Medical auction site lets doctors and patients bid for services.


SAN ANTONIO, TX -- When you think of an auction, usually cars or fine art come to mind, not medical service. But that's the concept behind a new website called Medibid.

Dr. Adam Harris is an orthopedist in San Antonio and thinks MediBid is a win-win.

"My goal is to take care of individual patients as if they're my family and I charge a reasonable fee for high quality service," Dr. Harris says.

Perry Hunt was in constant pain and eating Advil like candy. He needed a hip replacement but his health insurance wouldn't cover it and the surgery cost $70,000. He went to Medibid and for a $25 fee, explained what he needed done. Dr. Harris came back with a bid of $21,000 for the same procedure.

" I read a lot of reviews and every review I read was positive so I knew this was going to be my guy," Hunt says.

" I was underbid by another surgeon by I think $6,000 but he found value in what I had to offer and came to me for that reason," Dr. Harris says.

Dr. Harris says potential patients have to come and see him for a full evaluation before he'll take their case. But Medical Ethicist, Dr. Arthur Caplan, thinks a medical auction is a lot of risk to take with your own life. Dr. Caplan says says the idea of bidding on the internet may sound great to some people but cheaper in medicine often means not as good.

"We have more information when we buy a car at an auction than we do when we buy a surgeon at auction," Dr. Caplan says.

But Perry Hunt says he's happy. He's got a new hip and saved $50,000.