After a little over a year as a Liberty HealthShare member, I had my first encounter with our healthcare system today.
After an intense night of soccer practice, my 13 year old son awoke with intense pain in his right ankle. Unable to walk, I drove him to the closest urgent care center for an exam. I remembered as a Liberty member to inform the receptionist and other care providers that I was a “cash pay” patient. To begin the exam, the nurse wanted to take an X-Ray.
I immediately told her that I was a “cash pay” patient and asked how much it would cost. She had to look at her computer fist and then told me that it would cost $109. Thirty minutes later the doctor came in to our waiting room with good news. “Nothing torn or broken. It was a case of tendonitis, and will heal with a week of rest."
The doctor then recommended crutches. Again, I asked, "how much... I’m cash pay?" His first reaction was one of concern. He told me that the crutches would set me back a little over $300. Noticing my expression of shock, he said, "let me check something here on my computer.”
After a few clicks, he said, "hold on here, I can actually get those down to $96 and I will reduce my fee on top of that.” My total charge was $204. The math didn’t add up. Not until I got my itemized bill did I see all the discounts for simply informing everyone in the process that I was a cash pay patient. There was even a line item credit listed as Self Pay Cash Discount in amount of $45.00.
Had I not informed everyone that I was a cash pay patient, I’m certain that bill would have been over $500.
Liberty HealthShare is changing my habits for accessing healthcare. If we all remember to do this one simple step, not only will we reduce the cost within our sharing community, but we have the opportunity lower healthcare cost for all by shopping for a better deal.
Thank you Liberty HealthShare!