Expert Articles

Why we need to be Consumers of Health Care Services

John Foley

Rogers & Gray Insurance

Health care is one of the few things that people purchase and never know the real cost of. If most consumers paid for medical services and procedures just as they pay for other consumer goods—out of pocket—they might pay more attention to quality, cost and value.

The issue becomes getting information into the consumer’s hands on what certain Medical Procedures cost, if there are different cost at different facilities and the most important cretiria – Quality of Service.  We are talking about our Health and wellbeing.

I’m going to list the Actual Cost of certain Medical Procedures-These costs are not specific to MA or even the East Coast…these are estimates based on a National Average.

The Actual Cost of Medical Procedures

Many consumers would be surprised to learn what medical procedures really cost. Here are some typical prices for health care procedures in the United States (when not specified, assume patient is an adult 21 years of age or older):

 

Maternity – Regular Delivery, 21-45 years: $8,989

Maternity – C-Section, 21-45 years: $13,603

ER Visit: $749

Colonoscopy, 52-80 years: $1,056

Cardiac Stress Test: $239

Chest X-Ray: $82

Mammogram – Women 40-69 years: $231

MRI: $1,055

CT Scan: $1,031

Source: Thomson Reuters MarketScan® Research Databases

It’s no secret that health care costs are rising. A number of factors contribute to these increasing costs—some of the biggest contributors are listed below.

Increasing Pharmaceutical Costs and Use

Health care costs are growing in part due to the increased use of prescription drugs, and an increase in the number of newer, more expensive drugs that are prescribed.

New, Expensive Medical Technology

New medical devices, diagnostic tests and medical imaging tools are enabling doctors to deliver care that would have been impossible in years past.

 Chronic Care

The health care system is primarily geared toward providing acute care and curing diseases. However, many people need care for chronic conditions. Chronic conditions are the major cause of illness, disability and death in the United States, and they account for a significant portion of health care spending.

 An Aging population

We are getting older as a nation and therefore Health Insurance rates are increasing.  Additional testing, procedures and long term care are all factors in the increasing cost of Health Insurance for all of us.

What can we do….

Each of us need to ask questions of  our Physician about the need for certain test.  We need to research and shop around for the best quality and best price. We need to become more active and take a “wellness” approach to our individual lifestyle…a better, well balanced diet.  Each of these factor can impact our “Out of Pocket” cost and save thousands of dollars in claim expenses each year. We can become better consumers of Health Care Services, we need to change our thought process and research items.  If we can utilize technology and search for the best deal on procedures- we will save money on Health Care Service.

By John Foley, Rogers & Gray Insurance Agency

Founded in 1906, Rogers & Gray is one of the top 10 independently-owned insurance agencies in Massachusetts. With 8 offices throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and a staff of more than 100 insurnce professionals, Rogers & Gray has direct relationships with dozens of insurance carriers to best represent the interests of their Personal, Business and Employee Benefits clientele. Learn more at rogersgray.com.

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