Those Who Come from a Distance
Headache disorders are among the most underserved medical problems in the world. The state of Washington has one of the worst served populations in the country with a ratio of 1 headache specialist to a population of 2.2million. We have been working hard to help meet this need. Now our typical patient comes from more than one hundred miles away.
One of the ways that we are trying to meet that need is by virtual appointments. It is a secure “Skype-type” video visit that can be done with a laptop or even pocket device (smart phone). Besides saving the patient a lot of travel time, these appointments could be worked in off-hour times if needed.
While 90% of a headache diagnosis is by history, still 10% is related to the physical exam. For that reason, we must see all patients in person at least once. But then subsequent appointments can be by video virtual appointments.
So far the health insurance companies have resisted virtual appointments because they want to limit access to good care, because it saves them money. Therefore virtual appointments must be cash only as a non-covered treatment.
We have just lowered our prices for virtual appointments to make it easier for these patients who are far away. Here are our new prices as of October 1, 2015
Old Price for 15-30 minutes was $209 but now will be $130
Old Price for 30-45 minutes was $280 but now will be $180
We didn’t have an extended visit of > 45 minutes but now we will at $230
These new prices will probably not cover our overhead for the time, however, it is important that care is accessible for as many people as possible.
Those who are Un or Underinsured
Despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), may patients still either have no insurance or have rotten plans. Some plans now have deductibles of over $5,000 / year. To help reach these people we are trying to create an easier cash-payment at time of service pathway. By not dealing with an insurance company a huge burden is lifted from a small practice and we can pass that savings on to the patient. We have reduced our cash prices by a substantial amount to encourage the same-day cash paying patients. We have computed the very least we can charge and still cover our overhead expenses.
If we could move completely away from doing business with the insurance companies, it would be a huge relief as now we waste more than 50% of all of our resources and energy fighting to get them to pay us the money they owe us. It would be much better for the patient if all that energy was devoted to helping them get better. For more information about the new prices follow this link.