The cost to talk to a doctor

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graeme
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The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by graeme » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:29 pm

With my previous employer based health insurance, if I wanted to talk to a doctor it would generally cost a $45 copay. My employer now uses a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a deductible of $12,000. When I called to ask what it would cost to talk to my doctor, they said it depends on what's discussed. When pressed, they said the minimum would be around $150 and it could be more than $600 depending on what we talked about. Any tests ordered would be additional, of course.

Have any of you with similar high deductible plans found ways to manage these costs? Have you found ways to estimate the cost to discuss specific topics with a doctor?

zztr87
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by zztr87 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:42 pm

Some plans have tele-medicine options that are considerably cheaper (e.g. TelaDoc). Do you have that available to you? It's not the same thing as being seen in person, but if you just wanted to talk to an MD, that might be a cheaper option.

SimonJester
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by SimonJester » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:42 pm

Mine runs about $150 for a talk. If you try and save the talk for your annual physical you get charged anyways. No way to manage this, just have the talk and see what happens...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

HawkeyePierce
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by HawkeyePierce » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:44 pm

zztr87 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:42 pm
Some plans have tele-medicine options that are considerably cheaper (e.g. TelaDoc). Do you have that available to you? It's not the same thing as being seen in person, but if you just wanted to talk to an MD, that might be a cheaper option.
+1

I’ve been pleased with telemedicine and prices are posted up front. My health plan includes MDLive.

In fact I see a teledoc psychiatrist regularly.

runner3081
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by runner3081 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:07 pm

We have had a HDHP plan for about 7 or 8 years now. The big key thing to remember is to stay in network. If you stay in network, the contractual rate often does a decent job of limiting costs.

Also, when our daughter is sick, we always ask for the nurse visit. The cost is about $50 on our plan, compared to around $100 with an MD or PA/ARNP.

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TheAccountant
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by TheAccountant » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm

My doctor doesn’t charge anything to communicate using email/patient portal. Obviously you don’t want to be the little boy crying wolf and emailing them every week, but when I’ve been genuinely sick I’ve always talked to them through the portal and they never charged me anything.

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
Making cents out of every dollar.

strafe
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by strafe » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:19 pm

TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I think the OP is using “talk to the doctor” as a euphemism for an office visit. The prices would seem to reflect E&M services of varying complexity.

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TheAccountant
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by TheAccountant » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:20 pm

strafe wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:19 pm
TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I think the OP is using “talk to the doctor” as a euphemism for an office visit. The prices would seem to reflect E&M services of varying complexity.
In that case it would make sense to bill the patient.

I’m just wondering why do an office visit when a phone call or email would suffice?
Making cents out of every dollar.

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Bogle7
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Our cost to visit with a doctor/PA

Post by Bogle7 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:43 pm

$20 copay
Kaiser Medicare Advantage
My wife is the same for Kaiser ObamaCare (High deductible, HSA).
Both of us have the lowest premium plan cost possible.
Email is always free.
Last edited by Bogle7 on Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fauxden
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by fauxden » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:48 pm

Depending on the service you need...Can't you shop around a bit? Ask what cash pay is, cut out the insurance? Maybe find an independent Dr ( one that isn't setup to bill via some giant entity, ie a hospital). In my area going to urgent care runs about 120 on my "medishare" Christian care thing we use.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:58 pm

TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:20 pm
strafe wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:19 pm
TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I think the OP is using “talk to the doctor” as a euphemism for an office visit. The prices would seem to reflect E&M services of varying complexity.
In that case it would make sense to bill the patient.

I’m just wondering why do an office visit when a phone call or email would suffice?
What's the difference? Either way, it's using his time that cannot be used to see another patient. Just like an office visit. And the phone conversation still requires him to open your medical records and document your questions and his answers in the chart. Doesn't matter if you're sitting in front of him or on the phone.

sawhorse
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by sawhorse » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:32 pm

$150 to $600 is a huge range. I almost wonder if the staff member was pulling numbers out of thin air. I pay one specialist in cash, and she charges between $75 and $150 except for the first appointment which is $350.

Since you have an insurance plan, as long as the doctor is in the network - make sure you verify with the office before the visit - you get the insurance contracted rates which almost certainly won't run as high as $600.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:51 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:32 pm
$150 to $600 is a huge range. I almost wonder if the staff member was pulling numbers out of thin air. I pay one specialist in cash, and she charges between $75 and $150 except for the first appointment which is $350.

Since you have an insurance plan, as long as the doctor is in the network - make sure you verify with the office before the visit - you get the insurance contracted rates which almost certainly won't run as high as $600.
This is the range from a level 1 to level 5 visit. If this is in-network, then the insurance company dictates those fees.

GUtiger
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by GUtiger » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:02 am

TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm
My doctor doesn’t charge anything to communicate using email/patient portal. Obviously you don’t want to be the little boy crying wolf and emailing them every week, but when I’ve been genuinely sick I’ve always talked to them through the portal and they never charged me anything.

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I don't charge my patients to speak to me over the phone for simple questions, but I'm genuinely interested to understand why you think paying $150 to ask a health question of your doctor is absurd? Certainly, you wouldn't think it absurd if your lawyer charged you for a phone call question?

sawhorse
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by sawhorse » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:12 am

GUtiger wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:02 am
TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm
My doctor doesn’t charge anything to communicate using email/patient portal. Obviously you don’t want to be the little boy crying wolf and emailing them every week, but when I’ve been genuinely sick I’ve always talked to them through the portal and they never charged me anything.

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I don't charge my patients to speak to me over the phone for simple questions, but I'm genuinely interested to understand why you think paying $150 to ask a health question of your doctor is absurd? Certainly, you wouldn't think it absurd if your lawyer charged you for a phone call question?
If it's a simple question, then I think $150 is too much. I would think the same about a lawyer that charged that much. I have a specialist that I traveled to see for the first appointment and now speak with over the phone every 4 months or so. She's one of the best in the field supposedly. She charges $75 for a 15-20 minute call and $150 for a very in depth 30 minute phone call. And she's in a VERY high cost location. I imagine she takes a few minutes to go over my chart first, although I'm not sure how much she prepares because she often starts the conversation with, "Remind me what's going on."

$150 for a simple question over the phone seems excessive. But doctors should be compensated for phone time and should be able to bill insurance for it.

Starfish
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Starfish » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:05 am

A doctor has to generate a certain income per hour. At 400$/h you would need to pay about 100$ per 15 minutes discussion (and that includes the overhead of opening your files and reading them). For a specialist it could be a lot more.

Retired2013
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Retired2013 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:20 am

DW goes to the doctor every three months to talk. The Explanation of benefits (EOB) says the office bills $182 per visit but only $102 is allowed. With a HDHP you would pay the $102 only. Remember, you should be saving on premiums with a HDHP which are then used to pay the $102 medical bill.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:21 am

Starfish wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:05 am
A doctor has to generate a certain income per hour. At 400$/h you would need to pay about 100$ per 15 minutes discussion (and that includes the overhead of opening your files and reading them). For a specialist it could be a lot more.
That's one way to look at it.
It costs me about $250 per hour just to keep my office open without me getting paid.

Nowizard
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Nowizard » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:24 am

Would be billed as an office visit based on time, as has been mentioned. If the issue is related to one you have discussed previously and has a quick, concrete answer, the relationship you have with your doctor would be a factor. Mine would simply answer the question by email at no charge.

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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:05 am

It costs me nothing to talk to my PCP. Though, frankly I wish he would charge.

I have had his cell number for almost as long as I have been seeing him. We have probably called him less than once a year, so no abuse from me in wasting his time.

Truth is, he calls me more than I call him. He calls sometimes in the evening, or on weekends to give me lab results. That just seems to be the way he rolls.

My wound-care doc offered up his cell phone number as well, unasked for by us. I have been a patient of his for almost as long as I have had my PCP.

The two docs are pals, PCP referred me to the wound-care doc. I'm in a great clique of some fine doctors. Life is good.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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ram
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by ram » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:15 am

graeme wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:29 pm
With my previous employer based health insurance, if I wanted to talk to a doctor it would generally cost a $45 copay. My employer now uses a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a deductible of $12,000. When I called to ask what it would cost to talk to my doctor, they said it depends on what's discussed. When pressed, they said the minimum would be around $150 and it could be more than $600 depending on what we talked about. Any tests ordered would be additional, of course.

Have any of you with similar high deductible plans found ways to manage these costs? Have you found ways to estimate the cost to discuss specific topics with a doctor?
Most employers push high deductible plans as these are more cost effective for them. However these are not appropriate for all employees. If you have a choice of selecting a high deductible plan vs a conventional plan ( where you have a lower deductible like your prior plan) you should evaluate which is better for your situation during the next enrollment. Some employers may only have HDHP options.

If a person enrolls in a HDHP option the responsibility is on him to save the difference between the older higher premium and the lower newer premium, preferably in a HSA to pay for situations like you mentioned above.

If you have a question such as "What causes heart attacks", then google is your friend with an answer that will cost $0. On the contrary if your question is " What should I do for my chest pain" then I would not actually call it a question but it will be at least an office visit and will be charged as such.
Ram

Momus
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Momus » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:33 am

My plastic saw me for 3 mins, talked in 2 mins, walked out, charges $500/"consult" lol.

Family doc $150-200/talk + rxs.

Depends on who you see.

IngognitoUSA
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by IngognitoUSA » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm

Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:43 pm

Momus wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:33 am
My plastic saw me for 3 mins, talked in 2 mins, walked out, charges $500/"consult" lol.
I'm sure he can take longer next time if you just ask.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:45 pm

IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
This has already been around for years. The utility is limited because the doctor cannot examine you.

UncleBen
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by UncleBen » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:21 pm

The insurance allowed rate to see my PCP, a PA not a physician is $181. She will not give me blood work in advance and requires a second visit to discuss the results (which I've already seen on the lab portal and are excellent). No one in the office, billing, or main office can tell me what the 2nd visit will cost. I must assume it will be another $181. IIRC visits to specialists by me or my spouse - surgeons, oncologists, cardiologists all are slightly less. I don't understand why a 10 minute "annual physical" with a PA should require a second 10 minute visit and cost me $362 out of pocket. (That's 10 minutes of her time, an hour of mine since timely appointments are not honored.)

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dm200
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Re: Our cost to visit with a doctor/PA

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:49 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:43 pm
$20 copay
Kaiser Medicare Advantage
My wife is the same for Kaiser ObamaCare (High deductible, HSA).
Both of us have the lowest premium plan cost possible.
Email is always free.
Our Kaiser Medicare plan offers telephone appointments with your Primary care Physician with zero copay. Neither is there a copay for virtual (smartphone 2 way, for example). Email communication with any of my current physicians is no charge.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:52 pm

UncleBen wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:21 pm
The insurance allowed rate to see my PCP, a PA not a physician is $181. She will not give me blood work in advance and requires a second visit to discuss the results (which I've already seen on the lab portal and are excellent). No one in the office, billing, or main office can tell me what the 2nd visit will cost. I must assume it will be another $181. IIRC visits to specialists by me or my spouse - surgeons, oncologists, cardiologists all are slightly less. I don't understand why a 10 minute "annual physical" with a PA should require a second 10 minute visit and cost me $362 out of pocket. (That's 10 minutes of her time, an hour of mine since timely appointments are not honored.)
Interesting you pay all this and don't even get to see a doctor.
Is this in-network care? If so, these are the rates dictated by your insurance which the provider, the insurance, and you have agreed to.
Is this a hospital/institutional owned practice? If so, this might be why the rates are so high. A private practice might be cheaper.

UncleBen
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by UncleBen » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:51 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:52 pm
UncleBen wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:21 pm
The insurance allowed rate to see my PCP, a PA not a physician is $181. She will not give me blood work in advance and requires a second visit to discuss the results (which I've already seen on the lab portal and are excellent). No one in the office, billing, or main office can tell me what the 2nd visit will cost. I must assume it will be another $181. IIRC visits to specialists by me or my spouse - surgeons, oncologists, cardiologists all are slightly less. I don't understand why a 10 minute "annual physical" with a PA should require a second 10 minute visit and cost me $362 out of pocket. (That's 10 minutes of her time, an hour of mine since timely appointments are not honored.)
Interesting you pay all this and don't even get to see a doctor.
Is this in-network care? If so, these are the rates dictated by your insurance which the provider, the insurance, and you have agreed to.
Is this a hospital/institutional owned practice? If so, this might be why the rates are so high. A private practice might be cheaper.
It is in-network through a HDHP. It is not a hospital owned practice but a family owned medical practice. I'm not sure if a private practice would be cheaper but I will find out next year.

From a consumer standpoint, medical services are a bit like restaurants. The establishment provides a front of the house and back of the house service. A restaurant with fabulous food will lose customers if service is lousy just as patients will leave the best doctor if they are continually frustrated by receptionists, billing, scheduling, etc.

Point
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Point » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:56 pm

Our plan has a Teledoc which is free, and email which is free. We are in an HMO. 30 years plus of use and it’s been great.

OnTrack2020
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:07 pm

GUtiger wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:02 am
TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm
My doctor doesn’t charge anything to communicate using email/patient portal. Obviously you don’t want to be the little boy crying wolf and emailing them every week, but when I’ve been genuinely sick I’ve always talked to them through the portal and they never charged me anything.

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I don't charge my patients to speak to me over the phone for simple questions, but I'm genuinely interested to understand why you think paying $150 to ask a health question of your doctor is absurd? Certainly, you wouldn't think it absurd if your lawyer charged you for a phone call question?
Our health care system is broken.

OP, maybe call TeleDoc if you have it on your insurance plan. I haven't done it, so I have no experience. Also, if you have a community health center/clinic nearby, the rates tend to be lower if based on income. If you are being charged that much to ask a question, then it's time to find a new physician.

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:23 pm

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:07 pm
GUtiger wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:02 am
TheAccountant wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:16 pm
My doctor doesn’t charge anything to communicate using email/patient portal. Obviously you don’t want to be the little boy crying wolf and emailing them every week, but when I’ve been genuinely sick I’ve always talked to them through the portal and they never charged me anything.

IMO I’d try to find a different doctor/practice. $ 150+ just to ask them a question is absurd.
I don't charge my patients to speak to me over the phone for simple questions, but I'm genuinely interested to understand why you think paying $150 to ask a health question of your doctor is absurd? Certainly, you wouldn't think it absurd if your lawyer charged you for a phone call question?
Our health care system is broken.

OP, maybe call TeleDoc if you have it on your insurance plan. I haven't done it, so I have no experience. Also, if you have a community health center/clinic nearby, the rates tend to be lower if based on income. If you are being charged that much to ask a question, then it's time to find a new physician.
If it's really just asking a question, google it.

ProfLA
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by ProfLA » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:35 pm

IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
A physician must be licensed to practice medicine in the state where the patient is located. Most physicians licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. would expect compensation in line with what they would receive in the U.S.

furikake
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by furikake » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:44 pm

I've had an HDHP for a long time now. I always ask about how much an office consultation would cost, and if they were going to do labs, then the total would be more. I know my PCP charges around $83, an orthopedic surgeon I went to who also did x-ray for me charged me $144, another orthopedic surgeon charged $85 for an office visit, an ophthalmologist charged me $200 which included all the testing, they were able to tell me how much it was with and without insurance, so I chose to pay the lower price. And then a neurosurgeon's office visit was $87, a dermatologist' was $180. Urgent care was $75 if I paid cash (at one of the UC near my place), and $143 if I let it go through insurance. I always ask upfront how much they charge with and without insurance. But of course, if you pay the non-insurance price, it will not count towards your deductible/out of pocket max.

You should ask about how much an office consultation is, and how much the labs/testing would run if you think you're going to need that. They all know how much their network negotiated rates are, it's just a matter of whether they are willing to tell you. But sometimes, they really don't know what the doc is going to do besides talking with you, like any labs, so that part they probably can't tell you exactly. They should be able to tell you how much office consultation would run at least.

Godot
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Godot » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:54 pm

IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
I'm looking forward to this.
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Tracker968
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Tracker968 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:12 pm

Some of you have mentioned paying cash. I recently was out of town, more than 100 miles from nearest in-network clinic, and went to the local small town clinic. They said they do not take cash patients, everything goes through insurance. I thought that was strange. Still waiting for my bill.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:14 pm

Godot wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:54 pm
IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
I'm looking forward to this.
I guess I'll just set a computer terminal on the triage desk out in the waiting room. :)

Seriously though, until you've watched someone attempt to care for a complicated, sick patient via telemedicine, you might think this is a viable alternative. I assure you it really isn't. Maybe some radiology and pathology services can be outsourced like that. But anesthesia? Emergency medicine? Surgery? Let's just say none of us are worried about losing our jobs or incomes due to this particular "threat" any time soon.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

toofache32
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:28 pm

Godot wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:54 pm
IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
I'm looking forward to this.
Who assumes liability in these cases of overseas doctors? You can't exactly sue someone in India for what is considered malpractice in the USA.

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GerryL
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Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by GerryL » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:47 pm

ram wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:15 am

If you have a question such as "What causes heart attacks", then google is your friend with an answer that will cost $0. On the contrary if your question is " What should I do for my chest pain" then I would not actually call it a question but it will be at least an office visit and will be charged as such.
If you call the Tele-nurse line (if your plan offers that) or a doc's office and use the words "chest" and "pain" in the same sentence, they will tell you to go to the emergency room. Now.

My experience with the on-call nurse line from an insurance plan was that I was always directed to see a doctor -- quickly -- but maybe that is just because I only called with worrisome symptoms (face getting numb hours after a fall, facial paralysis, among other incidents). The response is always to go to urgent care. When I called and used the magic words "chest" and "pain" I was told I could go directly to emergency or I could call my doc who would tell me to go to emergency. I did the latter and ended up having a friend drive me to the emergency room.

In answer to original question:
Cost to see an urgent care doc in France. For me it was 50 euro to walk in the door and 50 euro to have wound (facial, of course) checked and cleaned and get prescription for follow-up self-treatment. If I'd had a French insurance card the visit probably would have been covered.

an_asker
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Re: Our cost to visit with a doctor/PA

Post by an_asker » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:05 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:43 pm
$20 copay
Kaiser Medicare Advantage
My wife is the same for Kaiser ObamaCare (High deductible, HSA).
Both of us have the lowest premium plan cost possible.
Email is always free.
This does not sound like an HDHP.

an_asker
Posts: 2487
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by an_asker » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:06 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:14 pm
Godot wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:54 pm
IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
I'm looking forward to this.
I guess I'll just set a computer terminal on the triage desk out in the waiting room. :)

Seriously though, until you've watched someone attempt to care for a complicated, sick patient via telemedicine, you might think this is a viable alternative. I assure you it really isn't. Maybe some radiology and pathology services can be outsourced like that. But anesthesia? Emergency medicine? Surgery? Let's just say none of us are worried about losing our jobs or incomes due to this particular "threat" any time soon.
This branch of the thread is definitely devolving LOL!!

an_asker
Posts: 2487
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by an_asker » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:09 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:05 am
It costs me nothing to talk to my PCP. Though, frankly I wish he would charge.

I have had his cell number for almost as long as I have been seeing him. We have probably called him less than once a year, so no abuse from me in wasting his time.

Truth is, he calls me more than I call him. He calls sometimes in the evening, or on weekends to give me lab results. That just seems to be the way he rolls.

My wound-care doc offered up his cell phone number as well, unasked for by us. I have been a patient of his for almost as long as I have had my PCP.

The two docs are pals, PCP referred me to the wound-care doc. I'm in a great clique of some fine doctors. Life is good.

Broken Man 1999
I seriously doubt he can offer all his patients that level of care while still staying solvent. If not, he should reveal his business model to all doctors!

fru-gal
Posts: 1184
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by fru-gal » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:12 pm

About nurse lines, I have had mixed experiences:

If you get an older nurse, someone with some experience and common sense, they are very useful. If you get a newbie, they'll worry about a lawsuit if they miss something and so they'll tell you to go to the doctor.

an_asker
Posts: 2487
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by an_asker » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:13 pm

graeme wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:29 pm
With my previous employer based health insurance, if I wanted to talk to a doctor it would generally cost a $45 copay. My employer now uses a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a deductible of $12,000. When I called to ask what it would cost to talk to my doctor, they said it depends on what's discussed. When pressed, they said the minimum would be around $150 and it could be more than $600 depending on what we talked about. Any tests ordered would be additional, of course.

Have any of you with similar high deductible plans found ways to manage these costs? Have you found ways to estimate the cost to discuss specific topics with a doctor?
Our HDHP costs in the low three digits per doctor visit. The only times we talk to doctors for free are when we talking to doctor friends in our social circle, which I assume everyone has :-) To manage those costs, we try to keep our doctor visits to a bare minimum :-)

But as others have offered, why don't you discuss stuff with your doctor during your annual physical - I would think that most, if not all, plans allow one annual physical free of charge.

Your numbers appear a bit higher in comparison. But then we live in a relatively LCOL area (compared to the northeast and west coasts), so YMMV!

fru-gal
Posts: 1184
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by fru-gal » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:17 pm

Godot wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:54 pm
IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:33 pm
Just a matter of time before MDLIVE or some one else will use doctors overseas at a fraction the cost. What is stopping an app in India to provide medical consulting to anyone in the world. Doctors Without Borders indeed.
I'm looking forward to this.
I am not, given that overseas customer service people are almost unintelligible due to accents.

an_asker
Posts: 2487
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by an_asker » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:21 pm

ram wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:15 am
graeme wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:29 pm
With my previous employer based health insurance, if I wanted to talk to a doctor it would generally cost a $45 copay. My employer now uses a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a deductible of $12,000. When I called to ask what it would cost to talk to my doctor, they said it depends on what's discussed. When pressed, they said the minimum would be around $150 and it could be more than $600 depending on what we talked about. Any tests ordered would be additional, of course.

Have any of you with similar high deductible plans found ways to manage these costs? Have you found ways to estimate the cost to discuss specific topics with a doctor?
Most employers push high deductible plans as these are more cost effective for them. However these are not appropriate for all employees. If you have a choice of selecting a high deductible plan vs a conventional plan ( where you have a lower deductible like your prior plan) you should evaluate which is better for your situation during the next enrollment. Some employers may only have HDHP options.

If a person enrolls in a HDHP option the responsibility is on him to save the difference between the older higher premium and the lower newer premium, preferably in a HSA to pay for situations like you mentioned above.

If you have a question such as "What causes heart attacks", then google is your friend with an answer that will cost $0. On the contrary if your question is " What should I do for my chest pain" then I would not actually call it a question but it will be at least an office visit and will be charged as such.
+1!

Also, [and I should have made this point in my other responses] OP should have read through the documents - I would assume that the employer would offer different options within the HDHP. We had three to choose from IIRC. The trade off is higher premium vs higher point of service costs (and deductibles). Needless to say, folks who have the need to have multiple doctor visits - or anticipate such a need in the future - would be better off with the higher premium option. This information is usually provided with the documentation or can be had - even now - from HR.

toofache32
Posts: 1865
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:59 pm

an_asker wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:09 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:05 am
It costs me nothing to talk to my PCP. Though, frankly I wish he would charge.

I have had his cell number for almost as long as I have been seeing him. We have probably called him less than once a year, so no abuse from me in wasting his time.

Truth is, he calls me more than I call him. He calls sometimes in the evening, or on weekends to give me lab results. That just seems to be the way he rolls.

My wound-care doc offered up his cell phone number as well, unasked for by us. I have been a patient of his for almost as long as I have had my PCP.

The two docs are pals, PCP referred me to the wound-care doc. I'm in a great clique of some fine doctors. Life is good.

Broken Man 1999
I seriously doubt he can offer all his patients that level of care while still staying solvent. If not, he should reveal his business model to all doctors!
This is how I run my practice. All my patients have my cell and I call them in the evening to review test results to save them a trip back to the office. I stay solvent because I don't participate in discount plans.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 3459
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:30 pm

an_asker wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:09 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:05 am
It costs me nothing to talk to my PCP. Though, frankly I wish he would charge.

I have had his cell number for almost as long as I have been seeing him. We have probably called him less than once a year, so no abuse from me in wasting his time.

Truth is, he calls me more than I call him. He calls sometimes in the evening, or on weekends to give me lab results. That just seems to be the way he rolls.

My wound-care doc offered up his cell phone number as well, unasked for by us. I have been a patient of his for almost as long as I have had my PCP.

The two docs are pals, PCP referred me to the wound-care doc. I'm in a great clique of some fine doctors. Life is good.

Broken Man 1999
I seriously doubt he can offer all his patients that level of care while still staying solvent. If not, he should reveal his business model to all doctors!
He seems to be doing well. He has a farm near here; one daughter is studying to be a pharmacist, another daughter studying to be a lawyer.

He has an estate in India with a gorgeous home, and full-time staff. Travels extensively. I pretty sure he has a Rupee or two tucked away.

I am probably one of his lowest maintenance patients. Unusual to see him more than once or twice a year. So he isn't making bank off of me.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

IngognitoUSA
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:54 am

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by IngognitoUSA » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:31 pm

Overseas MD access is inevitable. Corporations are excellent at nudging you that way. The can say
- overnight Doctors only overseas
- your language, only overseas
- lower copay, only overseas
- certain speciality, only overseas
- lower wait time, only overseas.

And finally, if you have no insurance, then affordable access overseas.

As for liability, we as a Nation have waived most of your rights into Arbitration, Medical field is not immune.

Not all doctors will be in 3rd world countries, even first world doctors are more affordable than USA doctors.

toofache32
Posts: 1865
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: The cost to talk to a doctor

Post by toofache32 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:44 pm

IngognitoUSA wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:31 pm

As for liability, we as a Nation have waived most of your rights into Arbitration, Medical field is not immune.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
Example: You have the worst headache of your life. The doctor skyping you from India says take tylenol. Turns out you have an aneurysm which bleeds and you have a stroke. We know how this plays out in the USA with lawsuits, but how do you hold the Indian doctor liable?

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