5 Tools patients can use to save money in Healthcare

Due to the rising cost of healthcare, Higher deductibles and out-of-network fees more and more patients are looking for ways to save money while still getting high-quality health care.


Whether you are insured or not, it is important you make a well-informed decision regarding your health.


We have gathered five tools that you can use in order to save money.


1. Consider Telemedicine Visit


Patients can save a significant amount of money by opting for a telemedicine appointment. These virtual visits are more time and cost effective than a traditional visit in some cases.


For instance, if you have a non-emergency question regarding your health and are considering going to the emergency room or urgent care, a video-conferencing appointment makes more sense in this case. You will be able to communicate with your physician in a reasonably timely manner.


Telemedicine appointments typically cost approximately between $30 to $50, as opposed to $100 for an in-person visit to a doctor’s office or $160 at an urgent-care clinic. And this is assuming your insurance does not cover these visits.

2. Check prescription prices online with GoodRx


Before you have your doctor send in an e-prescription or you take your prescription to your local pharmacy, you could check for prices online with websites such as GoodRx. Since drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies, it is difficult to know which will give you the best price.


Luckily, GoodRx allows patients to search the price for a prescription drug, and even obtain coupon discounts for multiple pharmacies.


According to their site, you are able to compare prices for FDA-approved prescription drugs at more than 70,000 national pharmacies, find free coupons to use and show you the lowest price at each pharmacy near you.


This tool can become very handy and will help you make better and more cost-effective decisions when it comes to your health care.

3. Check lab test prices online


Just like searching for competitive prices for prescription drugs online, you could also check how much it would cost to get a lab test done before letting your doctor order it. Consult with your doctor if it’s absolutely necessary since in some cases your condition might resolve itself before ordering an expensive lab test.


Sites such as Walk-in labs, healthlabs, PriceCheck tool, etc, get data on lab test prices from the marketplace or patient crowdsourcing allowing you to make the best decision based on your budget.


These tools will also allow you to find out if you could pay with cash for certain lab test. Surprisingly, in some cases, CAT scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds will have reduced fees if paying with cash.


Walk-in Labs, for instance, offers a blood test for as little as $24.


4. Estimate your healthcare expense before a procedure


If your physician is suggesting a non-emergency procedure or if you absolutely need to get one, you could use multiple sites online that will give you an estimate of your healthcare expense before you agree to the procedure.


First, find out the exact name of the procedure and how it’s referred to in the medical billing system- you will need a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT code)- You can ask your provider for this code. Next, If you’re insured, start your research is your health plan.


If you are not insured or your health plan is not providing you with all the information, opt for using online sites to search for pricing in your area. Sites such as fairhealthconsumer.org, healthcareblubook.com, changehealthcare.com, or newchoicehealth.com allow you to search for pricing based on rates offered by providers to private insurers or Medicare.

5. Look for a doctor who offers follow up visits online


To reduce travel costs, look for a healthcare provider that offers follow up visits online. Most of the time these follow up visits last less than 30 minutes. The average patient travels an hour each way to see their preferred physician.  


A study by UC Davis found that with the help of Telemedicine a patient could save four hours of time behind the wheel and more than $150 in travel costs over the span of 20 years of medical appointments.


Disclaimer: All the information found in this article are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. This information is not legal or medical advice and the consumer should seek expert recommendation before making any medical decision.

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