None of us can say without a doubt that we will never visit a doctor. This blog offers insights for everyone with and without health insurance.
If you are an out of pocket patient, please ask up front for the ‘cash pay rate’ then negotiate terms. Ask about partial payment, schedule, or a discount for all up front. Be sure to get a receipt that says paid in full, so no add-ons are mentioned later. It is smart to have an idea of the cost of medical condition treatments, so go to these 2 websites: clearhealthcosts.com and healthcarebluebook.com. Compare rates and procedures dependent on your location, from MRI to vasectomies.
BE aware that having a procedure/test in a hospital can cost 10-20 times more than at specialized facility out patient center. Many facilities are associated with hospitals but are off-site. Routine tests such as imaging studies, diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopy, gastroscopy can be done safely and efficiently at these facilities. Non-hospital facilities are audited and accredited by the Joint Commission. Ask and check if the facility meets standards for:
- Ambulatory Health Care
- Surgery Centers
- Office-Based Surgery
- Imaging Centers
- Sleep Centers
- Urgent Care Centers
The ordering physicians may have a preference, others will leave it up to you but your insurance has it’s preferences, so ask.
Filling a prescription? – When taking a generic drug, paying cash is more often than not less expensive than the co-pay of your prescription insurance plan. It is well worth checking the list for $4.00 medication on Target, Wal-Mart, Costco websites. Sadly if you are on Medicare you do not have this option. Comparison-shopping can save!
We welcome sharing your experiences from medical encounters.