Thursday, October 11, 2012

Doctor, How Much Will It Cost ?


When you check into your next emergency department you might look for a “menu’ of services’ in the waiting room which elaborate on typical emergency room visits prior to registering. Especially since most emergency Department visits are for routine or urgent care which could just as easily be obtained at a clinic, doctor’s office or Urgent Care Center.


For some there is no choice if it is a true emergency, such as trauma, poisoning, severe allergic reactions, or acute psychiatric condition.  If you call 911 the only option and destination for the patient is the nearest appropriate level emergency department. You don’t get to select “Urgent Care”.

Some facilities do post their fees, and now there is a web site that is purposed toward fees.  CLEAR HEALTH COSTS delivers the goods, however most facilities are in the New York City and San Francisco  metro area.

The landing page offers a variety of large icons to chose from, ranging from Urgent Care, Mammograms, Blood Tests, Cardio Stress Test, Colonoscopy, Lasik, Botox, Pap Smear, Dental Procedures and many more for a total of twenty common procedure, including MRIs.   Clicking on one of the Icons will bring you to the page with a list of facilities and their fees, and locations, and any special features for the facility.

The icons are large and include descriptions and the highest and lowest fees for the procedure as well as the facility. 

gyno3    urgentcarewalkinvisit    lasik

Users will find what is there is easy to find. However it is far from complete, and completely avoids primary care fees, a glaring absence.

There is also no indication if these facilities paid for the links or whether it was from a non-biased accurate survey of patients or the facility itself. The site needs to be vetted to be credible.

It’s a good beginning.  My prediction is this has been a long time coming and hopefully it will expand into many markets.

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