Heart disease is a costly illness. The CDC estimates cardiovascular disease costs the US $200 billion annually. With such a high cost, it is no surprise this financial stress is often times transferred to patients.
A study recently done by Yale University found that nearly half of Americans under the age of 65 with cardiovascular disease experience financial hardship, directly steaming from medical bills. Moreover, 20% of these individuals say they cannot afford to pay their medical bills at all and cut back on essentials such as food or medication. Hardships were reported even for the insured.
According to the study, the average heart disease patients shells out $2,000 annually in out-of-pocket costs. More than half of this is to cover the cost of their medication.
With such high costs and an unpredictable burden, it is more important than ever for healthcare consumers to be aware of cost as a factor in seeking care.
Here are a few tips to cutting back on healthcare costs:
Ask for Generics
Many medications have a generic or less expensive version that works just the same. Talk to your doctor about a generic option for your medication. Moreover, different pharmacies may offer different pricing for the same medication. Shop around at different pharmacies to find the best price.
Understand your health benefits, prior to renewing your health insurance
Insurance is a complex world, but one that is worth taking the time to understand. Prior to signing up for health insurance or renewing your current plan, take the time to understand your health benefits. Go beyond looking at just the premiums. Consider the deductible and the network of physicians the plan allows.
Look for a Physician Office that Values Price Transparency
Surprise medical bills are an unfortunate common occurrence in healthcare. With price transparency increasingly being prioritized in healthcare, it is a good time to ask if your provider values your dollar.
How First Coast Cardiovascular Institute (FCCI) Values Price Transparency & Keeps Cost Low:
- No surprise medical bills
You are able to receive an estimate of the cost of your visit, prior to your appointment. This ensures you are prepared for any costs that are coming.
FCCI believes strongly that in the face of hardship, patients should be focused on their health, not the finances. We have created a cost-efficient environment that allows us to offer a slew of cardiovascular testing and procedures at a fraction of the cost, compared to hospital systems.
- Eliminating Unnecessary Medical Care
The Lown Institute estimates the US may be spending $200 billion every year on unnecessary medical care. This is a statistic we are actively seeking to change, starting with ourselves. We compare our utilization of certain cardiovascular tests to the national average and consistently find, that we are under the 50th percentile for utilization. This demonstrates our commitment to responsible utilization of medical care.