Your doctor doesn't know how much a pill, brace or procedure will cost. It'll have to be up to you, the patient, to do some research if you want to save money. Luckily there are an increasing number of tools available to help you compare prices and quality.
Recently a client told me she paid $200 for a prescription at Safeway. We looked it up on www.goodrx.com and found that she could've ordered it online for less than $60.
Another client is looking at getting knee replacement surgery and assumed that CPMC would be the best place to get it. But doing some online research on Consumer Reports, it looks like St. Mary's Medical Center has the highest outcomes ratings in the SF Bay Area.
You can try your insurer's website first, at least they'll narrow it down to locations that are within the provider network. Consumer Reports also has been collecting quite a bit of data on cost and quality in the "California Healthcare Compare".