Buying generic drugs instead of brand names can save patients a lot of money. The same can be said of low-cost medical treatments. While 80 percent of doctors will prescribe generic medication to save patients cash, not nearly as many will suggest low-cost treatments. According to the Center for Health System Change and the University of Chicago, only about half -- 51 percent -- of the doctors surveyed told their patients that lower-cost diagnostic testing was available, while just 40 percent recommended outpatient treatment rather than hospitalization [source: U.S. News & World Report]. The lesson here is to speak up and ask your doctor if low-cost treatments are available.