The 5 Most Common Sports Injuries (And How Much They Cost)

If you or your child play sports, you are no stranger to athletic injuries. The old adage, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt,” has never been more true. The biggest issue with sports injuries, is when athletes either play through the pain and end up hurting themselves worse or getting back in the game before they are healed. We wanted to highlight the five most common sports injuries, how to identify them, how to get treatment for those injuries and give you an idea of how much the procedures will cost you.

the 5 most common sports injuries and costs


 

  1. Ankle Injuries: Ankle injuries are by far the most common injuries athletes experience, especially in younger female athletes who have weaker ankles. The most common ankle injuries include: Ankle CT Cost in Tampa
  • Ankle Sprain: A sprain happens when the ligaments in your ankle, connecting your bones, either overstretch or tear. Minor sprains are less painful, but a major sprain usually has a complete tear. This often occurs when you roll your ankle or turn it.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – There will be immediate swelling and maybe bruising. It may hurt to touch your ankle or walk on it, but there is no need for medical imaging.
    • Costs – $70 – The average cost to see a doctor at the urgent care clinic.
  • Ankle Fracture: These may be acute fractures (a one-time injury) or a stress fracture, cased by repeated stress on the bone.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – If your pain is severe you should consult a physician to determine if there is an ankle fracture. The doctor will order an X-ray to confirm a fracture and may order a CT scan as well to further evaluate, especially if the fracture is in the ankle joint.
    • Costs – CT Scan in Tampa costs $325 while an ankle X-ray costs between $75-$125.

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  1. Knee Injuries: Over 5 Million athletes go to orthopedic surgeons with knee injuries each year. Depending on the injury, it could mean the end of someone’s athletic career, so appropriately diagnosing knee injuries early is of the utmost importance. There’s a large range of knee injuries with varying severity levels, including: Ankle CT Cost in Tampa
  • ACL Tear: Athletes often tear their ACLs by changing direction too quickly, stopping too fast, while slowing down, jumping and landing incorrectly or in a collision with another player. You will often here a loud pop when the anterior cruciate ligament is torn.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Your doctor will likely order an MRI of the knee to identify an ACL tear. They cannot be diagnosed with an x-ray, though a doctor might do one first to rule out any broken bones.
    • Costs – an MRI in Chicago costs anywhere from $375 to $525, while an X-ray at the same places cost $90 and $105 respectively.
  • Meniscus Tear: A meniscus tear is when there is damage to the discs that cushion your knee, which is usually caused when your knee twists by your foot stays planted on the ground. This is very common in soccer players.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Some of these tears can be healed without surgery, but an MRI will determine if there is a tear and how extensive the tear is.
    • Costs – Prices for a knee MRI in Chicago start at $375.

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  1. Shoulder Injuries: In 2006, AAOS reported that approximately 7.5 million people went to orthopedists for shoulder issues with more than 4.1 million of these patients being diagnosed with rotator cuff injuries. Shoulder MRI Cost Los Angeles
  • Rotator Cuff Injury: The tissues connecting your arm to your shoulder is what makes up your rotator cuff. Injuries occur to this area with repetitive movement or just age in general. Common symptoms include pain at rest and at night, pain when lifting or lowering arms or a crackling sensation with movement.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Early repair is important for an athlete because these can become harder to repair down the line. Your physician will likely order an ultrasound to find tears early on, which can be repaired with a keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) or open surgery.
    • Costs – An ultrasound of the rotator cuff in Orlando costs $225, while the arthroscopic procedure price starts at around $2,139.
  • Shoulder Labral Tear: There at SLAP labral tears (above socket) and Bankart tears (below socket), but each can cause pain with overhead activities, loss of strength, decreased range of motion and instability. These are often caused by direct shots to the shoulder or can occur with throwing.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Shoulder labral tears can be diagnosed with a MR Arthrogram and confirmed with a keyhole surgery (arthroscopy).
    • Costs – The MR Arthrogram will cost $520 in Los Angeles while the arthroscopy in that area will cost $5,805.

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  1. Hip Injuries: Hip injuries affect more than just the elderly, in fact 10% of injuries amount NFL players involved the hip. There are a number of hip injuries to be aware of, including: Hip Xray Cost New York City
  • Hip Labral Tears: The hip labrum is the cartilage surrounding your hip socket. A tear in this essential area will cause pain in the groin and hip and could feel like your hip joint is “catching” with movement.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Your physician will test your hip’s range of motion initially, then could order an X-ray to rule out fractures or other issues and finally order an MRI with contrast injected to define a labral tear.
    • Costs – The hip MRI will cost $475 in New York City, while the hip X-ray would cost just $90.
  • Hip Pointer: A hip pointer injury is painful, but not career-ending for athletes. It’s caused when you get hit or fall on the ground on your side. There will likely be a lot of pain and bruising.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Most hip pointers can be diagnosed without imaging, but a physician may order an MRI and ultrasound to determine the extent of the injury or order an X-ray for younger patients to rule out an avulsion fracture.
    • Costs – The hip MRI in Miami would cost $444, the hip ultrasound would cost $280 and if an x-ray was necessary, the cost would be $90.

Shop Now: for hip MRIs, ultrasounds and x-rays

  1. Shin Splints: Shin splints are very common in runners and are extremely painful. The annoying thing about shin splint injuries is that there is no quick fix treatment and continuing to run just makes them worse.
  • Shin Splints: With shin splits there is a full ache in the front, lower part of your leg that will get worse as you exercise. It’s caused when your muscles swell and build pressure against your bone.
    • Diagnosis/Treatment – Your physician will likely not order any imaging as these are easy to diagnose based on pain and activity. The doctor will recommend ice packs for inflammation, ibuprofen, stretching and cutting high impact running.
    • Costs – No imaging necessary, so your only costs would be for ice packs and ibuprofen!

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Patient Education: What’s The Difference Between an MRI and a CT Scan?

To a patient, learning that they need a diagnostic imaging procedure can be scary, intimidating and also confusing. If you’re unfamiliar with the field of radiology when shopping for your MRI or CT scan, being able to distinguish between different modalities (kinds of diagnostic imaging scans) can be hard to do. Sometimes, you’ll need multiple procedures completed to evaluate the same body part and you might find yourself asking:

  • Did he just say I need a CAT scan? I don’t even have a cat?
  • Are those all just fancy ways to say X-ray?
  • Did that doctor just recite the alphabet, or did she tell me I need an MRI, CT, ABC, MRA, XYZ scan?

Let’s start with the basics, explaining the difference between a CT and an MRI scan.

CT scan stands for Computed Tomography scan, often referred to as a CAT scan. CT scans are images which use tomography to capture them.  Tomography is an imaging technique that creates a 2-dimensional (2D) image of a section of a 3-dimensional (3D) object.

The CT scanner creates a 3D image using digital geometry processing which is a fancy way of saying: the CT scanner takes a bunch of 2D pictures of the same thing at different angles and then puts them together to create the final 3D image.  While a CT Scan is a kind of X-ray, the final image is much more detailed than an X-ray. This is why sometimes your doctor might order a CT scan even though you’ve already had an X-ray, it gives them a better idea of what’s going on with whatever ails you.

A CT scan, on average costs about $325 on Save On Medical or as much as $1,100 at a hospital

Open vs Closed MRI

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging which is an advanced form of diagnostic imaging that uses magnets, radio waves, and a computer to process images of the inside of your body.  MRIs are often the best way to find abnormalities and diagnose diseases in their early stages so patients can get the right treatments.  MRI images are able to show the contrasts between various soft tissues of the body; like the brain, heart or various muscles. MRIs are also often used when looking for cancers. The most notable difference between an MRI scan and CT scan, is that it doesn’t use ionizing radiation like CTs and X-rays.

An MRI costs on average, $450 on Save On Medical or as much as $1,734 at a hospital.

It’s a good idea to ask your doctor which imaging procedure is better for you, so feel free to ask plenty of questions and don’t hesitate to ask if you don’t understand the difference between an MRI and a CT scan. You’re in control of your own health, so be informed and empowered!

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Health Care Price Transparency Grade Report 2015

Last week, The Catalyst for Payment Reform organization released their third report card, grading U.S. states on their level of health care price transparency. Bad news everyone, they are not impressive. With 45 states receiving failing grades, it is clear that we have a long way to go. Two years ago, when the group released their first price transparency report, only 29 states failed, which means some states, have taken steps backwards rather than forwards.

In a survey performed earlier this year, it was found that only one out of three patients actually have access to pricing for medical procedures, yet 80% of those surveyed said they value price transparency as much as they value bed-side manner. Having access to clear costs is so important to patients that over 50% of those surveyed said they would actually change their medical provider just to get better access to price transparency.

We want to give the people what they want. We’re here to say that enough is enough. Starting today, we want the U.S. to adopt better health care price transparency, but where do we start?

health care price transparency

Medical providers have seen the writing on the wall, they know that they have to start showing their prices in order to appease consumer driven patients. It’s hard for doctors and hospitals to accept that the time is now to show costs, but many have gotten on board. The next step is getting state governments to jump on the bandwagon, pushing those who are still apprehensive to adopt full price transparency.

Colorado and Maine received B grades in the report, gaining attention for their legislation over the previous year and their efforts aimed at improving access to prices. New Hampshire is highlighted as the only state to receive an A rating, due in large part to the creation of state-wide website New Hampshire Health Cost. This government website was developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department to improve transparency and while it isn’t perfect yet, it’s a great resource for patients looking to compare prices on medical procedures. These prices are only estimates, but we admire them for taking steps in the right direction.

Some of our most populated Save On Medical states still received failing grades, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for patients. The states might not be on board yet, but many providers are still making it easy for patients to shop online. Shout out to these high quality health care providers in states like Florida, Texas, New York and California! We look forward to next year and hope by then, that patients in every city and state in the United States can Save On Medical.

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The Patient Navigator’s Role In Empowering Patients

The role of the patient navigator is on the rise, but what makes them so valuable and is it time for your health care organization to appoint their own? First, let’s explore what a patient navigator’s role is within a practice or a hospital.

Their job is to serve as a patient’s advocate, empowering and helping patients make the best decisions for the future of their health and care.   Ironically, the patient navigator’s goal should be to become dispensable to the patient because they have helped them become their own advocates.

Whether the patient navigator is focusing on providing and explaining patient resources or guiding the patient along the journey through their illness, this individual can be just as important as the patient’s doctor. With the help of a navigator, patients can get a better understanding of the health care system and their processes, find affordable care options and become more empowered patients.

patient navigators

Patient navigators are key to explaining:

  • Medical terminology
  • Health care technology
  • Costs of care
  • Patients’ needs
  • Options for care

Aside from the assistance they are able to provide to patients, patient navigators are also beneficial to the organizations in which they work. Hiring a patient navigator can help your practice or hospital with quality improvement, assist in decreasing common health care disparities and provide better support for patients during the decision making process while taking some of the stress off of doctors. By sharing the responsibility of patient navigation, physicians and nurse staff are able to focus their attention on serving more patients and providing better overall care.

Patient navigators can often be found in hospitals, cancer centers, surgery centers, radiology centers and clinics. If you’re a patient, be sure to ask your doctor to see if there is a patient navigator on staff who can be available if you have questions, or check out this resource: Patient Navigator. If you are a health care provider interested in adding a patient navigator to your staff, you can get started by exploring these training resources.

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Save On Medical Tackles Consumerism in Health Care

In order for true consumerism to be in effect, the seller of a product or service must ultimately have the interest of the consumer in mind.  We’ve said it before and we will say it again: It should be just as easy to shop for health care procedures as it is to shop for your car, your travel or a pair of shoes.  There’s no question when you are paying for those goods how much it’s going to cost you and you certainly don’t have to worry about surprise costs. So how do we bring true consumerism to health care?

Tackling consumerism in health care is more than just making prices transparent or providing physician quality scores, it’s about finding out what patients want and giving them access to what they expect.

 

health care consumerism for patients

 

What consumer-driven patients expect:

  • To know the full price of the services they are receiving
  • To have access to prices without having to hunt them down or barter
  • For health care professionals to collaborate with one another across the board Ex: Insurance companies, billing departments and physicians
  • To have seamless and easy access to resources such as scheduling and shopping tools online and on-the-go
  • For health care providers to already be ahead of the curve

It was reported by Modern Healthcare that in 2015, 31% of patients paying out-of-pocket for their medical expenses feel powerless, resigned, depressed or angry. This is not the way we want our patients to feel. We want them to feel empowered and happy, because they feel like they are getting a deal on something they need.

It’s not easy for health care providers to adhere to these expectations because it is such a shift from what has been the norm in the health care industry, but patients have the power so we will see the tides turn.  From a patient’s perspective, health care should be a very advanced field. Doctors are performing life saving procedures and scientists are developing innovative technology and cures, but they can’t figure out how to make prices clear to patients? Nothing is every as easy as it seems, but this is definitely a confusing conundrum from their side of things.

As health care providers, we need to do a better job of meeting patient expectations otherwise they will not buy in to any of the tools we build for them. Save On Medical is making consumerism in health care a possibility by turning these expectations into a reality.

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