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Old 10-07-2019, 12:49 PM
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Default "Pay up front" medical care website saves me $$$$



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I have a high deductible medical policy. $6500/year.

For the past 6 years, I haven't reached the point where my yearly medical expenses were covered by my insurance.

Most of what I have done yearly is routine (I attend a cardiologist). Twice a year, he orders a fasting blood test and an ultrasound.

Doing some internet research, I found a site that gets you in contact with the cheapest medical providers. If you pre-pay for the procedure.

The website I used was MDsave, but there are others out there.

For a fasting blood test, I have always gone to my local hospital. They charge $253 for this procedure.

Using MDSave, it got me in touch with a local clinic that charges $53.10.

Last year my local hospital charged $1923 each for two cardiac ultrasounds.

Using the "direct pay" website, I got in touch with a clinic that does it for $453.

I'm assuming the savings comes from the fact that the providers don't have to go through the process of submitting insurance, etc.

It also brings some competition between these medical providers for business.

I was wondering what others think of using these "pre-paid" medical services? Advantages? Disadvantages? What your experience has been.

My opinion is that it is the perfect solution for high medical costs. Good old "free market" principles. Being applied to medical care.

Don't "feed the Beast" of the medical insurance industry.


Thoughts? Opinions?
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:50 PM
dmas dmas is offline
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Periodically my local hospital has fasting blood tests for $10. Just show up. Line in the morning but clears up by afternoon so best here to go late.
Just checked the hospital website, fasting test is $15, check vitamin d level $40. Also has medicare seminar, you have to sign up before 65 even though social security isn't till 66+ several months for me. They are pushing stop the bleed classes, 2 hours.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:10 PM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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I would absolutely do that.

I pay for a lab that only deals with cash patients (Any Lab Test Now) and my lithium levels and complete blood work are less than $200 a year. They are good at the stick, too. They are even near a delicious food place so I can quickly eat when I'm done.

I recently called my husband's pain doctor because I get pretty severe migraines, wanted to see if they could see me right before/after they do him. $250 a visit for "self pay". That is insane.

My psychiatrist has a plan $50 cash a visit, 4 times a year (for me), that's it. That is the way we should do mental health in this country.

If I knew it was a good plan I would do something like that, assuming I needed something done. So far (paws crossed) I am pretty healthy aside from my "condition".
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:15 PM
Fire_fighter Fire_fighter is offline
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Good!!!

Its been an unspoken thing in the medical community for a few years now, if you find the right Dr, you can pay cash and avoid a lot of the crap and up charge, glad to see someone is making a business out of it.

Competition and innovation is good for the end user. Mainly, me.
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:24 PM
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I get care at the VA, but...

I've used a couple of the pay-for-a-lab-test websites for a couple of things the VA doesn't generally do, or will only do if you can show a specific need (like by having abnormal lab result(s))

Thanks to the pay-for-a-lab-test lab results, doc is finally working with me on some stuff For now, I still have to get the needed lab(s) via pay-for-lab test(s) website(s) due to the VA getting mad at her when she ordered through the VA lab and the VA cancelling the order Going to take time and effort to get the policy/guidance fixed, but persistence often pays
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:00 AM
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Our doctor offers a program called Direct Patient Care. $130 a month for 4 people paid to her, not insurance companies. We get 12 free visits a year per person, certain other things things free and deeply discounted lab work and tests. Right around 50% off for uncommon ones.

For meds, we took advantage of the Kroger savings club. $72 a year for up to 6 members including pets. It knocks our monthly meds down from around $2500 a month to $60.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:56 AM
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That's something I've learned, it is possible to save big money when shopping around for medical costs. I belong to a health savings group. Members are given methods on ways to save health care costs.

Along these lines yesterday a new health care waste report came out from Humana. The authors believe around 25% of health care spending is waste. That's close to one trillion dollars in unnecessary health care spending! It's a monetary figure that is hard for me to wrap my mind around. So there is lots of room for saving money in health care if one looks for it.


"Study: About one-quarter of healthcare spending goes toward waste, fraud"

https://www.wthr.com/article/study-a...rd-waste-fraud
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:00 AM
Cat wrangler Cat wrangler is online now
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I will check out the site, thank you for posting. There are some labs I would like done for dh and myself but in NY they must be doc ordered. One of two states like that. Dh has tried to get Vit D level checked for a year, the last visit doc ordered, nurse cancelled. He needs to take that issue up with his doc. If there are prepay docs in the area it might possibly work well to actually get the labs done.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranberry View Post
That's something I've learned, it is possible to save big money when shopping around for medical costs. I belong to a health savings group. Members are given methods on ways to save health care costs.

Along these lines yesterday a new health care waste report came out from Humana. The authors believe around 25% of health care spending is waste. That's close to one trillion dollars in unnecessary health care spending! It's a monetary figure that is hard for me to wrap my mind around. So there is lots of room for saving money in health care if one looks for it.


"Study: About one-quarter of healthcare spending goes toward waste, fraud"

https://www.wthr.com/article/study-a...rd-waste-fraud
It's a lot more than a quarter.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:28 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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I saw a lot of examples of that.

The latest would be his blood doctor, running the same old blood tests every month even though I told her he had not been taking his medication.

Pain doctor I can understand due to opioid rules but he could honestly go in 1-2 times a year and get refills if they'd let him.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranberry View Post
That's something I've learned, it is possible to save big money when shopping around for medical costs. I belong to a health savings group. Members are given methods on ways to save health care costs.

Along these lines yesterday a new health care waste report came out from Humana. The authors believe around 25% of health care spending is waste. That's close to one trillion dollars in unnecessary health care spending! It's a monetary figure that is hard for me to wrap my mind around. So there is lots of room for saving money in health care if one looks for it.


"Study: About one-quarter of healthcare spending goes toward waste, fraud"

https://www.wthr.com/article/study-a...rd-waste-fraud
Read the article, and it's very interesting. If anything, they are probably being conservative with the wasted $$$ figure.

I am also interested in the new "medical tourism" industry, where you go overseas to have procedures done. Here's an interesting clip from CBS news about it:



First-class medical care. For literally a FRACTION of the cost in the U.S.

Example: a hip replacement trends about $50,000 here in America. It can be performed in a top hospital in Poland for $12,000. And that includes the trip and the stay. Furthermore, many of these overseas doctors and surgeons are American trained. And even the hospitals are often affiliated with hospitals here in the U.S.

The overpriced medical care in the U.S. is ripe for some "free market" adjustment forces. They finally seem to be coming into play.

Of course, "free market" cannot fix the high cost of everything (emergency procedures, specialized treatments). But for a large amount of medical care, it can really help.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat wrangler View Post
There are some labs I would like done for dh and myself but in NY they must be doc ordered. One of two states like that.
If a certain test cannot be done unless a doctor orders it, just ask your doctor to give the order to you. Or to send it to the provider of your choice. And you can take it to a clinic and have it done. It's just basically a piece of paper. And there is no law that says you have to get it done at the doctor's office or any specific place.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:53 AM
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For expensive medical care... Vietnam or the Philippines. Most of the doctors from both locations, are trained here in the U.S.


Same goes for expensive dental care.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:43 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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I think you want to edit that AP to "in" expensive.

It's like the whole wheelchair scam. Last we looked we would be on the hook for 20% of a $700 wheelchair. That's $140 and that was for a base model.

I went on Amazon and found a great "Drive" (they are huge manufacturers of assistive equipment) chair, extra narrow which we needed, for $80 delivered to my porch in 2 days. For $80

**** that. It was an EASY call. And the chair has been abused plenty the last 3 years and still going.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:28 PM
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It's not the copays and routine lab test that bankrupt even people who are prepared. It's a 300K bill for cancer or getting hit by a drunk driver. No time to compare prices when you are bleeding out or rotting from the inside.
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