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Comparison-shopping for Premium Healthcare?

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Comparison-shopping for Premium Healthcare?

Tips on How to Make It Affordable

Just as they would for any other product or service, baby boomers and gen-Xers alike are beginning to comparison-shop for the highest quality of healthcare…without the unmanageable costs.

One of the best-kept secrets in healthcare is the way ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and independent physician groups can save patients money.

The May issue of the Health Affairs journal touts ASCs as an efficient approach to improving healthcare quality and reducing costs. After its review of 52,000 surgical visits across 437 facilities over four years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research team found that procedures performed in ASCs took less time – 31.8 fewer minutes, in fact – than those performed in hospitals, and patient costs were an estimated $363 to $1,000 lower.

By specializing on a narrow range of services, an ASC is able to maximize patient benefits and minimize cost. These savings are then passed on to patients…resulting in a much higher level of patient satisfaction.

Comparison-shopping for elective surgical procedures can yield substantial savings for patients. Most Fox Valley Orthopedics patients, for example, pay 30 to 50 percent less for diagnostic services, and about 50 percent less for surgical procedures than they would at a hospital.

Be In-the-Know About ASC Benefits

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the growth of ASCs is directly linked to numerous patient benefits. These include:

  • Convenient access and scheduling
  • Cost savings
  • Higher staff-to-patient ratios, resulting in personalized care
  • Less time under anesthesia
  • Lower infection rates and re-admissions
  • Positive outcomes
  • Shorter wait times
  • Specialized care from highly- trained nursing staff
  • Technological advances

Facts to Help You Save

  • Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) treat patients faster and cost up to 50 percent less than surgery performed at a hospital.
  • Freestanding imaging centers provide services for 30 to 60 percent less per visit than a hospital imaging facility.
  • Specialty convenient care centers are typically 5 to 7 times less expensive than going to the ER.

Consumer Tips for Comparison-shopping

  • Information is power…ask the hospital in your area to provide you with ALL costs for any anticipated procedure.
  • Get an estimate prior to receiving services such as an MRI or elective surgery.
  • Medicare data is available to everyone. Ask the administrator at the ASC of your choice to show you how much your out-of-pocket expenses will be IN ADVANCE of any procedure in order to make an informed decision.