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26 Resources Mentioned in “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win” by Marshall Allen

26 Resources Mentioned in “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win” by Marshall Allen

26 Resources Mentioned in:

Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win 

by Marshall Allen

(2021 Portfolio / Penguin)

You finished the book and want to dig deeper on a topic mentioned or explore one of the resources Allen mentioned—but you don’t remember the name of the book, web site, or organization.  Whether you already loaned the book to a friend or just don’t want to flip pages looking for where the resource was mentioned, just take a glance down this list of 26 helpful resources mentioned in Marshall Allen’s book “Never Pay the First Bill and Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win.”  We have sorted them by category and added short descriptions based on cursory review of information available.


Price Comparison Resources

  1. Healthcare Bluebook (https://www.healthcarebluebook.com/explore-home/). The description says an improved free price comparison took is coming soon; I will update this review when I have access to it, but for now there’s nothing there.    
  2. FairHealthConsumer.org  (https://www.fairhealthconsumer.org/).   Insert your zip code and select from 300+ medical and dental services to see the local expected prices for in-network insurance and uninsured/out-of-network insurance.  Averages are provided—not the specific price negotiated by a specific insurance plan at a specific provider’s office.  There is also a map of other local zip codes’ prices for the same procedure.
  3. Health Cost Labs (https://www.healthcostlabs.com/). Price comparison site for medical procedures; consumers must PAY for access to the information, with subscriptions starting at $400+ per month for 1 state.
  4. State Medicaid plan’s pharmacy (https://www.benefits.gov/) or search “Medicaid” and your state’s name.      
  5. State Medicare rates; look for the Procedure Price Lookup Comparison File, an Excel spreadsheet of national average total payment for almost 4,000 services and procedures in ambulatory surgical centers and hospital outpatient departments.  Some specific codes can be looked up via https://www.medicare.gov/procedure-price-lookup/.  I found an Excel sheet from 2019 at CY 2019 STATEWIDE AVERAGE CCRs; it did not have instructions on how to apply the CCRs to estimate actual costs.  
  6. Google all of your local hospitals and medical centers’ Web sites for price lists (the federal government now requires they list their cash prices and what they get paid by various insurers).
  7. GoodRX.com (https://www.goodrx.com/). Site displays prices for selected medication at several pharmacies so patient can select lowest priced or most convenient; then patient prints or creates digital coupon to present at pharmacy, which instructs pharmacist how to process coupon.  


Medical Debit Reduction and Legal Help

  1. RIP Medical Debt (https://ripmedicaldebt.org/) After decades in the debt-buying industry, Craig and Jerry met thousands of Americans with unpaid medical debt.  They decided to use donations to buy large bundles of medical debt and relieve the debt with no tax consequences to donors or recipients.  Their New York based 501 (c)(3) has so far eradicated nearly $5 billion in medical debt.
  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/) Government site where consumers can submit complaints, ask finance questions, learn with finance tools, and use research to improve decision making.  
  3. Upsolve (https://upsolve.org/).  Compared to Turbo Tax for bankruptcy.  Millions of families use Upsolve’s education, tools, and online community to overcome their debt, access their rights, and rebuild their financial situation.
  4. Google “(city name) volunteer lawyer group” (searching for free legal help)
  5. Call the clerk of court for your court.  They cannot give legal advice; they can answer your question about the process.


Health Care Advocacy Resources

  1. National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (www.nahac.com).  Improves patient outcomes through the promotion of health care advocacy.  
  2. Advo Connection Directory (https://advoconnection.com/).  Directory of professional health care advocates.
  3. Restoring Medicine (https://www.restoringmedicine.org/) founded by Dr. Marty Makary.  A grassroots group demanding a more honest and fair health care system.   
  4. Soul Sherpa  (https://soulsherpa.net/) founded by Lisa Berry Blackstock.  Soul Sherpa travels to its clients to be an active presence at medical appointments, hospitals, rehab, nursing facilities, homes, corporations, and community centers.  Patients receive confidential advocacy, legal services, and  assistance understanding medical treatment options and the health care system.  



  1. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.   Offers new, field-tested negotiations strategies.  Focused on saving lives, the tactics are applicable to criminal encounters as well as buying a car, negotiating a salary, and debating with friends and family.
  2. Approved: Win Your Insurance Appeal in 5 Days by Laurie Todd.  Step-by-step guide to research, write, and deliver a winning health care expense appeal.
  3. The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—and How to Fix It by Dr. Marty Makary. Real-life examples of price gouging, middlemen, and money manipulation in health care with advice on how patients can tackle these, plus examples of people fighting the system in hopes of reforming it.
  4. Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance is Incomplete and What Can Be Done About It by Christopher Robertson.  Explores the causes of today’s American health care system financial tyranny and how reform can increase efficiency and reduce health care costs.     


Other Resources Mentioned      

  1. Let’s Rethink This (https://letsrethinkthis.com/about-lrt.html) encourages people to rethink assumptions in health care, politics, finance, and more, in order to create new solutions to problems.
  2. United States Preventive Services Task Force (https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/).  Panel of volunteer, national experts makes evidence-based recommendations about health care preventative services, following a method which allows for public comment and topic nomination while placing the emphasis on making and explaining the reasoning for specific recommendations.  
  3. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (https://www.nice.org.uk/) (similar to USPSTF, for England) produces guidance for health practitioners, develops standards and metrics for providers, and accumulating information across health and social care.
  4. Doctor’s Choice (https://www.doctorschoiceusa.com/), founded by Dr. Johnny Luo, helps advocate for seniors before, during, and after their transition to Medicare.
  5. The RAND Corporation (https://www.rand.org/) researches and develops public policy solutions, focusing on security, health, and prosperity.  
  6. Marshall Allen (https://www.marshallallen.com/), the author of “Never Pay the First Bill,” encourages readers to visit his site for more victory stories, tips for employers, and more training on how to fight the health care system and win.


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