Hello, my name is Gregory. When I was a young lad, I had to enter the health care world in an unexpected way. I developed a serious disease out of the blue that took doctors by surprise. I went through so many different testing procedures before my doctors could diagnose the rare disease. Everyone around me reeled as they tried to understand the purpose and process of the diagnostic tests. I hope to help others understand these important tests better through this website. Please come by often to learn all you need to know about medical diagnostics and working closely with health care professionals.
Whether you are in the process of selecting an insurance plan or are trying determine the most cost-effective use of your current plan, every decision can have a long-term impact on your health and finances. Making strategic decisions is necessary to keep your costs manageable and your quality of care high, so keep the following information in mind.
Type Of Primary Care
If you have a new insurance plan, you may need to select a new primary care provider (PCP). As an adult, there are advantages to choosing an internist as your PCP. Ideally, you will see the same doctor for many years, and your needs will likely change over the years. Although doctors specializing in general practice, family medicine, and internal medicine are all trained to handle a broad range of medical issues, internists receive more training in chronic disease management and the interrelations between various medical issues. Since internists are trained to handle a wide variety of unique situations, they are often better able to diagnose chronic diseases, even without the typical presentation of symptoms.
Whenever possible, you may want to choose a PCP from a medical group or practice with a range of physicians in different specialties. If you ever need specialist care, it is much easier to find a physician that takes your insurance when you have several options within the current network. Additionally, when physicians work for the same medical group or hospital network, it is often easier dealing with transferring records, and there is less overlap in your care. When you need to see a specialist, you want the specialist to pick up where the previous doctor left off. If you already had blood work or diagnostic imaging tests, doctors within the same network may be less inclined to repeat these tests.
Urgent Medical Needs
Anticipating urgent medical needs before they happen is the best way to deal with problems in a cost-effective manner. You likely want an insurance plan that covers urgent care centers, since they are typically less expensive than an emergency room visit. Make sure you know the requirements for urgent care before you need them. Some insurance plans require pre-authorization before going to the emergency room or urgent care center.
If the medical concern is not life-threatening, you may find yourself paying completely out of pocket for an emergency room visit if you were not pre-authorized. You should also determine which hospitals in your area are covered by your insurance. When given the option, you may need to go to a specific hospital, even in an urgent situation, for it to be covered by your insurance.
Imaging And Minor Procedures
If there are freestanding and outpatient medical facilities in your area, try to find an insurance plan that covers these facilities. When you need diagnostic imaging or minor procedures, the costs can be less when they are performed in these facilities instead of a hospital. Consider asking your insurance company if they have a preferred location for diagnostic imaging and minor procedures. If so, your doctor may be willing to refer you to a specific location.
If your yearly medical costs are low and you have a high deductible, you may find it is more cost-effective to not file your insurance when you buy prescriptions. Many generic medications for chronic disease management and minor infections are usually available at a low cost at major pharmacies. Additionally, the availability of drug discount cards can make your out-of-pocket costs for some medications lower than your co-payments. Similarly, unless you have significant vision problems, the yearly costs of adding vision coverage may be more than utilizing discount optometrists for your vision correction needs.
Everything from choosing a doctor to finding the most cost-effective facilities covered by your insurance should be done before you need services. Strategic selection and use of your medical insurance can improve satisfaction with your medical care and prevent unnecessary expenses. To learn more about what insurance is accepted and what services are available, contact local clinic likes Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.