To the editor:
Recently my doctor suggested I undergo a couple of medical procedures due to some symptoms I was having that he could not determine the cause. These procedures are only performed by clinics or hospitals that have the highly technical pieces of equipment.
Once the prescription was written and his nurse asked where I would like them performed, I suggested that I would like to shop around.
I have a high insurance deductible and knew that most of the costs would be coming out of my pocket. She thought this was an excellent idea, and gave me the name of a diagnostic clinic in Everett as well as suggesting I check several hospitals.
One hospital offered to perform these procedures for $8,300 with a 20 percent discount if I paid in cash, while the Everett diagnostic clinic quoted me $2,700 with the provision that if I paid in cash it would be $800. Needless to say I chose the diagnostic center that performs these procedures all day long and have a staff that is very well equipped at performing and reading these findings. Did I mention I saved myself a ton of money? What it boils down to is there are experts in the fields of diagnostic testing and other specialty fields that are equipped to only perform these specific procedures.
This tends to keep overhead costs lower and allow the savings to be passed on to the customer. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or health facility what it will cost for certain services. It is up to all of us to be proactive advocates of our own health care. We can stop these spiraling insurance rates from ratcheting skyward if we only make the appropriate inquires.