- Posted August 24, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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No medical insurance? How to find doctors’ prices and exam rates
Living and working without medical insurance can be quite a challenge for a segment of the public, but it’s also an actual fact that plenty of people deal with from day to day. The fear of a sore tooth or a painful knee may send shivers up a person’s spine, and not merely due to the pain of the ailment but because of the high costs associated with getting things like an MRI accomplished without having the blessing of an insurance card in the wallet to defray the expense.
There are even folks who do have quality insurance plans, but due to the sometimes exorbitant deductibles that must be met – up to $5,000 or even $10,000 – they opt instead to pay cash outright for certain procedures.
How to find the cost of various medical procedures
Thankfully, plenty of what we’re looking for can be found via online research. Of course there’s always Google and even new helpful sites like Yempl, which offers a boatload of information about physicians’ rates for a variety of procedures. Although the site is loaded with lots of data from doctors in the New York area, it is seeking to expand its database with information from doctors all over the country.
The website has a search engine, but this reporter found it easier to type the following term exactly as such into Google to uncover the data I sought:
For example, that query string turned up all the information about MRI exams on the website. That’s how I discovered that Dr. Sunil Trasi charges $515 for a CT scan for the head and brain, along with the physician’s long list of helpful prices for other procedures, such as chest X-rays, facial scans and mammography screenings.
Simply change the search term as shown below to find out whatever concern you have. For example, for the second query, I changed it from “MRI” to “breast” as such:
That uncovered Dr. Nina Strollo, a doctor in the obstetrics and gynecology field, who lists a $75 cost for a pelvic and breast exam that screens for cancer.
The best part about being able to find actual and accurate pricings of procedures in this manner is that many times they may end up being a lot less of a cost than patients expect, and therefore can help encourage consumers to actually visit the doctor instead of staying away in fear due to monetary concerns.
Uncovering reviews and ratings of doctors from patients who’ve used them
Another benefit of being online in the 21st century is that we don’t necessarily have to settle only for word-of-mouth to find out the experiences other patients have had with doctors – either positive or negative. As such, Yempl pulls in information from sites like ZocDoc, Yelp, Google, Health Grades, Vitals and Yahoo in order to present the physicians’ ratings on a 5-star scale.
In the end, it’s a great thing that Yelp isn’t merely for restaurant reviews, and that sites like Yempl are helping people find the real costs charged by doctors for their procedures – and at the same time are assisting those physicians to find new business from patients who don’t mind paying cash for services outright.