Did you know that doctors employed by hospital systems are usually forced to send you to their most expensive imaging centers, blood work centers and outpatient surgery centers? If not, their doctors can be reprimanded or fired. It’s so convenient and tempting to go down the hallway and get those four blood tests only to realize you spent $800 instead of $200 five minutes down the road in-network.
Pratter wants you to know that you should trust your doctor with your life – not your wallet. In fact, 60% of the 900,000 physicians employed by hospitals are tracked where they send patients by an electronic medical records (EMR) system. If the doctor refers outside the hospital system he or she is employed by, he or she risks being fired. Thus, the doctor wants to keep his or her job, regardless of whether or not it financially distresses you.
Acknowledging that doctors who are employed by hospitals will send you to the most expensive location for care – their very own hospital – is the single greatest piece of knowledge needed to lead to a successful culture change of shopping for healthcare with “know before you go” pricing for the most common tests and procedures. The hospital CEO and its employed physicians do not have your best financial interest at heart. That's why the pricing has been kept secret.
There are five major categories where America can receive its health care and these include:
2. Ambulatory surgery centers
3. Independent imaging (e.g. MRI and CT) centers
4. Independent lab centers (e.g. Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp)
5. Private practice physicians (employed ones fall under the “hospital” category)
In general, as outlined above, the pricing also goes from one through five. Hospitals do a great job of taking care of sick people. They are ideally suited to take care of people that need to stay in the hospital, referred to as inpatient medical care. Otherwise, stay away from hospitals to save the most money on common tests and procedures. Keep more money in your bank account and know that the hospitals and health insurance is there for a catastrophe.
Pratter is here to make it easy for you to understand your best-priced care options in-network, close to where you live or work.