Foo - How To Effectively Shop For A Medical Procedure?
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03-31-10, 12:32 PM
The doctor recommends I have an outpatient procedure (Upper GI Endoscopy).
My insurance has a big deductible, so essentially this means a huge (for me) out-of-pocket expense.
I've never been in this position before. What's the best way to determine what my options are? Do prices vary much for this kind of thing? How do you distinguish between the better doctors and worse ones?
Frankly, I wasn't too endeared to that doctor in the initial consultation and have no problem going somewhere else, if I can find a better option.
03-31-10, 12:40 PM
I don't know what that particular procedure is, but Pepe (the guy with the taco truck) says his cousin, the plumber, will come to your house and do it for 1/2 price. :innocent:
03-31-10, 12:51 PM
This makes me think of that old saw about what you call the guy who graduated last in his medical class. Doctor.
I have a few friends who work in the health field and I'll ask their opinion of a doctor and the non-doctors will invariably give me an opinion that is less vague than my doctor friends. I will ask the question of my doctor friends "So, who would you go to?" for a procedure and will typically get a definitive answer.
03-31-10, 01:55 PM
does this procedure require you to bend over? if so, i would take my time picking the right doctor.
03-31-10, 02:45 PM
Just like anything else, ask what's involved, what your cost is and ask for references. Tell them you're paying out of pocket for the procedure, and they should be able to give you an answer. It's being done more often these days.
You can also look to the state Department of Professional Regulation (or whoever issues the licenses in your state) for complaints. Complaints may not mean much more than they asked a patient to pay their bill, or it may mean they're not very good at what they do.
03-31-10, 03:10 PM
It's curious how difficult it is to find useful medical service information online.
I guess you can buy reports indicating if a doctor has committed major no-nos, but that doesn't indicate if he or she is good.
I found a website which purports to solicit price estimate quotes from local providers, but it apparently doesn't work for Knoxville. Or else I'm doing something wrong.
04-01-10, 12:44 PM
http://www.healthgrades.com/local-doctors-directory/by-specialty/gastroenterology/tennessee-tn/knoxville-gastroenterologists will give you an answer to some of your questions. Have you considered moving or having a more common procedure?
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