It can be difficult decision, determining whether or not to delay a medical procedure if do not have insurance or if your insurance company won’t cover the costs of the procedure you need. For example, if you have a high deductible plan and your child needs surgery, you may be wondering how you will even cover the deductible, not to mention any other existing medical bills.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce the amount of accruing medical debt.
Actually, Speak with the Doctor
One of the first things that you should do is speak with the physician who prescribed the medical treatment. It is important to understand why the treatment is needed, and what your options are.
Is the procedure necessary, or are there other less expensive treatments that can be tried first? Do you need to get a second opinion? Never be afraid that you may upset the physician by requesting a second opinion. A reputable physician will not have any problems with you seeking the opinion of another qualified physician.
In addition, your physician may be interested in seeing what procedures other doctors are using. They may be able to include them in their practice.
If you need assistance to find a physician for a second opinion, you can search online or ask the office nurse. In addition to providing clinical care, nurses with an online BSN degree also provide clerical duties as well.
Know What the Fair Price is for the Procedure
Research to find out what the fair rate or average price is for the procedure. This is the rate that is typically paid by private health insurers. You want to get the average cost of an mri scan in your area, for instance, and the cost should include:
- Facility fee (where the procedure will take place)
- Professional fee (how much the doctor will charge to perform the procedure)
- Anaesthesia fee
Keep in mind that a lot of hospitals have extra fees, but independent imaging centers often don’t even charge the facility fees. It is also important to know that there may be some additional fees if the procedure takes longer than expected or complications arise during the procedure. You can also compare Medicaid and Medicare fees by using the Physician Fee Schedule by CMS.
Contact local facilities in your area and start comparing prices. Always try to call a facility during non-peak hours. For some facilities, these are morning hours and for others, they are generally slower after lunch. When speaking with the office representative or an ADU Online graduate nurse, ask about a cash price and be very open about your financial situation.
You may be surprised at the price difference between a cash price and the insurance rate. It is not uncommon for a medical facility to charge you more if you have health insurance. You will need to be flexible because you may be able to get a discount if you pay for the procedure in cash up front.
Chances are you have negotiated when you were purchasing a vehicle or your home, so why would you not negotiate with your medical bills? You will need to keep in mind that if you worked with multiple specialists, you will have to make a few phone calls to different radiology centers, surgery center sand anaesthesiologist offices.
After gathering the prices for each of these services, take the information back to your physician. They may be inclined to match the prices.
Remember to get everything in writing. A nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing can also act as an advocate for you during this process.