value rating and that's based on price, on outcomes, and on patient satisfaction. And what we did was we compared that with another hospital that had a better rating and the reason that hospital has a better rating is because they may do things a little bit more efficiently. They may diagnose you more quickly, they may get you treated more properly or get you for right treatment the first around, resulting in getting you out of the