Just because your doctor is affiliated with, is an employee of, or located on the grounds of a hospital that doesn’t mean you have to have your lab, X-ray, CAT scan, MRI, or physical therapy-occupational therapy work done there. In fact the order may even be written on a pad that has the hospital logo and you still can shop around for the best price. Yes, shop just like you would for anything else.
I am simply amazed that patients don’t even try; they just blindly go where told. We have many choices in our area for services and at a lower cost.
Another tip is to stay out of the emergency room. Emergency rooms are for heart attack, strokes or trauma like gunshot wounds. Basically it should be a life threatening reason. You should not be going to the ER for a sore throat, ear infection or a toothache. If you’re a CCU student who partied too much the night before, stay out of the ER. Your parents will thank you. Use the on-campus health services.
Yes, I understand the hospital ER must see you even if you have no insurance but they’re really only required to give you a screening exam. Their liability concerns are going to have them running tests the costs of which will stagger you. We have plenty of urgent care doctor’s offices available and open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
These tips work if you have insurance or not because even if you have insurance your negotiated rate is going to be based off the initial charge so it stands to reason a lower charge will carry lower deductibles and co-insurance amounts. I know this is a major change for many people but it’s time to take responsibility for the amount of money we as a people are spending on health care.