One of the reasons I wanted to start my own practice and not deal with insurance is I have some real problems with the way we price, deliver and pay for healthcare in this country. One of many issues in our healthcare system is the difficulty of knowing the cost of your care before you receive it, and the pricing practices this leads to. I frequently encourage patients to ask around about pricing for services rather than just take my word for where they are likely to get the best price and service.
Recently I had a patient quoted “$500-600” to get a basic x-ray at an area hospital. This quote did not include the review and interpretation by a radiologist; the person the patient spoke to did not have access to that information. That patient paid $90 at Xray Associates of New Mexico’s Farmington imaging center. The radiologist’s report was faxed to my phone soon after the X-ray was taken. I reviewed the images in my office via a secure online portal; the quality was excellent.
Many patients aren’t aware they have the ability to shop around for outpatient services. In this case, a bit of a drive saved hundreds of dollars.