You’re overwhelmed by the high cost of prescription drugs. One of your children has diabetes, your senior relative has heart disease and you were just diagnosed with bronchitis… how do you manage to pay for it all? Filling monthly prescriptions has gotten awful pricey and you’re probably looking for ways to save money.
Save on Medical helps customers save on prescription drugs and medical costs with its handy new prescription price search tool. Pharmacies list their prices so shoppers can compare medication costs at different pharmacy locations near where they live.
Medications for you and your family can cost a pretty penny, especially when some medications are not covered by your health care plan. The Save On Medical Pharmacy Price Transparency Tool will help you and your family save more on the cost of prescription drugs.
Save on Medical Pharmacy Transparency Tool
Young or old, everyone wants to save money on prescriptions. Using the Save on Medical Pharmacy Search tool provides you with a list of the pharmacies in your geographic location that carry the medication you need. No need to travel miles to find lower prescription prices or order through the mail. With Save on Medical, you can find the closest location and lowest prices without calling around to a bunch of different locations.
How to Use the Save on Medical Pharmacy Search Tool
How does the prescription price transparency tool work for the pharmacy? It is really quite simple. Select the “Find Pharmacy” tab by clicking the second tab over the search bar on our home page.
Type in the medication you need along with your city, and state in the search boxes. An example would be Lyrica, Tampa, FL. Then click the green “Search” button. A list of locations for where you can purchase the prescription drug appears. Next select the quantity and dosage for instance 30 quantity and dosage 80 mg, on the left-hand side of the screen. TIP: Click on the amount before selecting a pharmacy.
Often you can find save of $5 to $25 dollars per prescription. A variety of pharmacies and stores are listed CVS, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, supermarkets, and independent pharmacies. Each drug has the amounts and dosages available at the location. Each page lists about 20 pharmacies and often has 5 pages of results for each type drug.
When you decide on an individual pharmacy, you will click “Get Coupon” and have the option of emailing the coupon, printing it off, saving it or texting the coupon code to yourself to take it to the pharmacy for savings. You can call the pharmacy or store to verify the coupon validity before you go. Each pharmacy offers coupons for prescription drugs savings. Prices for drugs range for $30 to $400 depending on what the prescription drug is. Finding ways to reduce medical costs with prescription drugs means using a variety of different tools
You can also request your Save On Medical Prescription Savings Card to be mailed to you at home, that way you can always take advantage of savings without even saving the coupons you find on our site. Keeping this card in your wallet will help you save up to 75% on your next medication.
Don’t pay full price for your prescription drugs and medical procedures stop by Save on Medical and use our handy price transparency tool to find compare costs on prescription drugs.
The healthcare system is highly confusing at the outset, but it’s important for Americans to understand how the health care system works. Those untrained or that haven’t had to go through the process are often confused about how things are done. Yet from the inside, everything appears to make perfect sense. How then can the healthcare system be presented to make sense to absolutely anyone?
For best results, a simple approach is recommended; one that uses simple language and shies away from overly specific medical jargon. So where do we start and what are the important topics to cover?
To begin with, it’s best to explain the portal of entry system.
Explaining the Primary Care Physician
Most everyone has at least some idea about what a primary care physician is. What they may not know is their scope of practice and what their major role is in the healthcare system. The jobs of their staff may also be confusing as in many offices the patient rarely spends more than a few minutes with the actual doctor.
To begin with, it should be explained that a primary care doctor’s purpose is to determine whether the patient’s chief complaint can be solved conservatively (often with no intervention at all) or if it will require the care of a specialist.
For instance, the vast majority of colds, flus, and everyday ailments require no more than rest, fluids, and patience. The treatment in these cases is literally reassurance; the exception is when a patient presents with a compromised immune system (as seen with the very old, very young, or patients with AIDS or autoimmune conditions).
More complicated cases will often result in referral to a specialist. These might include hormonal problems such as hyperthyroidism or more serious conditions such as Triple-A (abdominal aortic aneurysm). In either situation, the best treatment is found elsewhere and the doctor’s main job is to write a referral.
It’s also helpful to understand what types of doctors can perform the role of Primary Care Physician. Nearly everyone knows that doctors with M.D. (Medical Doctor) after their name can act as Primary Care Physicians, only some realize that those with D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) after their name also act as portal of entry providers (depending on state licensing rules).
Some conditions may require more than one type of doctor. This is often confusing to patients because it results in multiple appointments and can be time consuming. What’s important to explain, in this case, is that doctors all have specialties.
Though an Endocrinologist specializes in the endocrine system (hormones), they actually differ to Obstetricians/Gynecologists/Urologists when it comes to sex hormones. Yet both doctors may work together to manage the same patient that has more than one type of hormonal issue.
This is also a good opportunity to explain HIPAA and medical records. To work together, doctors need to communicate with one another. That usually involves sharing records and medical notes, but it can only be done with the patient’s permission. The patient also has the right to withdraw that permission at any time.
Much of this communication is handled digitally today. This affords certain benefits to both the patient and the doctors; patients can more easily obtain their records and so can new doctors. There are certain downsides as well, particularly with large institutions (mostly hospitals) facing the rise of security breaches.
Billing and Insurance
The high costs of medical care necessitate an explanation of the fee schedules we all will inevitably have to deal with at some point. Depending on the specialty, fees can range from relatively affordable (from under $50 for a visit) to thousands of dollars. The costs can usually be broken down to a few things:
Demand for the doctor’s time
Level of specialty required
Cost of materials used*
As with any profession, the busier a doctor becomes, the more valuable their time becomes. This usually results in higher fees. But specialists also demand a higher fee, both because their training is longer and their student loans probably cost more. Additionally, their services are very exclusive and they may have no competition.
One of the harder areas to understand with regards to cost is materials used. For instance, patients might find it hard to grasp why an anti-venom costs them thousands of dollars in the US yet costs under $100 in Mexico. Part of that is because the antidote doesn’t last long and the hospital needs to cover the cost of all the expired anti-venom it throws away while it waits for someone that actually needs it.
Liability is another reason for select high costs. High insurance premiums for doctors drive up costs, but so does responsibility. When someone buys an aspirin over the counter, they’re responsible for that decision and any ill effects they might suffer. When a nurse gives a patient an aspirin, they assume the full liability of anything that happens as a result and that cost is accounted for in the aspirin (overhead is also accounted for).
Office overhead is another concern; employees all need to be paid, the lights need to stay on and equipment has to be maintained and cleaned. All of this explains why what seems like an outrageous bill to a patient is just a drop in the bucket in the cost of healthcare services.
One last area with regards to billing that might warrant an explanation is the difference in cost for customers paying with insurance vs. cash. Many offices offer a discount in exchange for cash payments because it saves the office a great deal of paperwork and time. Insurance doesn’t necessarily pay out immediately and doesn’t always pay the full amount.
Do note that in the US having a dual fee schedule for cash and insurance customers is illegal if not properly reported to insurance companies. Providing discounts or waivers of fees, however, is generally acceptable.
About the Author: Cassie is a blogger and health advocate that writes for eHealth Informer, a site that focuses on blending technology with health and wellness. As someone with a great deal of exposure to the healthcare industry, Cassie frequently finds herself writing about topics ranging from general wellness to actual industry.
It can be difficult decision, determining whether or not to delay a medical procedure if do not have insurance or if your insurance company won’t cover the costs of the procedure you need. For example, if you have a high deductible plan and your child needs surgery, you may be wondering how you will even cover the deductible, not to mention any other existing medical bills.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce the amount of accruing medical debt.
Actually, Speak with the Doctor
One of the first things that you should do is speak with the physician who prescribed the medical treatment. It is important to understand why the treatment is needed, and what your options are.
Is the procedure necessary, or are there other less expensive treatments that can be tried first? Do you need to get a second opinion? Never be afraid that you may upset the physician by requesting a second opinion. A reputable physician will not have any problems with you seeking the opinion of another qualified physician.
In addition, your physician may be interested in seeing what procedures other doctors are using. They may be able to include them in their practice.
If you need assistance to find a physician for a second opinion, you can search online or ask the office nurse. In addition to providing clinical care, nurses with an online BSN degree also provide clerical duties as well.
Know What the Fair Price is for the Procedure
Research to find out what the fair rate or average price is for the procedure. This is the rate that is typically paid by private health insurers. You want to get the average cost of an mri scan in your area, for instance, and the cost should include:
Facility fee (where the procedure will take place)
Professional fee (how much the doctor will charge to perform the procedure)
Keep in mind that a lot of hospitals have extra fees, but independent imaging centers often don’t even charge the facility fees. It is also important to know that there may be some additional fees if the procedure takes longer than expected or complications arise during the procedure. You can also compare Medicaid and Medicare fees by using the Physician Fee Schedule by CMS.
Contact local facilities in your area and start comparing prices. Always try to call a facility during non-peak hours. For some facilities, these are morning hours and for others, they are generally slower after lunch. When speaking with the office representative or an ADU Online graduate nurse, ask about a cash price and be very open about your financial situation.
You may be surprised at the price difference between a cash price and the insurance rate. It is not uncommon for a medical facility to charge you more if you have health insurance. You will need to be flexible because you may be able to get a discount if you pay for the procedure in cash up front.
Chances are you have negotiated when you were purchasing a vehicle or your home, so why would you not negotiate with your medical bills? You will need to keep in mind that if you worked with multiple specialists, you will have to make a few phone calls to different radiology centers, surgery center sand anaesthesiologist offices.
After gathering the prices for each of these services, take the information back to your physician. They may be inclined to match the prices.
Remember to get everything in writing. A nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing can also act as an advocate for you during this process.
Cutting out meat from your diet, even on just one day each week can decrease your risk of heart disease by up to 19%, according to a Harvard University study. Cutting back on meat can also cut your grocery bill.
1. Only shop on the outside of the grocery store
Those middle aisles are where your wallet and your healthy habits go to die. Stay on the outside edges of the grocery store and you’ll get fresh, healthy options at affordable prices. Side note: This is also where the sale displays will be set up!
2. Skip the gym membership and explore fit passes
Big box gym memberships can be expensive and most members don’t even get their money’s worth. Explore using a program like Peerfit (ask your work) or Classpass (can do on your own) because you’ll get more out of your workout and be more apt to go if you’re signed up for a class!
3. Consider a patient financing loan Don’t want to get hit with overdue notices on medical bills or high-interest rates? Parasail Health offers simple monthly payment plans that help you get the care you need without also making you drown in medical bill debt.
4. Ask your HR
Ask your office Human Resources department any benefits you may not be using, like flexible spending accounts, HSAs, prescription discounts, transit cards or fitness memberships.
5. Start biking
Don’t pay for cabs or gas, if you are within a couple miles, just bike to your destination instead. Don’t have a bike? Invest in one you’ll be happy to ride, or see if your city has memberships to rent bikes!
6. Don’t smoke
This seems like a no-brainer, between the high costs for tobacco, the dirty looks you’ll get from your friends and the expensive health risk that come along with tobacco use, it doesn’t seem worth it.
7. Follow the 2/30 rule
Limit your TV watching to two hours a day and be sure to do at least 30 minutes of exercise, this can be a brisk walk, weight training or a high-intensity workout like Beachbody or cardio.
8. Drink more water
Instead of ordering a soda at lunch or sugary juice at breakfast, just opt for water. People say to get 8 glasses per day, but to determine how much you should be drinking, just divide your body weight in half, and that’s how many ounces you should consume each day.
9. Shop on a full stomach
Don’t go to the grocery hungry or everything will look too delicious to pass up. Take your list with you and don’t deviate from it, this will help you stay on budget.
10. Orange you glad we’re halfway through? Many studies point out that the simple act of SMELLING an orange can reduce stress. The vitamin C is great for you too to keep your immune system healthy, but smelling it isn’t enough, you’ll have to eat it too!
11. Compare costs of appointments and medical procedures
Don’t just blindly book appointments or medical procedures without finding out about the price first. Patients no longer have to go in to health care providers without an idea of what their final bill will be like, patients can shop for health care now.
12. Portion Control
Just because you make a full plate of food, doesn’t mean you have to eat it all at once, save the second half for lunch the following day.
13. Meal Prep
The simple act of planning out your meals throughout the week will keep you from binging on expensive meals out with friends or grabbing takeout on the way home from work because you’re too tired to cook.
14. Use Pinterest
That’s right. Feel free to play on Pinterest. Make a board of health foods and recipes and only buy the necessary items at the grocery store.
15. Stay home on a Friday night
Your friends will understand and don’t let the FOMO (fear of missing out) get the best of you, stay in and save money or detox every once in a while. Your wallet and body will thank you later.
16. They find an awesome water bottle
Find a big water bottle that you like and is easy to carry around with you. This will remind you to get your ounces in and you won’t have to spend money on water bottles.
17. Don’t avoid annual check-ups
By skipping your check-ups and annual appointments, you are putting yourself at the risk of missing important health info. This could also lead to steeper medical bills down the line, if you think about a $30 co-pay versus thousands of dollars in hospital bills, it’s an easy decision!
18. Take your vitamins
Vitamins can be expensive but if you know where to find deals, like at VitaMe, you can make sure you’re saving money and getting the best vitamins for YOU.
19. Take your lunch to work
Bring the ol’ brown bag lunch to the office. You’ll want to eat those prepped meals after all and you can save money eating in instead of going to the deli down the street. This doesn’t mean you can’t get away from your desk though, find a table or nice bench outside and get some fresh air while you have your lunch!
20. Splurge on a juicer or smoothie blender
It will be an expensive move on the front end, but getting a juicer or a smoothie blender can save you tons down the line as cold pressed juices can be expensive! They are also a healthy way for you to get your fruits and veggies on the go.
The implementation of information technology has really changed our healthcare landscape. Patients can now have a detailed medical history kept in the cloud, where it is accessible at all times. Granting access to a full medical history is as simple as creating a temporary login for the physician in charge. Access to other healthcare information such as insurance and support services is also widely available online. Save On Medical is a good example of how technology has made finding the best healthcare services easier.
As more technological advancements get implemented across the health care industry, concerns about privacy and information security continue to appear. Where do we stand on these two matters?
HIPAA and Information Security
The healthcare industry is actually quick in implementing security measures during the implementation of health IT. The industry is used to safeguarding patients’ information, so transforming existing standards to protect the cloud where electronic records are stored was not really a problem.
The introduction of HIPAA also adds a more defined set of standards to follow when it comes to privacy and information security. All solution providers must follow the same set of standards and be HIPAA-compliant before they can start offering solutions and systems to health service providers.
As far as the systems are concerned, privacy and information security are never an issue. That said there are still possible areas where information leaks and theft could occur, along with a number of ethical problems that need to be addressed before the transformation is completed.
Knowing How to Protect Your Medical Information
You, the consumer-driven patient, are holding the most important key to protecting your medical information. EHRs are usually encrypted and patients can use their own encryption key for maximum security. The same can be said for cloud-stored electronic health records. Patients can choose to grant temporary access to the doctor or physician in charge if necessary. This is usually done by creating a temporary user with proper access clearance.
New access management and information security systems are also adding advanced controls and features, putting security further ahead. These features are designed to give patients maximum control over information security, including how EHRs are stored and accessed. Even better, your entire set of EHRs can also be stored offline for safe keeping. Should the servers fail, you will still have a copy of your medical records.
Ethics and Situational Problems
According to studies compiled by Ohio University and its online MHA program, there are situations that can potentially lead to ethical dilemmas. When a patient is incapable of granting access to his or her EHRs, for instance, should the doctor be allowed to access the information anyway?
Since the implementation of information technology in healthcare is yet to reach its mature stage, there will still be plenty of similar questions to answer. Thankfully, the online master of healthcare administration in strategy department and the innovation department are working together with government entities to come up with the best answers. It is safe to say that privacy and information security will never be a concern; at least not in the near future.