The future of healthcare, I have seen it

On Friday morning, while walking my dog, I tripped.  I landed on my hands and on my chin.  I was relatively unscathed, but my left hand hurt a bit, was sensitive to touch, and became bruised and swollen.

I told myself that if I didn’t feel I could hit the gym with it today, I would go see a doctor to make sure I hadn’t broken it.  So I went to an ‘Urgent Care Center’, run by a company called Concentra.  I found them via my insurer’s website.

Normally, I would just have made an appointment with my normal doc, where he would tell me my hand is probably fine, but he’d send me to get an x-ray, just to be sure.  That would have taken a minimum of 4 hours.  (I’ve done it before).  The doctor appointment is an hour, then I have to drive to Essex and wait to get an x-ray.  Then, they send the pics to my doc, who could call me tomorrow with an answer.  I have no idea what this would cost (it would cost me a $10 copay), but I’m sure several hundred dollars.

Who knows what an emergency room would have cost, but I know it would have taken all day.

Instead, I gave ‘Urgent Care’ a try.  Now, my insurance plan this year has changed, and I have a high deductible plan, so know I’m paying for this little trip today, either now or later.  What’s neat about Concentra:  their prices are posted.  I knew walking in that a doctor visit with an x-ray would cost about $200.

I walked into their office a bit after 1:30.  I walked out at 3:30 with a shiny new ace bandage, a prescription for a painkiller, and a diagnosis of a sprain, and had paid $110.

Given the high value of my time, I’m thrilled with the experience, and would recommend Concentra any time you need speedy medical care that doesn’t require an emergency room.  I also think this should be the future of medical care; posted prices, fast service, and leave the complicated stuff to specialists.

Not a bit of that would require 2000 pages of legislation.

Update:  75 minutes after I left their office, they called my home and cell phones, just to make sure my experience met my expectations.


About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

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