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It Costs How Much??

Just how much does it cost to go to the doctor these days?  Iím not talking about a big visit with lots of tests for a serious condition.  Iím talking about spending five minutes with a doctor to look at your sore throat.  You know the visit Iím talking aboutÖyou wait 15 minutes in the lobby, are escorted back to a treatment room where the nurse inquires about why youíre here (oh and just for fun they may weigh you!), you wait another 15 minutes for the doctor, who finally comes in, reads the chart, looks in your throat, scribbles on a prescription pad, tells you to come back in five days if itís not better and leaves.  How much is THAT doctor visit?  $50?  $75? $20? $100?

For those of us with health insurance, itís probably closer to $20.  Real cost?  Likely to be $100.00 or more.

If the full cost is so much more, why would I suggest $20?  Because most of us with health insurance pay a nominal amount for a doctor visit with the rest paid by insurance.  So, for most of us, going to the doctor is a $20 decision.  And letís face it: if you feel crummy and arenít sure if you should go to the doctor or not, $20 isnít much to pay to seek treatment for your condition.  If itís only $20, we usually go to the doctor.

And that, in a nutshell, is one of the biggest drivers of the nationís rise in healthcare costs Ė increased utilization.  You see, when we arenít responsible for the whole cost or even aware of the full cost of medical, we use far more services than are actually medically required. 

So, beginning today, decide to be a better consumer of healthcare! 

  • ASK about the full cost of doctor visits and procedures
  • ASK what the doctor hopes to learn and what action will be taken based on the results of recommended tests
  • TRY over-the-counter medications for colds and other minor medical inconveniences first.

Making conscientious health-care decisions today will help keep health costs in check for the future!