How You Can Save in the Long Run by Seeing a Primary Care Doctor
Dec. 6, 2016 at midnight
Families are predicted to spend around $18,000 on their health care plans and expenses in 2016, so finding ways to trim down the cost without sacrificing care is essential for people living within a budget. Working with a primary care physician that treats the entire family is one of the best ways to maintain the same level of care while spending less money. A primary care doctor helps you control medical expenses in these five different ways.
Preventing Costly Illness
First, sticking to a routine of regular tests and screenings allows you to catch the earliest cases of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. By finding the first warning signs of a disease, you can get advanced treatment with the highest possible rates of success. You'll also spend less for those early treatments, resulting in life-long medical savings.
Handling a Wide Variety of Treatments
Primary care doctors do more than you think. If you choose a family doctor to handle your main medical needs, you can schedule a full gynecological checkup, have a simple biopsy done on a suspicious mole, and discuss your recent insomnia all in the same visit. This can save you hundreds of dollars on co-pays and office visits fees when it condenses multiple appointments into a single visit to one doctor.
Reducing Travel Expenses
Speaking of simplifying your medical appointment calendar, consider all the costs associated with seeing doctors spread across your local region. Many people living outside of major cities have to travel 20, 30, or even 50 miles each way to see a specialist. Moving as much care as possible to a closer primary care doctor allows you to trim down transportation costs, especially if you're relying on taxis or medical transport companies to take you to your appointments.
Controlling Redundant Testing
When you spread your care out over too many different offices and tracking systems, you end up with three blood tests to measure the same markers of a disease. This is taxing to your body and to your insurance policy or personal spending account. Seeing your primary care physician regularly allows you to have a single person overseeing your entire medical care, reducing the amount of redundant or outright unnecessary testing and procedures. Many health insurance plans set a limit on the number of blood tests or similar procedures allowed each year, so making the most of each one is essential for staying within your spending limits.
Referring for Discounts
Some doctors also offer discounts upon referring a patient to a specific specialist. When you're paying out of pocket for all or some of the treatment, an extra 10% or 25% off can make a huge difference in what you're billed. Look for doctors working within a single discount plan or similar system to take advantage of referral bonuses and benefits. If nothing else, a primary care doctor can help you find a specialist who is definitely worth paying at their full rates.
Take control of your health care spending with the help of a primary care doctor. Managing your medical treatment directly with a single coordinator is a practice that pays off for your entire life.