Tag Archives: My Hand

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.

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