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Health Care Hacks Ep. 5 – ER, Urgent Care, Office Visits: Breaking Down the Costs


My throat is really sore, where should I go to see the doctor? Should I go to Urgent Care? Should go to the MinuteClinic? Should I go to the emergency room? Should I just a schedule an appointment with my doctor tomorrow? In this episode of Health Care Hacks, we're going to talk about where you should go from a financial perspective Hi my name is Jon, I'm your health care hacker

I am NOT a doctor I just know money So if you're sick, talk to a professional, but I want you to understand some of the financial impacts those decisions of where you go If you're really sick, you need to seek care right now, you go to the emergency room Th at's, a lot of times, a very appropriate place to go

However, just realize that's the most expensive You're going to end up paying, first off, a lot for the emergency room facilities, and then also the doctors are typically billing separately So just by going to the emergency room it's going to cost you several thousand dollars The next most expensive is urgent care You've seen a lot of these pop up

They've got shorter hours, they don't see quite as critical condition type people, they usually have higher co-pays or higher cost than just going to your doctor's visit You can always schedule an appointment with your doctor Now, sometimes that's not feasible If I've got a sore throat, I don't want to wait a week to see my doctor, but in some areas where you can wait, that might make the most sense, because then it'll be treated like a typical office visit and you can just pay your copay, your deductible, etc, which would probably be just a couple hundred dollars And finally, there's a minute clinic or some sort of retail clinic

These have been popping up in, a lot of times, in many retail stores around the country These are cheap ways for simple tests I've got three young kids, they get sore throats all the time, especially since school started I don't want to go to emergency room and wait for hours to see a doctor, so when they come home with a sore throat, a lot of times we'll just take them to a retail clinic, just to do a swab to see if they got strep throat It's a relatively easy way to seek care, that's also the most cost effective

I can't give you answers on where to go, I just want you to understand that there's big cost differences, you know, typically you're gonna pay two to three times more for the emergency room than you are for Urgent Care And Urgent Care gets then two or three times more then you gonna spend for your doctor's office There's also the option of doing teledoc, or nurse hotlines A lot of employers have these programs allow that you, again for simple things, to schedule a visit very convenient to do, over your computer, over the phone, to see if you need an antibiotic A lot of times for strep throat, urinary tract infections, or just overall the flu and cold, they can get you that first level care

Now they may still send you to a doctor, but at least they can get the simple things taken care of A lot of times, for many employers, you don't pay anything for those visits they're free, so take advantage of them, if it makes sense for you If you have questions about how to save money or problems you're facing with health care dollars, email us on the address on the screen

Source: Youtube

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