But even when our office is one fo the few with a " Pay As You Go" (cash) program increasing accessibility to medical care, our Direct Care Membership might make much more sense to obtain medical care. Let's see why. 1. This option is only available to people who really need to see the doctor once a year ( as they do not take medications, don't need to have repeat blood tests, and are in optimal health). They just want their physical exam or well woman exam annually. 2. Chances that something out of the norm will happen to these folks will be "minimal" , and won't need to call me at all in the interim.They may risk it and go to the ER or Urgent Care.
But is this indeed the norm? Not really, But if you are one of those, you may think covering a monthly membership fee for this is plain crazy, out of you comfort zone, or represents an unnecessary out of pocket expenses. Maybe! Maybe not!
3. Check this example out:
Young female visits Doctor X. She is uninsured , healthy, without risk factors and just wants an annual exam. Wants to avoid a county clinic (which is always an option) or a non profit organization:
First Office Visit $150 (some gynecologists may charge up to $250)
Blood Work with urine analysis (basics) : $150
PAP cytology: $200
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea (based on age) $100
Total: $500-$600* (low side of estimate)
(*If no further discussion is needed with the physician (everything is normal)- this patient will get a call and be advised by the office or medical assistant that 'everything is ok' (what does that really mean, anyways?).
All done! But, ouch! Some lab results are off! She must visit the doctor again.
Follow Up Visit Up to $100 ( or more?)
New testing: $XX.XX (repeat test for example)
New total: $585-$685 plus $XX.XX (if applicable)
Three months later she gets a bladder infection and needs antibiotics. Unless she decides to take a risky chance in self administering the 'leftover" antibiotics from last bronchitis (not advisable), she MUST visit the doctor again. Follow Up visit: Up to $100 Urinalysis-$20 (or more) Urine Culture - up to $100 Subtotal: $220
New total: Over $850 (now she has spent $200 more than with her membership at Innova.
For only $50/mo ( less than $2/day) she could have received 'all of the above' plus:
1. Still have unlimited visits if needed later for urgent issues (saving pricey urgent care fees obtained from unfamiliar clinicians)
2. More than basic blood tests
3. In house tests at no extra charge
4. Full and detailed discussion of results with treatment options.
5. Have a preventive program in place where the natural and standard remedies meet.
6. Have a thorough, personal and advocating doc 24/7 without having to miss work unnecessarily. 7. And much more. Got it?