Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Can’t You Offer Me a Discount for Dermatology Treatments?

Hello lovely readers!

Today, I’d like to address a question that often comes up when discussing medical practices and their medical billing procedures: “Why can’t my doctor just give me a discount?” It’s a completely valid question, especially when many patients are struggling to cope with the rising costs of healthcare. Let’s dive into the world of medical billing and understand why it’s not as simple as just giving a discount.

1. Pre-determined Negotiated Rates for Medical Billing

Healthcare providers, including doctors and hospitals, often have contracts with insurance companies. These contracts lay out the terms for how much the insurance will pay for certain services. The prices for these services, known as “negotiated rates,” are determined through complex negotiations between the insurance company and the healthcare provider.

When a provider agrees to a contract with an insurance company, they’re essentially agreeing to accept that negotiated medical billing rate for a particular service, instead of their standard or “list” price. This means the provider cannot bill more than the negotiated rate.

2. Contractual Obligations

Giving a discount on a service, essentially charging less than the negotiated rate, can be viewed as a violation of the contract between the provider and the insurance company. These contracts often have clauses that require providers to bill all patients equally for services, ensuring fairness and predictability.

This means that if a doctor were to offer one patient a discount, they would technically need to offer that same discount to all patients – which would then violate their agreement with the insurance company.

3. Fairness and Consistency

Imagine a scenario where doctors could choose whom to give discounts to. This could lead to potential biases, favoritism, or even discriminatory practices. The system, as it is set up now, aims to ensure that patients are charged consistently, regardless of any personal factors or the individual relationship they might have with their doctor.

4. Financial Sustainability

While we all wish healthcare were more affordable, the reality is that medical practices have operational costs, including staff salaries, equipment maintenance, rent, and more. The negotiated rates are typically designed to cover these expenses and offer a reasonable profit margin. Discounts could threaten the financial sustainability of these practices, which in turn could jeopardize the quality and accessibility of care.

5. Potential for Fraud

If medical practices were to bill insurance companies the full rate but accept a lower amount from certain patients, this could open the door for potential fraud. It’s crucial for the integrity of the healthcare system that billing practices remain transparent and consistent.

Closing Thoughts

While it’s frustrating and often heart-wrenching to face high medical bills, it’s essential to understand that medical practices are bound by numerous regulations and agreements that prevent them from simply offering discounts. It’s always a good idea to communicate any financial hardships to your healthcare provider – they might be able to provide assistance or refer you to programs that can help. In the meantime, let’s all advocate for more transparent, fair, and affordable healthcare systems for everyone.

Stay well and informed!

We appreciate your continued trust and support. As always, if you have any concerns or questions regarding your dermatological care or medical billing, feel free to contact our office.

The Apollo Dermatology Team

Schedule a consultation today or call us at 248-436-4888 to to make an appointment.

Apollo Dermatology Logo

Apollo Dermatology - Board Certified Dermatologist Office serving Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Rochester Hills, Troy MI, and all of Southeast Michigan


9 AM - 4:30 PM

9 AM - 4:30 PM

9 AM - 4:30 PM

9 AM - 4:30 PM

(starting on 2/2/2024)
9 AM - 1:00 PM

Saturday & Sunday:


Apollo Dermatology, Board Certifified Dermatologist in Rochester Hills

555 Barclay Circle
Suite 170
Rochester Hills, Michigan


Click here


Clinic Phone:

Clinic Fax:

Apollo Dermatology - Board Certified Dermatologist Office serving Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Rochester Hills, Troy MI, and all of Southeast Michigan